As we reach the end of the year, December offers a time to reflect on what has been a life changing, historical time period. Channelling the concept of reflection in their latest, and most powerful edition of their festival yet, Breakin’ Convention continue on with their tradition of showcasing both emerging and established Hip Hop talent in Social DisDancing.

Image of Breakin’ Convention founder and host Jonzi D, courtesy of Belinda Lawley.

Taking on a more subdued tone, the show; a usually multi-faceted experience paying homage to Hip Hop’s elements, acts as a format to release pent up fears, frustrations and serve as a platform of hope – five performances in total reflecting of this.

All female popping collective A.I.M start off the afternoon with two contrasting pieces, the first sustained and contemplative, a direct response to their feelings of frustration, fear and isolation felt this year. Their second performance a throwback to the Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson era of defining 80s routines – upbeat and precise, an uplifting feature of the show.

A.I.M. Dance Collective, courtesy of Belinda Lawley

Botis Seva‘s short film Can’t Kill Us All continues on from the feeling of isolation felt in the first piece, aerial and back up shots at points picking up on Seva’s anxiety, heightening the feeling. Focus is placed more so on his surroundings – family an integral part of his survival. His mother delivering words of hope via a phone call acts as a resonant feature of the piece, highlighting the power of generations as Seva himself, now a father figure hoping for a brighter future for his own family. A thought provoking watch that I could picture becoming a feature length film.

B-boys O’Driscoll Collective present One%, a piece exploring mental health awareness. Jamaal O’Driscoll and Marius Mates work together brilliantly to present aspects of the same character; jigsaw-like they support one another, mimic one another and perform their own solo routines – highlighting the ever changing human state of mind, thoughts and feelings continually changing.

O’Driscoll Collective, courtesy of Belinda Lawley

Jessica Care Moore‘s short film Our Bodies Back is a pertinent watch, a powerfully political dance piece giving voice to the injustices faced by black women, the resonant call of ‘we want’, the piece’s signature feature, a call for a more hopeful and just future. Performers Nafisa Baba, Bolegue Manuela and Axelle ‘Ebony’ Munezero contribute to the film’s visual aesthetic, contemporary, balletic and hip hop solo routines accompany Moore’s words pictured on the screen.

Breakin’ Convention‘s staple collective Boy Blue conclude the show, the collective featuring Kurtis Agyekum, Nicey Belgrave, Tanaka Bingwa, Ricardo Da Silva, George Ducker, Jordan Franklin and Kelsey Miller presenting Untethered 3.0, a piece centred around collective awareness and togetherness, showcasing the power of Krump and Hip Hop.

Boy Blue, courtesy of Belinda Lawley

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

Breakin’ Convention: Social DisDancing was shown on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th December 2020. To find out more about the performance, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop