Photo cred­it: Belinda Law­ley

Sadler’s Wells ven­ues
Sat­urday 4 & Sunday 5 May
Tick­ets: 020 7863 8000 or

Cre­ated and emceed by UK hip hop maker and Breakin’ Con­ven­tion Artist­ic Dir­ect­or Jonzi D, Breakin’ Con­ven­tion Fest­iv­al returns to Sadler’s Wells in Isling­ton to cel­eb­rate hip hop cul­ture in all its forms over the Early May Bank Hol­i­day.

The Fest­iv­al show­cases inter­na­tion­al acts from the USA, South Korea and France, as well as per­form­ances from loc­al and nation­al tal­ents on Sadler’s Wells stages. Per­form­ances, activ­it­ies for chil­dren of all ages, live DJs ses­sions, dance and bespoke graf­fiti work­shops, free­style ses­sions and shows take over the entire build­ing.

This week, Jonzi D was nom­in­ated for an Olivi­er Awards for out­stand­ing achieve­ment in dance for his artist­ic dir­ec­tion of Breakin’ Con­ven­tion 2023, which marked the 20 years’ anniversary of the Fest­iv­al.

From 6pm on Sat­urday 4 & Sunday 5 May, audi­ences will be able to see per­form­ances from some of the world’s lead­ing hip hop acts includ­ing Femme Fatale (USA), Sons of Wind (France) and Jinjo crew (South Korea); CREATE4 (Neth­er­lands) and Ekl­eido (UK); Ivan Michael Black­stock’s com­pany TRAPLORD (UK), Boy Blue (UK), When Time Was New (UK), Gully South Block (GSB) (UK), Com­pany DHW (UK), Sasha Mah­fouz Shadid (UK) and Shaol­inOr­Shao (UK) – plus a solo by Jamal Ster­rett (UK). Dur­ing the inter­val, Cie Kil­aï (France) per­forms in the Lili­an Bayl­is Stu­dio.

The festival’s pro­gramme dis­plays a wide vari­ety of hip hop styles includ­ing break­ing, pop­ping, krump­ing, thread­ing, funk and bruk up.

2024 is a sig­ni­fic­ant year for break­ing as it becomes an offi­cial Olympic sport for the first time at the Par­is Olympics this sum­mer. Academy Breakin’ Con­ven­tion will open at Sadler’s Wells East, offer­ing a full-time fur­ther edu­ca­tion pro­gramme for 16 to 19-year-olds that includes train­ing in all aspects of hip hop – the first of its kind. Academy Breakin’ Con­ven­tion will have a stall at the Fest­iv­al on both days, where audi­ences can find out more about the course, and will host audi­tions on Sunday 5 May. Find out more inform­a­tion here Home — Academy Breakin’ Con­ven­tion (

Breakin’ Con­ven­tion 2024 lineup in Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Femme Fatale is a col­lect­ive of three female dan­cers based in Los Angeles, ori­gin­ally from France, Mex­ico and Korea. Mar­ie Pop­pins, Lily Fri­as and Dassy Lee bring their piece UNBOUN­DED, show­cas­ing their skills in pop­ping, anim­a­tion and robot through stor­ies of the street dance scene, gender inequal­ity, self-dis­cov­ery and the ongo­ing chal­lenges of being an artist. Femme Fatale per­formed for fam­ous artists and brands and have starred in So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Best Dance Crew.

Sons of Wind is a French troupe made of 20 multi-dis­cip­lin­ary artists across dance, music, pho­to­graphy and video. They present Bounce, a cho­reo­graph­ic essay with ten dan­cers. The piece is reclaim­ing the com­pany’s con­nec­tion with free­style hip hop by explor­ing how the move­ment of ‘boun­cing’ feeds body and soul.

Jinjo Crew is a break­ing group from South Korea which was foun­ded in 2001. The crew won major com­pet­i­tions includ­ing UK B‑Boy Cham­pi­on­ships, Free­style Ses­sion, Battle of the Year, and Red Bull BC One.

CREATE4, the brainchild com­pany of Ibrah Silas Jack­son, presents The Hered­it­ary, which was first cre­ated at Breakin’ Con­ven­tion artist­ic devel­op­ment pro­gramme Back to the Lab. It is per­formed by Ibrah Silas Jack­son and Angel Gonza­lez Felix, with music by Kenzo Alvares. Jackson’s work focuses on hip hop cul­ture and storytelling with visu­al art. Versed in dif­fer­ent move­ment lan­guages such as con­tem­por­ary, funk styles and Afric­an cul­tur­al styles, he is also a mem­ber of Neth­er­lands’ lock­ing dance crew, Ghetto Funk Col­lect­ive, who per­formed at Breakin’ Con­ven­tion 2023.

Ekl­eido is a dance com­pany by Han­nah Ekholm and Faye Stoeser. They present Splice, in which they per­form togeth­er. The work is an explor­a­tion of con­nec­tion and archi­tec­ture between two bod­ies as they con­fig­ure them­selves amid restric­tion and pos­sib­il­ity. The work takes influ­ences from both Faye and Hannah’s vocab­u­lar­ies com­bin­ing con­tem­por­ary dance and under­ground club/battle styles includ­ing voguing, bone-break­ing, thread­ing and elec­tro.

