Breakin’ Convention is the award-winning and critically acclaimed organisation that represents the origins and evolution of Hip Hop culture from around the world and around the corner. Working with the most respected, innovative and inspirational artists, Breakin’ Convention seek to position Hip Hop dance alongside more historically established art forms, through our world-renowned international festivals, professional development, youth projects and educational programme.
Jonzi D is the founder and Artistic Director of Jonzi D Projects and Breakin’ Convention and is an Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. A dancer, spoken word artist and director, he is the foremost advocate for Hip Hop who has changed the profile and influenced the development of the UK British Hip Hop dance and theatre scene over the last two decades. Breakin’ Convention is a Sadler’s Wells Project, a continually evolving organisation and since the birth of our festival in 2004 they have grown to encompass a range of events and services.
The weekend at Sadler’s Wells is filled with masterclasses from top professionals around the world. On Saturday I attend the Breaking Class with Cheerito from Russia. There is a mix of ages and abilities and he caters for everyone in the class by keeping it simple but adding difficulty on each individual level. Sadler’s Wells looks completely refurbished with a Graffiti zone, training ground, beautiful empowering graffiti everywhere transforming the space. It is a beautiful sight to see adults and children join in on the graffitti table and art work stations.
The performances in the evening on the main stage top off the night with inspiring pieces and messages. The Rebirth Network stun us with a powerful piece on police brutality with powerful musicality reflecting current situations in US. Emma Houston represents with Houston Dance Collective giving minorites a voice, especially within the LGBT community. Her piece hads beautiful flow with powerful whacking and redefines gender sterotypes. The Hungry Sharks from Austria present an eye opening piece on the ‘fear of missing out’ using shadows and phone lights. They make the point that the generation today are hidden behind phones and use masks infused with Hip Hop to highlight this. Theo ‘Godson’ Oloyade infused some hardcore krumping and classical music with a mix of body types on stage, creating a tear jerking piece. Dani and Sia finish off the first half celebrating black love and as phenomenal dancers and a couple it is radiating to watch. The piece is inspired by what it is like to be on the grind going to work and then taking it out on your partner in an emotional frustrated scene.
After the interval Cheerito (Russia) wows the audience with mask breaking, with incredible flow and dislocking his body in weird and wonderful ways. Tentacle Tribe, a duo from Canada interlink energetic movement with high intensity and fluidity. Just Dance from South Korea are a perfect way to close the show with their amazing breaking skills and leave the audience on their feet wanting more.
Jonzi D and his team at Breakin’ Convention have a another success and I’m already looking forward to next year in London. In the mean time there are plenty more opportunities to experience Breakin’ Convention.
Review written by Jessica Andrade.
Breakin’ Convention was shown at Sadler’s Wells from Saturday 29th-Sunday 30th April 2017. For more information on Breakin’ Convention, visit here…