Post date: 03 September 2012

Summer is here and the Breakin' Convention 2012 festival has been and gone. Now it's time to focus on the future, and the future is looking bright considering two things: The sun is shining and we're headed towards our 10 year anniversary next May, plus our acclaimed Open Art Surgery is returning to London then to Edinburgh to develop local hip hop theatre and Jonzi is set to tread the boards once again in Lyrikal Fearta: Redux.

Here's a run down of upcoming projects from and featuring Breakin' Convention... Remember, if you want to know stuff first then find us on Facebook or subscribe to our newsletter!

Open Art Surgery London

Open Art Surgery LondonFollowing our acclaimed run at Dance City earlier this month Breakin' Convention's Open Art Surgery is a showcase of brand new ideas in hip hop theatre hosted by Jonzi D.

We invite you to delve into the minds and souls of dancers, emcees and musicians as they dare to try something new, dangerous and exciting!
Featuring: Ella Mesma, Spoken Movement, B-Girl Candy, Broken Doll, Cindy Claes, GREEdS, Josephine “Realitie” Rollings, Joshua Idehen and Project G

Date: Friday 7 September 2012, 7.45pm
Price: £5 - buy tickets now or call 0844 412 4300

Jonzi D: Lyrikal Fearta - Redux

Lyrikal Fearta ReduxJonzi D returns to his creative roots to perform Lyrikal Fearta. Returning to the stage after ten years, Lyrikal Fearta remains as sharp, relevant and political as ever and is sure to draw up feelings of nostalgia with Jonzi's vintage classics, Guilty, Shoota, Safe, Aeroplane Man and Silence the Bitchin’ plus newly commissioned 'choreopoetic' work.

Date: 18 - 27 October at Sadler's Wells Lilian Baylis Theatre.
Tickets: £15 - Buy tickets now or visit Sadler's Wells website for more info.

Open Art Surgery Edinburgh

Open Art Surgery EdinburghIn November Open Art Surgery takes a tartan twist and touches down on Scottish soil for the first time ever. In partnership with Dance Base (Edinburgh), artists will devise and develop new hip hop theatre ideas. See the results at The Traverse on Saturday 24 November 2012.

Email peter.maniam@breakinconvention.com if you'd like to be involved.

Tickets on sale soon

Breakin' Convention 10th anniversary submissions open!


Click here to apply for Breakin' Convention 2012!

Breakin' Conventionis celebrating its 10th anniversary next year and will be packed with surprises and their strongest line-up ever!  If you want a chance to be part of this historic occasion then submissions will be opening in mid-September. It's our biggest landmark anniversary since 2008 (remember "five years of flavour?") - guaranteed Breakin' Convention 10 Year Anniversary tickets will be like gold dust!

Post date: 31 August 2012

Bad Taste Cru has announced the line up for Just Jam International 2012, their international hip hop festival at Dance City in Newcastle, and has produced one of the freshest video promos ever - bar none!

If ever there was a way to celebrate a five year anniversary it would look like this...

Just Jam International - Wild Style Promo "Jam By Law" by Strife.tv

The Just Jam International festival is made of two nights: The Jam and Juice theatre night on Saturday 27 October and the battle night on Sunday 28.

While battles are arguably always the main pull of any event selling itself as a 'jam,' the Jam and Juice night cannot be overlooked with the talent performing on the night, scouted for by Bad Taste Cru and their commitment to furthering hip hop dance theatre, including: BirdGang, Babson (of Wanted Posse and Serial Stepperz), Eugene Quiet, Trash Dollys, DJ Rasp and Bad Taste Cru plus additional acts to be confirmed will all perform on the night. Maybe the performance from the Cru themselves will reflect what they learned when Open Art Surgery came to Dance City in July? We'll have to find out.

The battle night line up on Sunday has also been announced and will see eight invited UK b-boys and eight invited international b-boys battle through preliminary rounds against local entrants for a place in the finals later that day.

UK invites
Ben Jammin (Ghetlow)
Chamos (Ghetlow / Trashdollys)
Ichiban Sam (MDK)
LB (Floor Riderz)
Lee Rock (Mix Blood Brothers / La Familia)
Lil Jay
Mouse (Floorgangz)
Raw-B (Bad Taste Cru)
8 International Invites
Defending Champion Tkilla (CockRoachez, Norway)
Pick-up (Kosher Flava, Israel)
Yarko (Polskee Flavour, Poland)
King Foolish (Octagon, Sweden)
BGirl A.T. (Flow Mo, Finland)
Sebastien (Battle Squad, France)
Skromcich (Cats Claw, Poland)
Artis (Furious Styles/Originality Stands Alone, Spain)

As if that wasn’t enough, Bad Taste will fly in legendary b-boy Poe One in for a three day intensive b-boy bootcamp taking workshops that will address the very fundamentals of breaking, plus the likes of Simeon Qsyea (BirdGang), B-Girl ATA (Flo-Mo), Babson (Serial Stepperz) and Eugene Quiet will also be taking workshops in hip hop, breaking, house and popping respectively!

Make sure to visit JustJamIntl.com for additional updates for Just Jam 2012!

And so, with all that in store and an amazing promo video, can anything surpass last year’s surprise marriage proposal? (fast forward to 3:52)

Just Jam International 2012 takes place on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 October 2012 at Newcastle Dance City. Other workshops take place earlier in the week - for full Just Jam 2012 line up see the Breakin' Convention hip hop dance events calendar.

Related: Read our report on Just Jam 2011 here

Post date: 30 August 2012

SIN Cru, the internationally acclaimed hip hop arts organisation based in Cambridge, is seeking a self motivated, enthusiastic graduate (or equivalent) for an exciting and challenging placement.

It's an excellent training opportunity for a dancer interested in developing practical skills in the teaching, choreography and performance of b-boy technique, alongside administrative duties and an understanding into the running of an arts organisation.

SIN Cru are well known on the UK hip hop dance scene, frequently battling in competitions in both the UK and abroad, as well as running the annual Urban SINfonie B-Boy Battle and SoHHA. SIN Cru reflect the whole culture of hip hop using DJing, b-boying and graffiti art professionally and through a large outreach programme which the intern will have a hand in assisting in, among many other challenging and rewarding tasks.

"Since becoming a SIN Cru intern I've made new friends, learnt new skills and become part of a family! My b-boy technique has improved so much thanks to the intense training, and I've had the opportunity to travel the country as well as abroad to represent at various jams," said Flash Jordan, the SIN Cru intern for 2011 to 2012.

The successful candidate will be a keen and creative team player with an understanding of hip hop culture, have experience in b-boying, and a sustained interest in both theatre and education.

Flash Jordan adds: "Helping teach workshops has improved my confidence and I have gained a lot through the experience. Living in the Hip Hop House has brought tons of laughs and nothing can beat our kitchen cyphers!"

If you want to apply as the SIN Cru intern, then see below.

SIN Cru internship

They key info
SIN Cru's intership takes place from 8 October 2012 - 26 July 2013 at SIN Cru HQ, Cambridge, UK
Deadline: Wednesday 12th September 2012

  • The post is full time.
  • This post is subject to CRB disclosure.
  • This is an unpaid role but SIN Cru will provide accommodation (if applicable) and pay a contribution to travel and expenses. We are happy to discuss flexible working arrangements.

To apply
For further information and expressions of interest contact
Lucy Crowe Artistic Director sinstars@aol.com

SIN Cru supports equality and diversity. No CVs or agencies please.

Post date: 24 August 2012

Hakeem Onibudo’s Live Vibe night is back for 2012 for two evenings of performances, entertainment and audience interaction at Rich Mix in east London this September and November.

It’s as though the variety show has returned to its roots after the seeds for Live Vibe as we know it kicked off at the Spitz just around the corner which has seen both professional and up-and-coming artists and entertainers challenged by interpretations of different themes and thriving off the audience’s energy.

It’s the winning formula of Live Vibe that saw it receive critical acclaim after its run at the Lilian Baylis Studio at Sadler’s Wells since 2009, taking it to venues Hong Kong in December 2010 and later Zimbabwe in 2011.

“It's easy to have a show that you can curate and have good pieces. People take what they like and leave what they like," explains Hakeem. "Sometimes you can get away with that - when I go to other events and its a mismatch of work, you walk away and one or two things stick in your mind and its a cacophony where the host doesn’t keep it all together."

The theme for the acts this time is words and will include performances from A&R, Delve Dance Company, RWA (Ready Willing and Able) and Hakeem's flagship company, Fully Functioning Individuals, and recently announced, Kenrick Sandy joining Mikey J who is providing the music on the night.

“Why the theme of words? I love fusion, I love poetry, words and art, and for artists to have a theme for their work,” says Hakeem.

