Post date: 19 November 2012

Vagabond Crew are Battle of the Year 2012 world champions for the second year in a row (third time in total) and also winners of the best show, scoring the most points for their performance set to qualify for the semi final rounds!

It affirms them as one of the world's best breaking AND performance crews since winning UK B-Boy Championships 2011 and touring with Breakin' Convention this May.

Also: Read about when Breakin' Convention went to the Battle of the Year 2011 finals and watch this interview with Vagabonds' BBoy Mounir to find out what it is that motivates his crew!

Posting on Vagabond Crew's website crew member MooH commented: "With hard work and determination the team dedicating the victory to his friends and to all those who carry their boat with determination and without compromise."

This year Battle of the Year organisers changed the format of its semi finals with six crews from the performance stage battling: The two top ranked crews automatically placing in one of the semi finals, with four other crews competing for a place in the second bracket.

One of those crews was Lyon's own Pockemon Crew who ended up facing Vagabond Crew in the second semi final in a battle of north versus south France, compete with Lilou in tow to represent.

Vagabond Crew performance Battle of the Year 2012Battle of the Year 2012 World Finals results

Semi final placers
Morning of Owl (Korea) v Formosa Crew (Taiwan)
De Klan (Italy) v Pockemon Crew (France)

Semi finals
Morning of Owl v Flooriorz (Japan)
Pockemon Crew v Vagabond Crew (France)

Finals
Flooriorz v Vagabond Crew

Battle of the Year returns home to Germany

Suprisingly this is the last time that Battle of the Year takes place in Montpellier, an announcement made just after the event - next year BOTY returns to its original home of Braunschweig in Germany.

Explains Battle of the Year's organiser, "The last three years have been the perfect partnership with the city of Montpellier. We're leaving with a little sadness but also looking forward to returning to Germany where BOTY started."

To quote BOTY's tagline, moving back to Germany will be "a change of direction" for an event that outgrew the capacity of it's original audience and needed a bigger venue to take place, growing to an astounding 12,000 in Montpellier's Park & Suites arena.

"It was a great experience to work in France together with our French team and we all became very close friends over the past three years - in this way it is sad to leave Montpellier," BOTY spokesman Mario Roth added. "The city and region of Montpellier was very kind and gave us great support, but now we can look forward to the future and to the return to the city of Braunschweig!"

Victory as a vehicle for politics

What better way to make a political message in front of the French media than by winning Battle of the Year? As well as taking several of the BOTY titles back to Paris they also took the opportunity to show their support for the people of Palestine. Check it out...

Post date: 14 November 2012

Sadler’s Wells’ hip hop dance project Breakin’ Convention has received funding from BBC Children In Need to continue its acclaimed Hip Hop Hospital, a project delivering a programme of hip hop related activity to children’s hospital wards across the country.

The Hip Hop Hospital sees Breakin’ Convention Artistic Director Jonzi D and artists from the company’s education team visit children’s hospitals across the UK to bring interactive workshops in rap, music, dance and graffiti to hospital bedsides and social areas.

Breakin' Convention has been awarded £63,000 by BBC Children In Need to deliver the Hip Hop Hospital to a further six children’s hospitals over the next three years.

David Ramsden, Chief Executive of BBC Children in Need, said: "We are delighted to be supporting Breakin' Convention, which is one of hundreds of projects we support that help children and young people across the UK. We can only do this due to the incredible generosity of our supporters and they should all be really proud."

Hip Hop Hospital, which began in 2009 with an inaugural programme at Great Ormond Street, offers a combination of group work and one-to-one sessions with the industry leading artists Breakin’ Convention provides. Young patients learn many of the key skills involved in hip hop culture, from how to sketch graffiti and spray paint, to writing raps, recording tracks and making beats. They also learn elements of filming and photography, as well as discovering more about hip hop history.

Each of the workshops are filmed and documented as a short film incorporating the children’s music and raps as soundtracks, their art work as visuals, and recording the interaction between the patients and the artists for the children to keep after the project.

Jonzi D, Breakin’ Convention Artistic Director and an Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells, said: “Hip Hop Hospital brings young people engagement and excitement into an environment that is otherwise seen as an unpleasant place to be, particularly for long term patients.”

