What is meant by the term Hip Hop Theatre? The genre can be described as telling a contemporary story via one or more of the 5 Hip Hop elements. These are: Rap, Djing, B-boying, MCing and Graffiti art. A music movement brought to life by the legendary Kool Herc in the 70s, the genre has recently enjoyed mainstream success and is vastly becoming a theatrical genre to be reckoned with. From Lin Manuel Miranda‘s record breaking Hamilton, to Kate Prince‘s award winning Hip Hop theatre company Zoonation, read on to see how this Bronx based genre became a worldwide movement.

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Breakin’ Convention

Founded in 2004 by Dancer, spoken word artist and director Jonzi D, Breakin’ Convention has been at the forefront of championing Hip Hop dance culture in the UK. Breakin’ Convention tours the UK highlighting the talents of artists from around the world. The event is more an ‘experience’, audiences are able to take in all of the Hip Hop elements whether that be watching Graffiti Artists, dancers in the foyers or eating Caribbean cuisine. Visit here for more info…

Boy Blue Entertainment

Co-founded by choreographer and dancer Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy and composer Michael ‘Mickey J’ Asante, Boy Blue Entertainment, the Olivier Award winning company have gripped audiences since 2002. The company received the honour of choreographing a segment of the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle. The company have also enjoyed a partnership with the Barbican where you’ll find many of their works staged. Visit here for more info…

Zoonation

Founded in 2002 by Sadler’s Wells and The Old Vic Associate Artist Kate Prince, Zoonation made history with their critically acclaimed show Into the Hoods becoming the first Hip Hop dance show to open in the West End. The company are all about breaking boundaries, not only in staging successful shows but by also inspiring tomorrow’s generation of dancers by offering training opportunities. For more information visit here…

SWNSNG

Showcased at Jonzi D’s Breakin Convention in 2016, SWNSNG’s ‘Traplord of the Flyz’ offers a stark look into a metropolitan driven by capitalism (sound familiar). The dark, somewhat mythical tale presents allegorical characters, and merges dance, music and a strong narrative to really get audiences thinking about the themes addressed. SWNSNG are definitely a company to watch out for. For more information visit here…

Lin Manuel Miranda

The Pulitzer Prize, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winning writer/director shows no signs of slowing down, and has truly helped to show how Broadway and Hip Hop can merge to create a masterpiece, the one and only Hamilton. Who would have teamed up the story of one of America’s founding fathers with Hip Hop? That’s the genius of Miranda who has managed to document a slice of history in a creative manner. His debut Into the Heights also showcases the writer’s talents, bringing to life the trials and tribulations of the Dominican-American residents of Washington Heights. For more information visit here…

Licensed to Ill (Southwark Playhouse)
The Story of how the Beastie Boys formed, cast and creatives Adam El Hagar, Simon Maeder, Daniel Foxsmith, Tope Mikun bring to light the creation of the controversial band’s debut album, Licensed to Ill. The cast emulate the band’s authenticity by performing live versions of each track. Just like the band who redefined what Hip Hop can be, Licensed to Ill presents an alternative musical format that encourages a concert-like atmosphere. For more information visit here…

Written by Lucy Basaba.

Written by Theatrefullstop