Post date: 23 April 2013

To celebrate 10 years in the game, Breakin’ Convention are proud to announce our first ever Park Jam! That’s right we’re taking it back to the roots of hip hop with a FREE outdoor party suitable for all the family. Just 5 minutes walk from Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Spa Fields Park will play host to one of the Bank Holiday’s hottest hip hop events.

Continuing BC’s ongoing commitment to celebrating all elements of hip hop culture it will feature DJs, a live band, emcees, dance cyphers, beatboxers and a graffiti jam. This is hip hop in its truest form.

Hosted by Jonzi D and Mystro the Park Jam will also see some the of dopest emcees blessing the mic including the USA’s very own Wordsworth, Caxton Press alongside live band Thousand Kings and vocalists Nanci and Phoebe.

Arguably the UK’s best ever bboy crew, the legendary Second To None will be coming to get down on the concrete and will be joined by the international and local dance crews featured at Breakin’ Convention’s main festival.

On the ones and twos will be Tha En4cers, DJ Snuff (Zulu Nation) and DJ Junk (Second To None).

Our graffiti jam will include writers Astek, Demo, Keenroc, Made and Peeta while Replete exhibits his acclaimed cling-film street art.  You can have a go on our open wall with Eska Art.

There will also be soul food, Trainerholic’s Kicks&Klothes trainer and streetwear stalls, the UK Bar-Barians bar workout and a healthy dose of Peace, Love, Unity and Having Fun!

No tickets are required but admittance will be on a first come first served basis. Entrance will be subject to random bag/body searches and no glassware will be allowed on-site.

Venue: Spa Fields Parks, Islington, EC1R 0DF (closest station Angel)
Date: Monday 6 May 2013
Time: 12.30 - 4.30pm

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Post date: 22 April 2013

ILL Abilities, an International group comprised of b-boys that have overcome extraordinary challenges to become some of the best dancers in the world, has been awarded nominated for an Olivier Award following their performance at Breakin' Convention!

Redo, Checho, Tommy Guns, Kujo and Lazy Legs make up ILL Abilties who performed at the Breakin' Convention 2012 festival at London and also toured to Plymouth and Birmingham before having to return home, a three venue tour the crew enjoyed immensely.

Catch ILL-Abilities on the Breakin' Convention UK tour! 

"It was one of the best opportunities we as a crew got to experience, we got to showcase our theatre performance to more people across the U.K and we as a crew also developed a stronger bond that has helped us come together more often," regales B-Boy Lazy Legs about the 2012 UK tour.

Their nomination for an Olivier couldn't come at a better time: The Oliviers are a week before Breakin' Convention's 10 Year Anniversary at Sadler's Wells making their appearance with their follow up show, Limitless, even more poignant.

Check out the Limitless trailer below

Very few hip hop acts are nominated for Olivier Awards, though that is changing, and even fewer, if not any end up winning one - with Boy Blue Entertainment being the most notable winners for their production of Pied Piper, so being nominated for such an award is a big deal - especially if you're an international act!

"We believe this means that people are recognising and acknowledging our work. We are extremely honoured for this opportunity it came to us as a total surprise!" said Lazy Legs. "We found out about our nomination through Emma Ponsford of Breakin' Convention. She wrote to us to tell us the amazing news and we were so excited!"

With their inspirational show, No Limits, they illustrated each dancer's personal story of overcoming adversity through the struggles of communicational difficulties, stereotypes, life-changing decisions, civil crisis and shattered dreams while spreading the message of No Limits, No Excuses across the country and across the world, and it means a lot to the crew.

"We believe this means that people are recognising and acknowledging our work. We are extremely honoured for this opportunity it came to us as a total surprise!" Lazy Legs continued. "We can't thank our U.K audiences enough! Ever since last year we have been receiving nothing but love and support from our fans. We are excited to come back and share our new theatre performance "Limitless"."

"It's going to be amazing…..NO EXCUSES NO LIMITS!"

Post date: 01 April 2013

Breakin' Convention is massively excited and a little more surprised to announce that the Mayor of London Boris Johnson may be coming to this year's festival on the 4, 5 and 6 May 2013!