Breakin’ Convention’s Hip Hop Hospital crew have previously visited Great Ormond Street, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool.

See here if you'd like to find out more about Hip Hop Hospital - if you have any questions or comments you can email education@breakinconvention.com

Post date: 01 November 2012

It's time for the next generation of dancers to shine at Breakin' Convention – 2013 will be our 10 year anniversary, and while we're coming of age we're not forgetting the generation coming up!

Breakin' Convention has not one but two different opportunities for youth dancers next year.

Breakin' Convention 10 x 10

We will be creating a special Breakin' Convention crew of ten 10 year olds for an exclusive one-off performance on the main stage of the festival at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London.

This is an incredible opportunity for young dancers to perform at one of the biggest hip hop dance events in the world in front of an audience of 1,800 people!

Crew members will get the opportunity to learn from some on London's most talented and successful artists - Boy Blue's Vicky 'Skytilz' Mantey and Bruno 'Boom' Perrier who will be choreographing the piece.

Do you know someone who will be aged 10 at the time of the festival (Saturday 4 - Sunday 6 May 2013)? Get in touch! – those younger or older we may be considered depending on the number of applications we receive.

For more details and an application form see our Breakin' Convention 10 x 10 page

Future Elements

Future Elements has showcased some of the UK's best up-and-coming youth dance companies that have taken the future of funk in their hands and channelled it through their dancing.

Submissions for Breakin' Convention's Future Elements Night are now open - we're looking to showcase the best youth dance companies from in and around London on Saturday 9 March 2013!

Past companies and dancers who have performed at Future Elements have included:

  • Da Bratz – Boy Blue Entertainment’s next generation of dancers
  • Enigma Dance Company – founded by Botis Seva of Far From the Norm
  • ME:I – Myself Dance Company’s up and coming youth group
  • Kieran Lei – member of K-Lic and star of forthcoming street dance film, AllStars

Wanna be the next youth company to show that youth run tings in dance?

For more details and an application form see our Future Elements 2013 page

Post date: 31 October 2012

October of 2012 has been a great month for dance with a different event happening every single weekend and a different show almost every day!

With events like the UK B-Boy Championships and Just Jam International taking place annually dozens of dancers flew in to compete and teach on our cold and rainy shores to nurture the post-IBE blues of September.

This month, after over a decade off stage Jonzi D returned with Lyrikal Fearta Redux with two programmes of work, plus work commissioned by Breakin' Convention at our Back to the Lab choreographic development course was programmed as part of Avant Garde Dance's Black Album at The Place and Botis Seva's Far From The Norm Triple bill at Broadway Barking.

It's also the month we opened applications for Breakin Convention, meaning anyone interested in applying for our 10 year anniversary should act fast!

Dance events, kicking off with the likes of the monthly dance event Throwdown, became the warm up for dancers already in town ahead of the UK B-Boy Championships happening on the same weekend with workshops being held with the likes of B-Boy Kareem and B-Boy Morris, Monstapop, Jon Boogz and OG Boardman.

But UK represented at the UK BBoy Championships this year: Brooke made the final of popping against Greenteck while Soul Mavericks battled the almighty Jinjo in the crew finals!

A week later Funkin Stylez saw Sunni, Frankie and Marcio emerge victorious in b-boying, house and hip hop respectively and will be representing UK at the world finals in Germany this December.

2DeeP, the new show from Rannel Theatre Company embarked on its UK tour and had us in stitches, and let's not forget Some Like It Hip Hop embarked on its UK tour after departing from London's Peacock Theatre!

Bad Taste Cru's Just Jam at Newcastle Dance City also celebrated its five year anniversary, programming Back to the Lab piece What Does It Mean To Be Hip Hop from Simeon Qsyea, Clash 66's Amore & Psyche from 2011 and 2012's festival, plus an appearance from Trashdolly's after being spotted at the Plymouth leg of the tour, furthering work originally programmed at a Breakin' Convention festival.

But all good things must come to an end and the month is out. November will be cool, if not colder as winter sets in. RIP October - either it's Halloween as we write this or the cold weather killed you (until next year!).

