Sadler’s Wells annual celebration of Hip Hop dance theatre returns this May Day Bank Holiday Weekend Breakin’ Convention takes over from Saturday 5 – Monday 7 May 2007. Now firmly established as a must-see event in the dance calendar, 2007 marks the fourth Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells and due to ever-increasing popularity, sees the festival break out of London for the first time to tour a further eight venues across the UK as part of a Dance Consortium tour.
From pioneering artists to new skool visionaries, Breakin’ Convention brings together the finest street dancers from around the world. Hosted and curated by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Jonzi D, Breakin’ Convention is the only opportunity in the UK to see the world’s finest poppers, lockers, breakers and krumpers gathered together for one weekend. Packed with world-class performances, workshops, film screenings and graffiti art commissions, Breakin’ Convention brings together the crème of international and UK artists from this increasingly popular dance genre.
The fourth annual Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells features artists from Japan, USA, Brazil, South Africa, France, Belgium and Austria as well as a host of UK companies. This year’s hottest acts include Bill Shannon a.k.a. “The Crutchmaster” (USA), making his long-awaited Breakin’ Convention debut with his unique hybrid movement style. Influenced by house and Hip Hop dance forms, silent film acting and skateboard culture, Shannon uses crutches to aid his movement and presents an excerpt from his solo work Spatial Theory, performed with a live DJ and provocative video illustration.
Electric Boogaloos (USA) return following their success at Breakin’ Convention 04 & 05, and present the world premiere of Tribute to Skeeter Rabbit (R.I.P), their new work in memory of the group’s founder member who died last year. This year’s crew includes Mr Wiggles, performing for the first time in the UK for over 15 years.
Acts making their UK debut include South Africa’s Azanian BBoys who bring their own flavour from the streets of Cape Town and Johannesburg, the explosive Moving Shadows (Austria) who took audiences by storm at BOTY 2006 and the internationally acclaimed Caleaf & Dance Fusion (USA) who bring House Dance to the Breakin’ Convention stage with Club Fury. Les Daltoniens (Belgium) perform their interactive video piece Défense d’afficher (No Flyposting) featuring the world Beatbox Champion Roxor Loops and Compagnie Etha Dam (France) present their inventive work Liaisons using a mirror to explore the relationship between image, impression and differing worlds.
Internationally renowned for their incredible routines, Japan’s award-winning Spartanic Rockers make their festival debut, alongside the crowd-loving entertainer Salah – the former Vagabond Crew member and winner of multiple dance awards world-wide performs The Dream of Glubi.
Past Breakin’ Convention favourites returning for 2007 include Compagnie Revolution (France) who took the festival by storm in 2005 with Amazones and return this year with Soli II, an astonishing solo about the female form, and last year’s Brazilian hit Frank Ejara who uses boogaloo locking and popping techniques as he performs Som Di Movimento. Plus the hugely popular Franck II Louise (France) who performed an excerpt from their futuristic piece Drop It! at Sadler’s Wells Sampled earlier this year, and make a welcome return to perform the full-length show.
UK acts taking to the stage include Kenrick “H20” Sandy. Following his ground-breaking success at this year’s Olivier Awards which saw the Boy Blue choreographer win the Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for performances of Pied Piper at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, Kenrick has teamed up with leading Boy Blue dancer Vicky “Skytilz” Manty for their piece entitled The Unusual Force. Following their stunning debut at Breakin’ Convention 06, the acclaimed Bird Gang return with a new piece Bird-Net choreographed by rising star Ivan Blackstock.
Mixing their characterised masked dancers, with a technological theme and their self-developed dance style Aahehop – an a electric mix of wide ranging Hip Hop and contemporary dance – Bird Gang are one to watch at Breakin’ Convention 07.
Also returning are D-Physics performing this time on the main stage, and presenting their new work, Spank-A-Lee, choreographed and featuring Sean Graham. Plus in a new artistic element for Breakin’ Convention 07, Random Aspekts (Scotland) perform Rock-a-Bye Bboy especially for children and young people.
Breakin’ Convention 07 is preceded by film screenings and performance events in the Lilian Baylis Theatre. Following the success of last year’s Fresh Styles night, the evening of cutting edge Hip Hop films returns, and will be followed by a question and answer session with the artists on Thursday 3 May.
Future Elements is a show stopping evening of hip hop dance theatre choreographed and presented by young people on Friday 4 May. The evening will include a performance of a work created during an Easter Holidays project run by Sadler’s Wells Connect department and supported by JP Morgan, to teach young people the essential elements of Hip Hop Culture.
For the first time, 2007 sees Breakin’ Convention touring the UK, produced by Dance Consortium. Franck II Louise, Frank Ejara and Electric Boogaloos will feature at every venue, and will joined by local acts from each region.
Performances: Saturday 5, Sunday 6 and Bank Holiday Monday 7 May. Doors open from 4pm featuring DJ’s, film screenings, visual art and performances in the foyer. Main stage performances from 6pm
Workshops: Saturday 5, Sunday 6, Monday 7 May – times to be confirmed.
Tickets: Day pass £20 (under 18s and concessions £12) 2-Day Ticket £32 (under 18s and concessions £18) Weekend pass £48 (under 18s and concessions £27)
…“Hip Hop is here to stay. With its thrilling physicality, head-spinning virtuosity, rhythmic panache, dazzling mimetic skill and sheer sense of fun, it’s the most original dance form in years, and it’s determined to set the stage on fire.”The Times