Hakeem is also the curator of East London Dance’s Two’s A Company night, and believes the notion of theme will help push the perceptions of how words are interpreted, whether through dance, poetry or music.

“Some of the work is brand new commissions. Everything should have the theme of Live Words, and it challenges me as the compere to have that theme to keep everything together."

Live Vibe Words takes place on 1 September 2012 at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA with another Live Vibe on 10 November.

Tickets for Live Vibe Words can be bought online or by calling the Rich Mix ticket office on 020 7613 7498

Post date: 22 August 2012

Street Funk, run by JP Omari, the Breakin’ Convention rep for Brighton, has released a street dance app for the iPhone and iPad.

The app allows you to watch video tutorials to learn how to dance plus interviews with the Streetfunk teachers, JP Omari, Sasha Biloshitsky and Lee Payne, view photo galleries and stay up to date with their news

The Streetfunk app is available to download from the iTunes store.

The Street Funk iPhone and iPod app is free to download from iTunes, although tutorials must be purchased from within the app. The Streetfunk app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad requiring iOS 4.2 or later.

Post date: 17 August 2012

The 2012 Olympics has been and gone after taking place in London this August and brought back many gold medals for many of the nations involved.

But another thing the Olympics has brought back for b-boys is a matter that means a lot - the ownership of one particular move: The Hamminator. At least, that’s what b-boys fear it may become misrepresented as: The actual move in question is the continuous air flare, and it’s sparking online debates and a movement to get the correct name recognised by the International Olympic Committee through an online petition organised by Charles "Goku" Montgomery and Curtis "Pan" Hedges of Soul Control.

We were only a few days into the Olympics when we re-posted a grainy, self-shot video of the men's gymnastics event on our Facebook page that featured a move that looked suspiciously like an air flare.

Max Whitlock's gymnastic set included many b-boy repertoire moves: air tracks to a flare into what was definitely an air flare - even the comments underneath the video claiming "he's a bboy!"

For the sake of the argument it would be unfair to judge and assume that gymnasts have never crossed paths with b-boys in the past – in fact Morgan Hamm, the American gymnast in question who many fear the air flare will be mislabelled as, learnt the moves from b-boys himself!

It’s no secret that many iconic dance moves, including the Moonwalk (or the backslide) were taught to the stars by a dancer that passed on their knowledge. But this is hip hop, a culture that champions being revolutionary and making sure the innovators are always remembered.

In 1998, Pablo Flores, a member of a dance team called Climax Soul Control was recorded on video doing two air flares in a row for the first time in b-boy history.

A little research on YouTube uncovers home videos of the development of the move from 1998 as Flores threw in the move into 90s, 2000s and flare transitions.

The objective of the petition by Goku and Pan of Soul Control is to get 100,000 online signatures - a mean feat and a steep challenge - to make sure that the air flare is accredited and recognised as a b-boy move and not a gymnastic repertoire.

Attention is paid to the title of “continuous air flare” in respect that earlier versions of an air flare may have only included one repetition.

Want to sign the continuous air flare petition? See here

What do you think? Is 100,000 signatures an impossible feat? Are b-boys worrying over something that might be forgotten until the next Olympics?

Post date: 14 August 2012

Every legend has to consider their departure, and Crazy Legs is no exception in planning his retirement from his battling career after battling everyone at the Rock Steady Crew 35 Year Anniversary in New York last week.

Crazy Legs announced he was to retire from battling to a British audience at the UK B-Boy Championships in October 2011 with plans to get into shape over the next nine months ahead of his retirement.

Crazy Legs is an original member and current president of the Rock Steady Crew, the world's most recognised b-boy crew who also starred in the movies Wild Style, Style Wars and the two movies most old schoolers will remember them from: their appearances in Beat Street and Flash Dance.

Following a regime of hitting the gym, boxing and b-boy training he managed to get himself back in shape (while dropping 10 pounds) in order to battle the likes of B-Boy El Nino, B-Boy Ynot, B-Boy TekNYC, Abgirl, B-Boy Moy, B-Boy Dyzee, B-Boy Kid Glyde and anyone that decided to challenge him.

The result of his training reenbled him to re-learn moves that had his muscle memory forgot over time. Here he is talking to CNN...

Describing his excitement ahead of his last battles, Crazy Legs wrote on his website, CrazyLegsWorkshops.com: "I've been training for five months now and as each day passes I feel more anticipation and a greater sense of urgency. Every thought running through my head is about what that day will be like."