What are you up to in the next month? We've just added the ability to send us your upcoming dance events to be added to the site, so get in touch!

Post date: 11 October 2012

After 10 years away from the stage as a performer Jonzi D is making a comeback! Lyrikal Fearta Redux, coming to the Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler's Wells, is two programmes of work, old and new, that’s been a decade in the making!

Lyrikal Fearta - Redux includes vintage Jonzi D pulling together old work and new faces from hip hop and dance - some of this work hasn't been seen on stage since back in the day!

Kenrick 'H2O' Sandy and Michael 'Mikey J' Asante of Boy Blue Entertainment, Lil Tim, Banxy, B-Boy  Unique and B-Boy Tuway will join Jonzi as characters in this reworkings of pieces from the past that still make honest points about injustices in society: Classroom - a piece about black history mysteries; Safe - a piece about self control and censorship performed by Kenrick Sandy, Silence da Bitchin - a graphically illustrated choreo-verse with Mikey J, Aeroplane Man - a british black man on a global quest to find ‘home,’ plus Guilty, Shoota Man and more.

This first programme will let you relive it for the nostalgia, or face the Fearta for the first time in over a decade!

The Letter and Other Works is brand new work by Jonzi D, with The Letter itself addressing Jonzi turning down an MBE on the new year’s honours list. There's no press quotes next to famous journalists' names here to sell it to you - but this is work a decade in the making that's bubbling under political pressure with rhetorical responses that's guaranteed to be as sharp, relevant and as poignant as ever!

Hip hop forms the core of both programmes, drawing out the political messages still relevant to society that you won't find on the back of any recent commercial rap LP making this one show you see at Sadler's Wells worthy of a PARENTAL ADVISORY sticker!

Forever breaking down the fourth wall of hip hop theatre the audience will be able to ask Jonzi questions on Friday 19 and Friday 26 October - FREE to ticket holders a post show talk will take place after Lyrikal Fearta - Redux and The Letter and Other Works.

Tickets for both programme are on sale now priced at £15

Telephone: 0844 412 4300 (£2.50 telephone fee)
Online: https://tickets.sadlerswells.com/performances2.asp?ShoID=1445 (£1.75 online fee)
In person: Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, EC1R 4TN (no charge!)

Post date: 10 October 2012

Matt Bailey (DJ Baila) and Joey D, the hip hop comedy duo that makes up Rannel Theatre Company is touring the UK with a brand new show: 2DEEP, the follow up to Flhip Flhop – Everything Happens on the Break.

Initially it was sad news that Rannel was going to call it a day on their highly acclaimed show that toured the length and breadth of the UK several times (and did Breakin’ Convention in 2008) with its comic timing, well choreographed breaking movements and hip hop in-jokes that made it appealing to all ages and all backgrounds.

Rannel’s iconic ‘sleeve dance’ routine

But as it turns out Rannel has done it again, and the laugh out loud moments that made Flhip Flhop so great has transitioned into a completely new scenario where they continue to wind each other up for the audience’s amusement.

This time Joey D and Baila are stuck inside a room, somewhere underground, at some point in the future. With nothing to do besides record their stay on a spacelog, and until help comes to rescue them they're stuck like two mismatched flatmates with a fidgety disposition.

Though it differs from Flhip Flhop's familiar surroundings of someone's living room, their futuristic location still manages to subtly slide a turntable, Casio keyboard, and a mixing board into the futuristic set allowing for some kickin' musical moments between scenes of intricate breaking, threading and card tricks in a confined space.

It's more of the same trademark stuff from the Rannel boys, but considering you never know what direction they're going to take the action in, each sketch increases in hilarity until your cheek muscles ache and your laughs dance along with the musical moments.

See ya Flhip Flhop, you were an amazing show, but now it's 2DEEP's time to shine!

2DEEP tours the UK throughout October and November 2012 - check out the dates below!

2DEEP UK AUTUMN TOUR DATES

October 2012

BRISTOL Tobacco Factory (Wednesday 3rd Saturday 6th October)
www.tobaccofactory.com
Box Office: 0117 902 0344

LONDON Redbridge Drama Centre (Tuesday 9th October)
www.redbridgedramacentre.co.uk
Box Office: 020 85045451

KENDAL Brewery Arts Centre (Friday 12th October)
www.breweryarts.co.uk
Box Office: 01539 725 133

CANTERBURY Gulbenkian (Monday 15th October)
www.kent.ac.uk/gulbenkian
Box Office: 01227 769 075

EASTBOURNE College Theatre (Tuesday 16th October)

PORTSMOUTH New Theatre Royal (Wednesday 17th October)
www.newtheatreroyal.co.uk
Box Office: 01323 452255

DIDCOT cornerstone (Saturday 20th October)
www.cornerstone-arts.org
Box Office: 01235 515 144

NORWICH Playhouse (Monday 22nd Wednesday 24th October)
www.Norwichplayhouse.co.uk
Box Office: 01603 598 598

LONDON GREENWICH Theatre (Thursday 25th October)
www.Greenwichtheatre.org.uk
Box Office: 0208 8587 755

NEATH Gwyn Hall (Friday 26th October)
www.gwynhall.com
Box Office: 0300 365 6677

CARDIGAN theatr Mwldan (Tuesday 30th October)
www.mwldan.co.uk
Box Office: 01239 621200

CARDIFF Wmc (Western Studio) (Wednesday 31st October)
www.wmc.org.uk
Box Office: 029 2063 6464

November

TEWKESBURY Roses Theatre (Friday 2nd November)
www.rosestheatre.org
Box Office: 01684 295 074

IPSWICH New Wolsey (Monday 5th November)
www.wolseytheatre.co.uk
Box Office: 01473 295 900

GUILDFORD University of Surrey (Wednesday 7th)
Box Office: 01483 686 876

WIMBOURNE Layard Theatre (Wednesday 14th November)
www.canford.com/layard-theatre
Box Office: 01202 847 529

WOLVEHAMPTON Arena Theatre (Thursday 15th November)
www.arena.wlv.ac.uk
Box Office: 01902 321 321

SWINDON Swindon Dance (Friday 16th Saturday 17th November)
www.swindondance.org.uk
Box Office: 01793 601 700

RUNCORN The Brindley (Thursday 22nd November)
www.Thebrindley.org.uk
Box Office: 0151 907 8360

BARNSLEY Civic (Friday 23rd November)
www.Barnsleycivic.co.uk
Box Office: 01226 327 000

SCARBOROUGH SJT (McCarthy Studio) (Saturday 24th November)
www.SJT.uk.com
Box Office 01723 370 541
 

Post date: 05 October 2012

The b-boy battle that makes champions is back next week at Brixton Academy for its 17th year with Crazy Legs and Afrika Islam leading the proceedings as the hosts with the most (flava).

Competing at this year's UK BBoy Championships world final will be leading international b-boys, crews, poppers and hip hop dancers that will have their hearts set on the silverwear.

The UK B-Boy Championships is a career maker for breakers - last year Vagabond Crew emerged as crew world champions (you might remember them from the Breakin' Convention tour?) and the standard is as high as ever, although our French favourites won't be returning with crowd favourites Jinjo Crew, winners of R16 Korea and past UK B-Boy Champions, replacing them.

Crews aside, the world champion adventure will start on Saturday at the O2 Islington Academy in north London where solo b-boys, poppers and hip hop dancers will need to endure the knockout rounds before they can set a foot on stage in Brixton. Locking has taken a hiatus in place of hip hop battles with some Juste Debout veterans stepping up, and the eliminations will leave only the strongest dancers left for Sunday. For those that want to throw down there's also an open 7 to smoke and footwork battle occupies the second room at the Academy.

But it's Sunday is where it's going down: The solo, hip hop, popping, and the main attraction, crew battles will be punctuated with special guest appearances from The Robot Boys of (Big City Brains fame) and Danji Juniors show and Crazy Legs' unforgiving Fresh Awards for the best dressed.

UK B-Boy Championships 2012 world finals line up

This year's championships line up ain't no joke with both veterans and young guns qualified for a shot at the title...

