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Breakin’ Convention 17 – Expression of Hip Hop (Review) Breakin’ Convention 17 – Expression of Hip Hop (Review)
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Breakin’ Convention 17 – Expression of Hip Hop (Review)

Here’s a question for you. What do you get if you mix a slew of the world’s best hip hop dancers, graffiti artists, a magnificent theatre space and thousands of eager and excited dancer lovers? BC17 that what. Still no clue? Then let me spell it out to you. Breakin’ Convention 2017.

 

The world famous Sadler’s Wells theatre, better known for its world class ballet and contemporary dance productions once again hosted Breakin’ Convention ’17 (BC17) . This hugely popular annual two day event is firmly established as one of the major events in the British dance calendar and one of the world’s greatest expressions of all the forms hip hop culture.

 

Let’s get one thing clear, BC17 is more than just hip hop dance. It’s a two day celebration and homage to the original hip hop culture before it was hijacked by commercial interests. If you want to experience what hip hop was like back in the day, then make sure you get down to BC18.

 

 

Taking place over the April bank holiday weekend, hip hop culture is expressed in the foyer of Sadler’s Wells, where this huge space spreading over three floors is transformed with DJs, freestyle dance jams, graffiti exhibitions, dance workshops from top international artists and live aerosol art into a living breathing creative hub. Everything is interactive and the public are welcomed and encouraged (ie dragged onstage) to participate.

 

Breeze magazine was there on the Sunday to witness some amazing freestyle dancing, locking, body popping and mind boggling feet work from professional dancers, wannabe hip hoppers, show offs and anybody who cared or dared to join in. What was noticeable was the massive age range and sheer diversity of races and cultures. From aged and seasoned movers who have clearly been dancing all their lives to tiny angelic faced hoppers beginning their dance journey eager to bust their learned moves.

 

 

Black, white, pink, blue and everything in between was represented. As curator Jonzi D announced on stage, hip hop culture is a global culture. It has no borders or boundaries. All races, cultures, creed etc are welcomed. Hip hop culture is a true and living expression of diversity and it was clearly demonstrated at Sadler’s that day.

 

After watching this expression of raw talent we then took our seats in the jam packed main theatre and waited with the highly charged and expectant crowd waited eagerly to witness the cream of global hip hop dance theatre. We were not disappointed. Over the two sessions we were treated to an array of artists and dancers interpreting hip hop dance theatre in their own unique styling and phrasing.

 

Highlights included Black Sheep (France), who interpreted the original B-Boy style through cat like movements. The hugely popular and award winning dance company Boy Blue Entertainment (UK), who’s boundless energy and creativity were displayed in their dance piece ‘Project Rebel’. The unforgettable Soweto Skeleton Movers (South Africa) with their mesmerising piece ‘Seven 7’ where the audience were amazed and astounded by comedic contortionism, frenetic footwork and magical tricks with a hat that literally floated in space.

 

Other acts on the night included The Locksmiths (UK) with their foot tapping ‘Unlock the Funk’, DC Vortex (France) dancing ‘Instinct’, the Freefly Crew (UK), with ‘An Evening Busking’ and Tentacle Tribe (Canada) with their hypnotic ‘Nobody Likes a Pixelate Squid’.

 

 

It was a fantastically varied afternoon and evening and great value for money. There was so much to do and see that the time just flew by. With delicious and mouth-watering Jamaican food on sales and pleasant and smiling faces all round there was no better place to spend a bleak Sunday bank holiday.

 

Even though we didn’t get to experience it, BC17 also takes place in Spa Field Park on the Bank holiday Monday where they take hip hop back to its roots with a Park Jam and outdoor party suitable for all the family. We’ll be sure to check this out next year.

 

The fact that the event has been going fourteen years is a testimony to its popularity and to the hard work of Jonzi D and the Sadler’s Wells creative team. So if you haven’t experienced Breakin’ Convention before, we suggest you put on your dancing shoes and hot foot it to BC ’18 next year.

 

 

What: Breakin’ Convention ’17  Where: Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London EC1R   When: 28-30 April 2017