After a chance meeting between Jonzi D and Boris Johnson, Jonzi asked if he would be able to make our 10 year anniversary, to which Boris declared: "If I can, I will."

Watch what else Jonzi and Boris talked about, below...

In the interview Boris also announced that one of his children is into breaking as well! His RSVP sounds like a "yes" to us. Being it 1 April, the Mayor, like everyone else, has just over a month to go to buy tickets for Breakin' Convention 2013 on the 4, 5 and 6 May, which is expected to sell out in advance.

People are expected to travel from all over the UK and the world to Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, which is also on the number 38 bus route, the same route that runs the iconic new London buses that the Mayor launched in 2012.

As a busy man Jonzi was only able to get a limited amount of time with the Mayor before he could remind him about Breakin' Convention Film Night with Yak Films on Friday 3 and that Monday 6 is UK night with 10 UK dance companies from the past 10 years, though not before he was able to exchange details with his assistant.

Will you catch Boris at Breakin' Convention? You may-or may not!

Buy Breakin' Convention 2013 10 Year Anniversary tickets!

Post date: 28 March 2013

When Popin' Pete, Electric Boogaloo, appeared in Chris Brown's Yeah x3 video he was immortalised with a shop front bearing his name. What better way to develop a quirky prop in a music video than make it real and get dancers involved?

At Boxpark in the heart of Shoreditch in London's East End Popin' Pete has set up shop in a renovated shipping container under the direction of Scanners Inc, the production company set up by Kate Scanlan (Breakin' Convention's project manager from 2004-2011).

"When I saw the Chris Brown video featuring Pete and I knew that this was it," said Kate. "Popin' Pete is hugely talented and very down to earth, he spends his life sharing his knowledge of this dance and so its great that we can give people this opportunity."

Until the end of the week dancers can take workshops, jam and participate in Q&As with Popin' Pete inside the pop up shop. It's snug in there, and it's probably the only opportunity you will ever get to take a class with an Electric Boogaloo at such close range.

"I really wanted to find new ways of taking great artists from the stage into local communities," explains Kate. "The arts for me bring people together providing an opportunity for them to have fun and enjoy something as a community. That doesn't happen enough today."

He'll be taking workshops in the space throughout the week with dancers, there will be a showcase and jam night on Thursday 28 March, kid's classes on Saturday 30 and a jam to tie it all up on Sunday 31, all accompanied with live music from DJ Billy Biznizz on the decks and graffiti art from Mr Dane adorning the walls.

Popin' Pete commented: "I'm really happy to be a part of this, I like to be at the cutting edge and this has never been done before. Kate has breathed life into the video I did with Chris Brown. I love it."

Don't forget: Popin' Pete is performing with the Electric Boogaloos at Breakin' Convention 2013!

For those coming from outside of London and put off by travel expenses there are also limited travel bursaries available by contacting kate@scannersinc.org 

Popin' Pete's Pop Shop key events

Workshops
Daily workshops (13:00 - 18:00) in popping are taught by Popin' Pete. They provide a chance to learn some popping foundation for the first time or perfect your skills.
£15 or £10 when multiple workshops booked

Performances
Daily pop up performances by Popin' Pete and invited guests. Popin' Pete will do free style performances at the end of the daily workshops. Thursday night features a full evening of
performances and battles.
FREE (workshop cost above)

Open Practice
Once a day the shop will be turned into an open practice spot. Come down and train alongside Popin' Pete and dancers from across the UK.
£5/practice

Talks
Listen to Popin' Pete talk about his life in dance, the history of Popping and talk to dancers from the UK about what they are up to in the world of Popping.