Competing Crews
Arcopom (Spain)
Dead Prezz (Greece)
FoundNation (Japan)
Havikoro (USA)
Jinjo (Korea)
Originals (Ukraine)
Soul Mavericks (UK)
Team Shmetta (Belgium)

Hip hop
Bruce Blanchard (Belgium)
Kanon (France)
Kashmir (UK)
Kefton (France)
Laura (France)
Majid (Germany)
Marcio Ratinho (UK)
Marika (Finland)
Mufasa (France)
Stylez'C (Switzerland)

Solos
B-Boy Apache (Ukraine)
B-Boy Chakal (France)
B-Boy Flaco (Sweden)
B-Boy Hill (Mexico)
B-Boy Hoo Hoo (Finland)
B-Boy Kareem (USA)
B-Boy Morris (USA / Defending Champion)
B-Boy Moy (USA)
B-Boy Niek (Netherlands)
B-Boy Sambo (Belgium)
B-Boy Spin (UK)
B-Boy Sunni (UK)
B-Boy Tawfiq (Netherlands)
B-Boy Vicious Victor (USA)
B-Boy Yu-Seng (Switzerland)
B-Boy Yu-Ya (Japan)

Poppers
Boogaloo Kin (Korea)
Brooke (UK)
Cintia (France)
Creesto (France)
Dickson (UK)
Gator (France)
Greenteck (Canada)
Jon Boogz (USA)
Kaczorex (Poland)
Marvel (UK)
Miguel (Germany)
Monsta Pop (Canada)
Ness (France)
Poppin C (Switzerland)
Ryosuke (Japan)
Sacha (France)

Tickets for the UK B-Boy Championships world finals are on sale now via TicketMaster at £15 (Saturday) and £24.50 (Sunday).

Saturday's proceedings at the O2 Islington Academy kick off at 2pm - 10pm; The world finals on Sunday from 4pm - 11pm!
See our hip hop dance calendar for ticket links!

Post date: 30 September 2012

Jon M Chu, the creator of The LXD and director of Step Up movies (from the second to present movie) is on a trailblazer at the moment.

Earlier this year Chu announced the launch of DS2DIO (pronounced 'D-Studio') as a follow up project to the massively successful LXD series online - only this time free to watch on YouTube. Billed as a dance lifestyle channel DS2DIO includes regular shows and features on dance and hosted by leading US dancers and choreographers.

Starting this week will be a new weekly series: The Arena will debut on the channel - the "ultimate b-boy battle" to test the skills of eight of America's top b-boys.

Starring Crazy Legs, Asia One and Abstrak as judges judging America's best b-boys The Arena will be hosted by Ivan "Flipz" Velez, best known to most from The LXD, and presenter Angela Sun.

The concept of The Arena will put the b-boys against one another to battle, but rather than all-out one-on-one round-by-round battles, each battle will involve a series of timed tests of skill: Footwork, power moves, and rocking, making it a battle of b-boying essence, evening the playing field where one b-boy may excel in another aspect of their dance.

Lined up is: El Nino, Floor Phantom, Gravity, Keebz, Kid David, Kid Glyde, Morris and Spee-D.

Host Ivan "Flipz" Velez explains the concept in a little more detail:

Wrapped up with the glossy appeal of a well shot LXD episode The Arena will also enlighten viewers unaware of the culture with interviews from the judges and look at what makes the b-boy dance and culture what it is today.

While Chu directs dance movies that are find their foundation in romance and a storyline, The Arena could go in any direction thanks to his expansive networks of dancers from working on Step Up, with Justin Bieber and from rounding up the LXD dancers - only this time it's gonna be war!

The Arena starts on 1 October 2012 at YouTube.com/DS2DIO

Post date: 22 September 2012

On 22 September, Rotterdam's Maassilo will be the home of the battle that will decide who is Western Europe's best B-Boy. The winner will earn a place in the final of the world's most prestigious B-Boy competition, Red Bull BC One.

Watch Red Bull BC One live stream online – Western European qualifier

Note: This video has been embedded ahead of the live stream at 7.15pm UK time (8.15pm Central European time) on Saturday 22 September – before this time the video may not work when clicked or play videos on a loop – try refreshing the page closer to the broadcast or bookmark us!