Crazy Legs reiterates that his 'retirement' isn't an end to his involvement in hip hop or b-boying and he will continue to teach workshops and do performances while presiding over hip hop's most recognised breaking crew.

"As far as the battle scene is concerned I've always wanted to have the opportunity to go out in my own way. Because of the injuries I've had over the past several years [...] it's put a damper on that and left me with a crazy, empty feeling of not having that finality to my b-boy life," he said in a video update. "This is my final bow [...] My opportunity to do it my way."

Post date: 09 August 2012

There's nothing Breakin' Convention loves more than a good festival - both putting one on and attending some of the best! Which is why we're proud to present you with a selection of hip hop inspired performances taking place at this year's Edinburgh Fringe that you won't want to miss, from performances that have graced the Breakin' Convention stage to artists that have worked with us in the past to brand new pieces of work.

Room 2 Manoeuvre - Watch It!

3 - 27 August - more info
At ZOO Southside 117 Nicolson Street Edinburgh EH8 9ER

You'll recognise Tony Thrills as the Breakin' Convention Edinburgh and Inverness rep and host as well as from Breakin' Convention's Freestyle Funk Forum in London.

Now the acclaimed Tony Thrills will take you through a mind bending adventure through the channels on your TV set using dance and projection in a multimedia dance odyssey.

TrashDollys - Contains Spoilers

3 - 11 August - more info
At ZOO Southside 117 Nicolson Street Edinburgh EH8 9ER

TrashDollys rocked Breakin' Convention Plymouth earlier this year with their duet DumDollyParade, a blend of breaking and contemporary dance.

Their approach is anything but conventional and Contains Spoilers is 50 minutes of intriguing imagery and dance theatre.

Flash Mob

2 - 27 August - more info
At Assembly Hall, Mound Place, Edinburgh EH1 2LU

Starring Tommy Franzén who performed in Avant Garde Dance's A Classical Break, Flashmob at the Fringe stars the finalists from TV programmes including Got to Dance and So You Think You Can Dance in a feature length show including audience participation in keeping of the flash mob theme.

Maxwell Golden in Countryboy's Struggle

1 August - 31 August - more info
At Pleasance Courtyard, 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9TJ

While not 100% a Breakin' Convention artist, Maxwell Golden does reach back to the days of Jonzi D Productions and early Open Art Surgeries.

Maxwell Golden may have recently launched his Countryboy's Struggle online but it was originally a one man stage show as he assumes the character of over 40 different characters telling the story of his travels from his humble days as a hip hopper in coastal town Bude to heading towards the Big Smoke.

Castle Rocks BBoy Championships

11 August - more info
At City Edinburgh, 1a Market Street, EH1 1DE

The annual Castle Rocks takes place at City Nightclub and sees local b-boys battle against invited guests from around the world in a thrilling 2-on-2 battle. Last year Hurricane Ray and Sam of Team Scmetta emerged champions - will any of the local crew be able to wrestle the title from them?

Bad Taste Cru - Council of the Ordinary

14 - 27 August - more info
At Zoo Southside, 117 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9ER

Always committed to furthering hip hop theatre, Council of the Ordinary is Bad Taste Cru's triple bill of performances showcasing Aftermath, Tribal Assembly and The Mirror touching on the personal, historical and magnificence of their b-boying.

Set It Off Street Dance Championships 2012

18 August - more info
At City Nightclub, 1a Market St, Edinburgh, EH1 1DE

Produced by the team behind Castle Rocks Breakdance Championships, Set It Off! sees hip-hop dance crews an soloists competing for the title. Dancers will attempt to wow the judges and win over the crowd with their jaw-dropping routines and has Tony Adigun, Caramel Soldier and Allan Irvine.

Post date: 20 July 2012

Rarely if ever will you come across a rapper slash former drug slanger slash big screen and TV actor slash cop killa (in no specific order) that even after over 25 years in the rap game is taking the time out to make a documentary about the art of rap, which also happens to be the title of Ice T’s documentary which premiered at Hammersmith Apollo last night in London.

Even more rarely will you get Ice-T, Chuck D, Melle Mel and Raekwon answering questions from fans plus performing with special guest appearance from Ghostface Killah and UK rap pioneers Hijackers bringing the house down in a concert straight after a movie showing either!

Still rocking fresh since his first LP Rhyme Pays dropped in 1987 Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap is a tour de force of face to face interviews with almost every classic rapper from the golden era of hip hop (and a couple of newer faces like Kanye West, Eminem and Joe Budden), all researched and tracked down with the assistance of Ice T’s extensive rolodex of rappers.