Friday and Saturday 15:00-16:00
FREE (Limited capacity)

Special events

Thursday 28 March: late night opening at Box Park meets late night popping - performance, battles and a jam (18:00-21:00) – FREE
Saturday 30 March: kids (5-10years) workshop and jam (11:00-13:00) – £3/child
Sunday 31 March: Get Down Social Dance Party with Popin' Pete and DJ Biznizz (18:00-midnight at Rich Mix) – £5 or £2 for under 18s

Post date: 15 March 2013

This February half term Breakin' Convention worked with aspiring dancers, film makers, MCs, aerosol artists, music producers, costume designers and set designers aged 13-16 years to devise a conceptual music video, working on everything from the storyline to the music, lyrics and art direction, everyone on the Future Elements course contributed to what was to become this year's successor to The InfluenceThe Exhibit.

Watch it below now!

Following a school trip to Sadler's Wells two characters break off and find a hidden laboratory through a secret entrance in the ceiling... 

Future Elements is Breakin' Convention's half term project for aspiring dancers, film makers, MCs, aerosol artists, music producers, costume designers and set designers aged 13-16 years. 

Future Elements will give you the chance to work with some of the best, most inspirational professional Hip Hop artists including Breakin' Convention's very own Jonzi D.

People on the Future Elements project see their music video debut at the Future Elements night ahead of the main Breakin' Convention festival alongside some of the UK's leading hip hop dance companies.

Interested in participating in the next Future Elements project? Sign up to our newsletter, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for a reminder - applications for the next course open in December!

Breakin' Convention: The Exhibit credits

Director and Editor: Sebastian Thiel for Upshot Films
Director Of Photography: Amarjeet Singh
Sound: Del Mercelin
Art and Props: Luke Warburton
Choreographers: Ivan Blackstock and Ukweli Roach of BirdGang Dance Company
Music: Kofi Ankrah and Jonzi D
Project Manager: Michelle Norton
Breakin' Convention intern: Alexzandra Ashman

Post date: 14 March 2013

The UK B-Boy Championships is heading north this year to Birmingham in partnership with DanceXchange for the 2013 World Finals!

The 2013 World Finals, which will be hosted by Crazy Legs of the legendary Rock Steady Crew NYC, will be held at the O2 Academy Birmingham after 17 years in London.

Update: Read more about the UK B-Boy Championships 2013 here

Assuming the place of London's Brixton Academy the UK B-Boy Championships knockouts and world finals will now take place at the O2 Academy Birmingham on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September. 

The new partnership is part of an ongoing two-year commitment to urban dance within the West Midlands, which will include a major project for International Dance Festival Birmingham, co-produced by DanceXchange. DanceXchange was also responsible for the Breathe The Beat project with Salah in 2011 continuing the great legacy West Midlands is setting for hip hop dance events (don't forget Breakin' Convention has toured to Birmingham numerous times too!).

"DanceXchange is immensely proud of Birmingham's reputation as a global centre of dance and through all of our work, including International Dance Festival Birmingham, we strive to bring the best dance from across the world to the city," David Massingham, Artistic Director of DanceXchange explained. "As the premiere showcase of the most extraordinary talent in urban dance, The UK B-Boy Championships was a natural partner for us and we are looking forward to working with Hooch and the team to create a spectacular event at the O2 in September."

Birmingham's position in the middle of the UK will also put the qualifiers in a more suitable place for b-boys across the country to travel for the qualifying rounds, overcoming the north/south divide that puts off those further away from travelling because of high train fares.

DJ Hooch, Founder and Director of the UK B-Boy Championships commented: "As the World's premier urban dance competition, the B-Boy Championships has always broken new ground. Building a strong relationship with DanceXchange will allow us to develop the Championships in fresh new ways. We are really excited about this new move and having Birmingham as the new host city of this incredible dance spectacle!"

The new partnership with DanceXchange will also enable a wider programme of activities across both days, including workshops for the general public along with the addition of the National Crew Championships for Great Britain and Open International Qualifiers for the solo categories on day one.

Post date: 20 February 2013

Dance Currents is East London Dance's season of eclectic dance and will see the return of the likes of Blueprint, Collabo and the more recent New Movementz under 18s battles to Stratford Circus and other East London venues with a host of other new and exciting shows to see throughout March and June.

Which of these great shows will you be checking? Click any of the shows higlighed in bold to see them on our events calendar!