Over the past few months, hundreds of B-Boys have engaged in one-on-one battles at sixty Cyphers held across the globe. They all tried to impress crowd and jury with their incomparable moves and unique style to get closer to a spot in the global Red Bull BC One final in Rio de Janeiro on 8 December.

The Dutch Cypher was held at Eindhoven's Effenaar venue on 10 June. B-Boy Xisco from Tilburg, with his exceptional moves and style, knocked the spots off all the rest. 22 September will see Xisco take on the winners of the other European Cyphers in the Western European Qualifier in Rotterdam's Maassilo. That is where Abd-l (France), Bruce Almighty (Portugal), Chey (Spain), Khalil (France), Lawson (Belgium), Mounir (France), Hatsolo (Finland), Lagaet (Portugal), Raw-Mantic (Germany), Yu-Seng (Switzerland), Cherry (Austria), Froz (Italy), Menno (Netherlands), Petair (Germany), Lee (United Kingdom) and Xisco (Netherlands) will battle it out for a place in the final.

Rotterdam marks the final qualifier on the road to Rio. The Qualifiers were brought in last year to give a greater number of talented B-Boys a shot at making it into B-Boying big time. This year, over 60 Cyphers were organised across the globe, from Italy and Algeria to Bolivia and Taiwan. The winners of these Cyphers have earned themselves a place in the six continental qualifiers that lead to the World Final on 8 December in Rio. These qualifiers were held in Russia, Mexico, the US, Morocco, New Zealand and, for the first time ever, in the Netherlands, in Rotterdam. Visitors are invited to come and cheer on their favourite B-Boys.

Post date: 08 September 2012

Overseen by Breakin’ Convention’s artistic director Jonzi D and Athony Ekundayo Lennon as assistant director of the workshops, the Open Art Surgery artists worked together for a week to produce short pieces of work to present in front of a live audience allowing them to feed back directly.

Some of the pieces shown were works in progress, rough around the edges and even a little off tangent (or “requiring minor surgery” to continue with the medical puns) as ten performances that embody the spirit of hip hop theatre - that is using hip hop elements such as spoken word, beatboxing, dance and a live DJ - were performed.

Across the night we had a dancehall piece in complete Jamaican patois (a first in hip hop theatre y’nuh?) by Cindy Claes (Spread Expression) in Di Breeded Pickney, a fusion of beatboxing and samba by Element Dance Company to the prerecorded beatboxing by Marv-Ill and the repeated scenario of teachers telling you to put your hands down to stop asking questions by Andrea Queens.

Touching on a dark nerve Realitie performed a spoken word piece about the ghetto mentality embedded within young men and Jane Sekonya explored how sin is sold to us every way, every day through marketing messages and pre-conceived ideas of how we should be. B-Boy Unique, Crazy Popper and Rik the Most finally managed to say what they had to say in their piece If Only, a trialogue between the three of them about the feeling you get when not being able to find the right words to say something.

For the first time in their history as a company since being founded in 2010 Project G used live vocals for the first time mixed with female boxing in The Fight, inspired by their work opening matches at the 2012 Olympics. B-Girl Candy confronted her coming of age as a breaker, slipping into a red dress and donning heels after the realisation that since growing up life isn't about top-to-toe wearing polyester outfits all the time. Sticking with femininity, Spoken Movement explored female insecurities - an interesting subject when their choreographer is a guy... while GREEdS looked up to another woman, his mother, who was also present and very proud sat in the audience.

The prognosis after this weekend’s Open Art Surgery? More great work! Audience feedback came thick and fast with plenty of insightful words exchanged between artist and spectator.

What’s next for these pieces of work? Each of the artists will have taken on board feedback and will use it to broaden and develop each piece of work - who knows, we might see some of these great pieces in a future Breakin’ Convention or on an even bigger stage in the future!

Check out tweets from the artists as they went through the Surgery process!

Note: If the tweets don’t display automatically (you will need JavaScript enabled - it may not work on mobile devices and some browsers) click here to read them on Storify!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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