Dance Umbrella and Somerset House are excited to announce more details for London Battle which takes place at Dance Umbrella’s home, Somerset House, on the opening weekend of the festival, Saturday 7 October.
London Battle will take in the iconic open-air courtyard for a day packed with showcases, workshops, cyphers, live DJs and a big outdoor party. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip hop culture and with Breaking set to be the highlight of the 2024 Paris Olympics, Dance Umbrella and Somerset House are bringing together some of the most exciting talent from the four corners of London to go head-to-head across a diverse range of styles.
Curated by choreographer Jade Hackett, the audience will play their part in judging and deciding which part of our global city brings the best dance flavour – north, south, east or west.
Jade Hackett said: ‘London Battle is an explosive new festival festuring some of London’s finest within the hiphop and street dance communities. With dancers representing all the four corners of this city, it will be brimming with powerful and gravity-defying movement from its battlers and is certainly not a show to be missed.
Spectators can also participate in family fun classes and be entertained with incredible performances, including new work by award winning dance company, Boy Blue Ent. Finishing off with THE party of all parties as our Dj’s help us to skank the evening away.
Come and enjoy an amazing day with us at ‘London Battle’ and truly celebrate our wonderful city, in style.’
Starting at 1pm this completely free event offers audiences plenty of opportunities to get involved beginning with a stellar line-up of workshops to get everyone moving with Turbo teaching house style, Olu on Afrobeats, Kloe Dean doing Hip Hop and Tiago will be Waacking. All abilities welcome!
Between 3.30 and 4.30pm there will be a series of showcase performances from some of London’s most exciting talent including krump collective Gully South Block (GSB); the UK’s most celebrated hip-hop dance theatre company Boy Blue, street dance expert Lauren Scott and Britain’s Got Talent 2023 contestants The Queens.
DJs featured across the day include: Midnight Train Collective and Josh Constanzo, and our MC for the day is actor and presenter Ashley J.
The London Battle finale commences at around 4.30pm with four teams hailing from the four corners of London, North, South, East and West meeting in the middle to slog it out for the London crown. Who will be the best? You decide!
Leading the team from the north is Troy Banton aka Dat Boi Troy from the Indahouse family. A house dance specialist, Troy also trained in classical ballet with the Russian ballet school, and in African Caribbean dance forms with Irie Dance Company. He’ll be joined by 19 year-old Rory Clarke, an exciting newcomer who regularly performs with ZooNation and Far From the Norm alongside the talented Anna Ponomarenko aka b‑girl Stefani who this year took the silver medal at the European Breaking Championships.
The team from the south will be led by Nicholas Marvel (aka Marvel) who is a representative of Monsterz Crew UK. He is known for his signature animatronic popping style and inventive isolations. He’ll be accompanied by Team GB member and Red Bull BC One champion Roxanne Milliner (b‑girl Roxy), as well as Chaldon Williams (aka Sev Raven), a choreographer, artist mentor and creator of the Tribe Wayz collective.
Representing east London is Jordan ‘JFunk’ Franklin, who has been performing as a member of one of the UK’s most celebrated hip hop dance theatre companies, Boy Blue, for over 10 years. He’ll be joined by dynamic dance artist and international champion Evion Hackett and creative performer Toby “Shush” Jackman.
Battling for the title from west London is breaking expert Lee Crowley, also known as Reckless-Lee, who is a member of the award-winning BirdGang Dance Company. He’ll be joined by fellow BirdGang crew member and multi-skilled performer, dancer and teacher Elise Antonia, and Benjamin Banishahi aka Shahi.
Once the winners are crowned there will be a celebration of Hip Hop bringing all the elements of the day together in one big party.
Dance Umbrella & Somerset House present
Curated by Jade Hackett
Saturday 7 October 1 — 6.30pm
Somerset House’s Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court
1 — 3.30 — Workshops
3.30 — 4.30 — Showcases
4.30 — 5.30 — Battle
5.30 — 6.30 — Party
Dance Umbrella Festival 2023 takes place 6–31 October, across London and online.
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