Straight into the action, The Art of Rap doesn’t make any assumptions that you know each of the rappers’ back stories or anything about hip hop: This was made especially for fans and cuts to the chase with slick camera cuts and shots of local scenery.

A short sample playing as helicopter shots pan across NYC, LA and every other hip hop capital in between across the United States from each of the rapper’s best known track introduces each interview, and if you know who’s up next from the track then you can give yourself full marks in your old school exams.

Uncovering the science between Rakeem’s rhyme style of 16 dots at the end of each line marking 16 bars on a record, to how Eminem puts together rhymes within rhymes and the revelation that Dr Dre hasn’t left his studio for longer than two weeks in 27 years to perfect each hit he puts out, Ice T’s interviews each of the artists with the inside expertise you’d expect from an OG (Original Gangsta!) and gets straight to the point: "Where do you see your brush strokes on the painting of the art of rap?" This wasn’t just a documentary, but an insightful look into the art that artists put into their raps and a snap shot of how all of your favourite MCs worked. They don’t make music like this any more these days…


Melle Me at the Art of Rap launch performing The Message - photo by Paul Hampartsoumian

Rappers in The Art of Rap:
Bun B, B-Real, Afrika Bambaataa, Busy Bee, Joe Budden, Grandmaster Caz, Common, Treach, Ice Cube, Chuck D, Royce Da 5' 9", Dana Dane, Mos Def, Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Eminem, Doug E Fresh, MC Lyte, Q-Tip, Immortal Technique and so many more...

So is this is it for The Art Of Rap? Hell no, Ice T tells everyone afterwards that there’s over 70 hours of additional footage that couldn’t make the cut before opening up the show for a concert that caused waves of nostalgia for the mature hip hop fans and impatient looking girlfriends as Melle Mel recited the lyrics of The Message acapella, Chuck D dropped Public Enemy's new single, marking the first time Public Enemy had performed in the Hammersmith Apollo since the 80s and Raekwon brought out Wu Tang collaborator Ghostface to join him before Ice T re-introduced The Highjackers, UK rap pioneers...


Melle Mel, Raekwon, Chuck D and Ice T at the Art of Rap UK launch - photo by Paul Hampartsoumian

Post date: 17 July 2012

In November 2011 Pervez of Live 2 Break and documentary maker Bret Syfert went to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda to teach children how to break as well as how to teach one another in an ‘each one, teach one’ initiative organised by Catalyst Rwanda, set up by Nicola Triscott and Kate Scanlan

The project was captured in a short documentary by Syfert, Yes Man, which will screen in the UK this week at the Southbank Centre and tells the story of the healing power of hip hop in a recovering culture.

In a heart warming story of compassion with roots set in a history of devastation and dark times in Rwanda’s recent history, the essence of Yes Man goes back 20 years when two friends, arts producer Nicola Triscott met teacher Rafiki Callixte when she visited Rwanda in 1992, eighteen months before the impending 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The planned mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in this small East African nation saw six out of Rafiki’s ten siblings killed with Rafiki scarcely surviving the genocide himself, betrayed by a friend who shot him in the back and left him for dead. Years of silence followed until one day in 2010 Rafiki and Nicola were reconnected via Facebook after 14 years.

In that time Rafiki founded Les Enfants de Dieu, a residential care centre for approximately 130 boys between the ages of four and 18 in Ndera, a suburb of Kigali, to transform the lives of street children that had been affected by the genocide.

Nicola then went to Rwanda and met the remarkable boys at Les Enfants de Dieu. When Rafiki and Nicola asked the boys what project or skill they would most like to learn, they unanimously replied: ‘hip-hop dance,’ the means through which they chose to express themselves.

Catalyst Rwanda is an initiative setting up sustainable programmes of arts activities for vulnerable young people in Rwanda, including street children and orphans of the genocide and AIDS, and to organise artistic development programmes with emerging Rwandan artists in partnership with Ishyo Arts Centre.

Now with the Southbank Centre, Catalyst Rwanda is bringing two of the boys from Les Enfants de Dieu to England, Willy and Didier, along with Rafiki to discuss the project along with the rest of the Yes Man crew.

Yes Man screens at the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room as part of Africa Utopia on Thursday 19 July at 7.45pm with a free party afterwards with DJ Billy Biznizz

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