An inspir­ing cul­tur­al innov­at­or, Olivi­er Award-win­ning cho­reo­graph­er Ivan Michael Black­stock is a South Lon­don-born multi-dis­cip­lin­ary artist who has worked with Breakin’ Con­ven­tion for 10 years, along­side his thriv­ing cho­reo­graph­ic career. In 2022, Black­stock presen­ted his Olivi­er Award-win­ning pro­duc­tion Traplord at 180 stu­di­os in col­lab­or­a­tion with Sadler’s Wells. For this year’s Breakin’ Con­ven­tion Fest­iv­al, with his com­pany TRAPLORD, he presents the world première of a new work, a vari­ation on his Traplord uni­verse.

Foun­ded in Lon­don in 2001, Boy Blue, the award-win­ning brainchild of pro­du­cer Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and cho­reo­graph­er Ken­rick ‘H2O’ Sandy MBE, encap­su­lates the pulse of the city it was born in. The com­pany won an Olivi­er Award for their pro­duc­tion, Pied Piper, and con­trib­uted cho­reo­graphy to the open­ing cere­mony of the Lon­don 2012 Olympics. They come back to the Fest­iv­al with a new show.

Dance com­pany When Time Was New, spear­headed by Brooke Mil­liner, presents Psyche. Mil­liner is a dan­cer and former tram­po­lin­ist, who uses gym­nastics move­ments in his cho­reo­graph­ic work. Psyche is a hip hop dance theatre show about male men­tal health, a major social issue in the UK today. Through a range of tech­niques, includ­ing pop­ping, krump and con­tem­por­ary, the work also gives a mes­sage of hope.

Foun­ded in 2017 by Cha­quille For­res­t­er-Osborne, GSB is a South Lon­don-based krump­ing col­lect­ive whose aim is to give an intim­ate insight into one’s life­style, and to high­light that there is strength in vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies. They took part in the Breakin’ Con­ven­tion artist­ic devel­op­ment pro­gramme Back to the Lab and return for their second Fest­iv­al in a row.

Dani Har­ris-Wal­ters’ Com­pany DHW explores soci­ety’s impact on indi­vidu­al iden­tity and self-worth with p = F/A (Pres­sure), a piece com­bin­ing cho­reo­graphy and storytelling. Developed from his solo “am I worthy?”, the piece exposes vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies, cour­age and resi­li­ence in the face of soci­et­al pres­sures. Har­ris-Wal­ters aims to rep­res­ent the unrep­res­en­ted, focus­ing on the youth, the glob­al major­ity, and those who do not tra­di­tion­ally engage with the arts, embody­ing inclus­iv­ity and diversity.

Sasha Mah­fouz Shadid is a Brit­ish-Palestini­an artist born in South­sea, UK. He is pas­sion­ate about street dance and con­tem­por­ary dance lan­guages, mainly hip hop, krump and house dance. He has worked and toured with hip hop theatre shows such as ZooN­a­tion. He presents a piece that he developed through Breakin’ Con­ven­tion pro­gramme Open Arts Sur­gery.

Foun­ded by Sami Bekkay-Row­land, the group Shaol­inOr­Shao presents MP3 + Move­ment Init, a trib­ute piece to UK grime cul­ture – and Jamal Ster­rett, a street dan­cer from St Ann’s in Not­ting­ham with Asperger’s syn­drome, per­forms a style known as bruk up, ori­gin­at­ing from Jamaica. His piece, High Spec­tra, explores how Asper­gers height­ens his sens­it­iv­ity to sens­ory and men­tal stim­uli.

Extra events around the Breakin’ Con­ven­tion Fest­iv­al 2024

Spe­cial activ­it­ies for fam­il­ies take place front of house. On the First Circle from 4.30pm and again dur­ing the inter­val, the Tiny Totts Work­shops are ded­ic­ated to chil­dren who want to explore vari­ous hip hop dance found­a­tions, hos­ted by two fully qual­i­fied facil­it­at­ors.

Live DJ ses­sions take place in the foy­er, fea­tur­ing DJ Pogo, Cut­mas­ter Swift and Yug­son Hawks. Audi­ences can also learn to tag in the Graff Zone on the First Circle, and in Sadler’s Wells out­door space, the Yard – while chil­dren from all ages are invited to take part in draw­ing work­shops. The main wall in the foy­er will be painted by Nean, a Bel­gian graf­fiti writer from the King­dom crew. An hour of impro­vised theatre, the Free­style Funk For­um is in the Lili­an Bayl­is Stu­dio.

Dur­ing the inter­val on both nights, French com­pany Cie Kil­aï per­forms Raw, an intim­ate show fea­tur­ing four dan­cers and spoken word cent­ring women in hip hop in the Lili­an Bayl­is Stu­dio. The com­pany was cre­ated in 2014 by Sandrine Lescour­ant – known as Mufasa – who heads a hip hop troupe with vari­ations on clas­sic­al, con­tem­por­ary and tra­di­tion­al Afric­an dances.

Jonzi D is a Sadler’s Wells Asso­ci­ate Artist

Breakin’ Con­ven­tion per­form­ances in Sadler’s Wells Theatre are BSL inter­preted by Jac­qui Beck­ford

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.