Kicking off the season will be Hackney Live: Dance, one of two free live online TV shows broadcasting on Tuesday 26 February from hackneylive.co.uk, curated by Tony Adigun of Avant Garde Dance and hosted by Ricky Norwood and will involve a live choreographic challenge from those watching online.

ICON on Friday 15 March will see Myself Dance Company presenting a show celebrating International Women's Week. Invited artists have been invited to create work inspired by a female icon of their choice and the event will promote female choreography and dancers and will also acknowledge the achievements of females within the dance world.

The finest up and coming choreographers will be celebrated at Blueprint on Saturday 23 March following the annual Blueprint Bursary Fund and will include special guest Cathy Waller, the 2012 winner. The full line up is yet to be announced, but Blueprint always sets the bar high each year presenting proving East London is a haven for aspiring young dance talent.

Following January's Show n Prove at the Broadway Barking Tony Adigun's Collabo on Thursday 11, Friday 12 and Saturday 13 will see companies and crews, dancers and DJs, choreographers and producers and every other combination of talent matched and mismatched to create fresh new work or interpret specially commissioned piece of music.

If ever there was a show that took choreographers out of their comfort zone and encourage collaboration with unlikely people, this would be it.

As part of its 2013 UK tour Out Of His Skin presented by 2Faced Dance passes through Stratford on Wednesday 17 April and tells the story of a man headed out into the world on a journey of self discovery… It's part of a much wider tour, including a stop at The Place in Euston in February too, though more suited to those who weren't quick enough to book first time round.

Fresh blood from East will be throwing down again at the New Movementz Under 18s battles on Saturday 27 April before the action moves away from Stratford Circus temporarily for Avant Garde Dance and the Early Opera Company will combine the music of Monteverdi in a site specific piece at Village Underground on Monday 17 June for Monteverdi Ballet.

Finally the season draws to a close with Varmints on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 June from Travelling Light, the people behind Christmas' Boing! B-Boy Wilkie Branson (Champloo Dance Company) and directed by children's theatre specialist Sally Cookson.

An East London Dance, Sadler’s Wells and Stratford Circus Production, Varmints will be at Sadler's Wells on 17 and 18 May if you want to catch it early!

If you're hitting these up, drop a comment in the box below and let us know which shows you recommend!

Post date: 15 February 2013

Throwdown is tying up as the event's organiser and host, Charlie Morley aka Charlie Blue is to focus on a career in teaching lucid dreaming which has been progressing at a rapid rate after a six month intensive at a Tibetan Bhuddist retreat. While continuing an event which has run on for so long.

It was announced last summer that there would be 10 more Throwdown events until the event winds up in May 2013 - presently we can now count down the last few events on one hand before its iconic lino flooring is rolled up for good.

"Ten years is a long time to commit to any one project and although Throwdown is still alive and kicking we would much rather wrap it up while its flame is still blazing bright than allow it to fizzle out gradually, as often happens with other events," read the May 2012 Throwdown newsletter.

Since its inception in 2004 Throwdown has hosted numerous battles with appearances from the world's most renowned bboys, staged qualifiers for Alien Ness' Octogon battles and published books and released DVDs under the imprints of Throwdown Books and Throwdown films, and with the backing of their sponsors Eastpak taken the event to Spain, Finland, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, USA, Austria, France and even the London outskirt of Kingston upon Thames.

Often taking place around the same time as other major hip hop events it's been ideal for hundreds of special guests to drop in, both local and international. In the past Throwdown has seen the likes of Ken Swift, Africa Bambaataa and Alien Ness all pass through, along with musical PAs from The Streets, Skinnyman and Phi Life Cipher coming to see numerous dancers claim the glory of Throwdown champion. 

It continues: "Rather than trying to hand it over to a new team while Charlie is in retreat, we’re going to pull the plug while it’s still in electrifying shape."

In its 10 years Throwdown has gained acclaim from the dance scene as well as from the press with the Guardian proclaiming "Throwdown has an electrifying vibe and it's a real scene creator!"

These last Throwdown battles include a series of "last of..." battles in every dance style until the eventual end.

