Breakin’ Convention Festival simply takes over Sadlers Wells over Bank Holiday weekend!
Sadler’s Wells saw the 3 day global takeover of Hip Hop dance theatre festival (that’s right folks theatre has a new category) Breakin’ Convention. The festival has been a part of defining a new genre of theatre which has seen an increase of emerging talent and it did not fail to deliver on it’s 3year anniversary.
I made a visit on Saturday 3rd May and was welcomed to breakers and beat boxers performing in every nook and cranny of the building. With an impressive international presence the main event of the day was rightly hosted by founder and creator of Breakin Convention Jonzi D.
Check out this video from UK based dance crew Definitives.
With each piece lasting between 10 – 15 minutes the atmosphere and tension was intensified with bursts of talent, skill and concept. Something which Hip Hop dance has anticipated since it’s quality of aesthetically pleasing movement.
Dancers with gymnastic type standards are now taking to the stage to present us with extremely clean lines and synchronicity as well as experimenting with diverse themes and important social issues. But without verbal communication, choreographers relied on music and emotive responses to portray meaning. This very occasionally became frustrating as it was difficult to decipher meanings and metaphors which makes physical theatre, contemporary dance and Hip Hop Theatre hard to appreciate for anything other than its aesthetic.
We all cheer at the tricks and amazing lifts but is there more to it that that? I quickly learnt that music plays an important role in the plot and journey of these characterised dancers. Spoken Movement however left the music to one side set up the choreography to its own mesmerising mordant dialogue. Glimpses of Step-Dancing, African Tribal themes, Capoeira and even Crumping saw an abrupt expression of emotive combative tension within this piece.
Clean lines and effortless lifts infused with contemporary breaking and moments of tenderness between the duo of Tenticle Tribe, for example, elicited such audience captivating engagement. Whereas ILL-Abilities captured hearts and minds through open dialogue and dance on screen about their personal journeys.
So fortunately for us rookies, Hip Hop theatre presents itself in many different forms and styles allowing choreographers to experiment with not just various elements of Hip Hop but it also draws inspiration from street artists, lyricists, music, poetry, Shakespeare (the list goes on) in an intellectual and creative way.
One determined truth, which all these pieces shared, was the relevance and social commentary on the contemporary world. Breakin’ Convention helped Hip Hop theatre’s evolutionary journey, as it begins to make its plan to stay. The Breakin’ Convention tour continues! For more details visit: http://www.breakinconvention.com/events/festival/breakin-convention-2014-tour
Written by Subika Anwar
Visit her blog ‘Nothingness…Everywhere’
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