The international hip hop festival – Breakin’ Convention – will run from 1-4 May at Sadler’s Wells and Lilian Baylis Studio. Breakin’ Convention has firmly established itself as one of the major highlights on the British dance calendar and one of the world’s greatest celebrations of hip hop culture. 2015 will see performances from UK and international companies and crews, the 12th year of this hugely popular Sadler’s Wells Production, hosted and curated by Associate Artist Jonzi D.
While Breakin’ Convention is an event for the whole family, for the first time this year there will be an adult-only evening of entertainment in the Lilian Baylis Studio, an intimate show blending stylish cabaret, circus, live music and burlesque with hip hop. The main festival on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 May sees Sadler’s Wells’ foyer transformed with live DJs, freestyle dance jams, graffiti exhibitions, workshops from top international artists and live aerosol art. Participatory activities will take place pre-show and during the interval. Full line-up to be announced 12 March 2015.
Artistic Director of Breakin’ Convention and Jonzi D Projects, Jonzi D has been actively involved in British hip hop culture in clubs and on the street since its genesis in the early 1980s. Since graduating from the London Contemporary Dance School, he has been committed to the development of hip hop theatre, in his former role as Associate Artist at The Place and by creating and performing dance theatre pieces worldwide.
Breakin’ Convention is committed to celebrating, elevating and supporting hip hop dance theatre: the company works with the most respected, innovative and inspirational hip hop artists in the industry. Through its world-renowned international festival, professional development, youth projects and educational programme, Breakin’ Convention seeks to position hip hop dance alongside more historically established artforms.
Sadler’s Wells’ hip hop dance project Breakin’ Convention has launched an online video channel, BCTV, to capture the full range of Breakin’ Convention’s work and the artists it works with, on Friday 2 May 2014.
Breakin’ Convention is one of the world’s leading hip hop dance organisations, delivering a dynamic programme of events, performances and projects, working with some of the world’s finest hip hop artists. It will present Breakin’ Convention, its critically acclaimed annual festival of hip hop dance theatre, at Sadler’s Wells from 3-5 May 2014, ahead of a UK tour to venues such as Doncaster, Kings Lynn, Inverness, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Blackpool and Bournemouth.
The hip hop community boasts many talented emerging film-makers, but opportunities to train, develop and receive mentorship are limited. Unpaid work and internships are financially unsustainable for most, which makes entry and progression within the industry difficult. Breakin’ Convention therefore aims to plug this gap by offering training and mentorship coupled with paid, creative film-making briefs. Through providing access to quality equipment and mentors, tailored training programmes and bridging relationships with other film production companies, BCTV is not only a fantastic opportunity for film-makers to make dynamic content but a gateway to the larger industry.
The project is part of Sadler’s Wells’ work to ensure a strong legacy beyond the tour. In addition to BCTV, this will include engaging local urban cultural ambassadors who will provide the link between the venue and the local hip hop dance, graffiti, rap and DJ communities in order to highlight lesser-known projects to a wider audience.
BCTV features everything from live performances to interviews, short documentaries, video diaries and conceptual videos, and provides an insight into the world of hip hop dance.
It’s time for the next generation of dancers to shine at Breakin’ Convention, with 2013 marking its 10 year anniversary! To celebrate this special occasion, Breakin’ Convention will be offering two different opportunities for youth dancers in the new year, meaning it is time to don those new urban dance trainers and hit the studio! The festival will run from Saturday 4 – Sunday 6 May 2013.
“Breakin’ Convention 10 x 10” signals the start of a fantastic new platform in the creation of a special Breakin’ Convention crew of ten 10 year olds. An exclusive one-off performance will follow, on the main stage of the Breakin’ Convention festival at Sadler’s Wells. Young dancers will have the opportunity to show off their skills and perform at one of the biggest hip hop dance events in the world in front of an audience of nearly 2,000 people. Members of the crew will have the opportunity to learn from some of London’s most talented and successful artists including Boy Blue’s Vicky ‘Skytilz’ Mantey, and Bruno ‘Boom’ Perrier.
In addition, “Future Elements” will be a scheme aiming to showcase some of the UK’s best up-and-coming youth dance companies that have taken the future of funk in their hands and channelled it through their dancing. Saturday 9 March 2013 will see the best youth dance companies from in and around London present their work, with submissions for Breakin’ Convention’s Future Elements Night now open.
Past companies and dancers who have performed at Future Elements have included:
- Da Bratz – Boy Blue Entertainment’s next generation of dancers
- Enigma Dance Company – founded by Botis Seva of Far From the Norm
- ME:I – Myself Dance Company’s up and coming youth group
- Kieran Lei – member of K-Lic and star of forthcoming street dance film, AllStars
So far 2013 is looking like a wealth of opportunity for dancers everywhere!
Sadler’s Wells is due to stream its annual international hip hop dance festival Breakin’ Convention live on May 7th. This date marks the new on-demand initiative by the Arts Council England – named The Space – in partnership with the BBC that offers audiences a new way to uniquely experience some of the most exciting arts events from across the UK. A great place to scout the latest dance wear trends, Breakin’ Convention has showcased over 400 UK and international companies, and a total of over 3,900 performers to audiences in excess of 75,000 since its inception in 2004, having become one of the most influential hip-hop events of the year.
Breakin’ Convention is The Space’s first dance event, offering audiences the opportunity to observe all aspects of the international hip hop dance festival, from foyer events to smaller performances in the Lilian Baylis Studio and performances on the Main Stage. From urban dance trainers to Breakin’ Convention hoodies, there is much for dance fans to engage with, including workshops, film screenings, DJ demos, impromptu foyer freestyle sessions and live aerosol art.
Breakin’ Convention is in its ninth year, featuring some of the very best UK and international acts in hip hop dance, offering audiences a fashion show of different styles from breaking and popping to locking, b-boying and newer styles such as house dance, devised from the dance floors and born out of club culture.
The line-up for Breakin’ Convention 2012 includes ILL-Abilities, a breakdance company that challenges the misconceptions about people with disabilities; Vagabond Crew who are the current world champions winning both Battler of the Year and the UK B-boy championships in 2011, amongst many other talents.
Audiences will be able to watch Breakin’ Convention live from 4pm on Monday 7 May on www.thespace.org, www.sadlerswells.com and www.breakinconvention.com. It will also be available on demand after the 7 May on www.thespace.org.
Image courtesy of VIVADANÇA Festival Internacional’s photostream at Flickr