Throwdown takes place at Plan B 418 Brixton Rd, London, SW9 7AY on the second Thursday of every of every month: 14 February, 14 March, 11 April and 9 May

Post date: 23 January 2013

Breakin' Convention's 10th anniversary on Saturday 4 May - Monday 6 May at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, will include the best of a decade of Breakin' Convention festivals including the return of favourites Electric Boogaloos, Storm, Project Soul and last year's showstoppers ILL-Abilities presenting brand new work!

Prepare yourself for another incredible year of groundbreaking dance as Breakin' Convention also presents a UK premiere of the mutant stye of bone breaking from New York's flexers NextLevelSquad who will push human flexibility to the extreme, a debut of a style that will be like nothing you've ever seen before!

We also have the return of Compagnie Revolution and the introduction to Zamounda, six fierce females from France that include several faces you may recognise.

And for UK crews Monday will be the big night - to celebrate the development of hip hop dance theatre during the past decade, Breakin' Convention dedicates an entire evening of homegrown acts specially commissioned for one night only!

Featuring:
Avant Garde Dance
Bad Taste Cru
BirdGang Dance Company
Boy Blue Entertainment
Company Decalage
Impact Dance
Jukebox
Plague
Unity
ZooNation

This is just the UK night line up - to see the daily line up for Breakin' Convention 2013 Saturday and Sunday visit our festival section!

Plus there's even more to come! Don't miss exclusive workshops and additional acts to be announced soon - make sure you like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter and are signed up to our newsletter for updates!

Classic acts. Brand new work. Breakin' Convention truly is 10 Years Strong. Book your tickets now!

Post date: 18 January 2013

Back To The Lab, Breakin’ Convention’s course for hip hop choreographers, returns! Following a hugely successful inaugural project, we’re back with four hand-picked choreographers and another dance theatre heavyweight to mentor and guide them through the process.

We are pleased to announce this year's Back to the Lab participants are: Anthony Bayou (Limited Edition), Kendra Horsburgh (BirdGang), Robby Graham (Bad Taste Cru) and Vicky Mantey (Boy Blue Entertainment).

Tickets for Back to the Lab are available now! Buy tickets online here!

At the end of the course each choreographer will premiere a short piece of work here at Sadler's Wells on Saturday 16 February 2013.

We are delighted to announce that Shobana Jeyasingh will be joining us as this year’s guest mentor. She commented: "Jonzi D is a remarkable artist and pioneer and I am very much looking forward to working with him in this project. Mentoring is a rewarding activity where one both gives and receives - a real leap into the unknown!"

Jonzi added: "Shobana's experience of bringing a non-European form into the theatre and making it relevant to the contemporary dance idiom is extremely valuable to us. She has been creating work for more than 25 years with a career packed with awards and critical acclaim, she brings a real quality and depth of experience."

The Daily Telegraph newspaper has said in the past: "Shobana Jeyasingh has gained a reputation as one of the most intrepid pioneers in modern dance…she is generally credited with having invented a startling new hybrid vocabulary." 

Breakin’ Convention’s Artistic Director Jonzi D says: "As all dance styles have foundations, Back To The Lab develops participant’s foundations for hip hop theatre." Having recognised a gap in training and support for experienced hip hop choreographers Back To The Lab seeks to plug that gap. Offering choreographers a unique opportunity to work with Jonzi D, other theatre aficionados, arts specialists and lighting designers there is no other course like it!

The course aims to give participants the means to approach work from fresh, new and interesting angles without losing the essence of what they do. Breakin’ Convention is committed to the elevation of UK hip hop dance theatre and believe this is a valuable opportunity for even the most accomplished choreographer to go Back To The Lab!

Follow the links for full biographies...

The Back to the Lab Mentors

The Back to the Lab Participants


Back To The Lab culminates with the chance for you to come and see four new and exclusive works from some of the UK’s brightest talents. The performance will take place on Saturday 16 February 2013. Subscribe to our newsletter, follow our tweets or like our Facebook page to make sure you don’t miss out when tickets go on sale.

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