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Breakin’ Convention 2012

Posted on February 24, 2012

vagabond crew at bc07 belinda lawley bl vag8 1

vagabond-crew-at-bc07-belinda-lawley-bl_vag8-1The line-up for this year’s Breakin’ Convention has been announced. Hip hop performers come from around the world to the international festival of hip hop dance theatre, held each May Bank Holiday weekend at Sadler’s Wells in London.


Curated by Jonzi D, and now in its ninth year, the festival will feature current world b-boy champions Vagabonds Crew (pictured), who won both Battle of the Year and the UK B-boy Championships last year. ILL-Abilities, an American crew whose members include dancers with disabilities, make their Breakin’ Convention debut with No Limits.


The international line-up also includes French and Korean duo Clash 66, who explore relationships, love and madness, the Finnish Bboy Ata, whose work features a puppet, and three time hip hop locking world champion Gemini in a moody solo that draws on his Spanish roots and shows off his unique dance move, the Lock Rock. French Company Pro Phenomenon return with a new work, while old school West Coast crew Pop Tart present a UK premiere. The French company Serial Stepperz show off their house dance style.


Bodicea is a 12-strong female crew, founded by and featuring Rhimes Lecointe, star of Street Dance 3D. Myself Dance Company, another all-female UK group, will dance Creatures of the Night, while its founder, Kloe Dean, dances a solo exploring love. London company Unity dance a topical piece about East London postcode wars, while Tony “Touch” Adigun presents the world premiere of a new work on the theme of water. The UK line-up also includes Natalie James in her harrowing solo Broken Doll and house dancers House that Union Jack Built, featuring dancers Turbo, Caramel, Botis, Ricardo and Jordan. Theo “Godson” Oloyade shows off a new, explosive krump solo. There’s also a new work for UK company Spoken Movement.


Three works from Back to the Lab, the choreographic development project of last year’s Breakin’ Convention, will appear at this year’s festival. Botis Seva looks at mental illness and society. Ivan Blackstock, a founding member of BirdGang Dance Company, has created a comic piece inspired by the effects of sleep deprivation, which brings a wardrobe to life.  Simeon Osyea, another founding member of BirdGang Dance Company, combines spoken word and dance to ask what makes a person “hip hop”?


Breakin’ Convention has always featured youth companies. This year’s line-up includes Avant Garde Youth in a new work by Tony Adigun. There’s a new work from Da Bratz, the youth company of Boy Blue Entertainment, while ZooNation Youth Company presents TNG, the next generation of ZooNation dancers.


Alongside the performances, there are dozens of extra events, including workshops, film screenings, DJ demos, freestyle sessions in the foyers and even live aerosol art.


Breakin’ Convention runs at Sadler’s Wells from May 5–7. See for tickets and further information.


After the Sadler’s Wells performances, the festival launches its sixth UK tour, visiting the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Birmingham Hippodrome, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Eden Court, Inverness, the Lyceum, Sheffield, Brighton Dome, Colston Hall, Bristol and the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.


Picture: Vagabonds Crew. Photograph: Belinda Lawley

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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