Post date: 31 May 2011

This Easter Breakin’ Convention called aspiring dancers, MCs, aerosol artists, film makers and music producers aged 13-16 to get involved with our annual Future Elements Project.

21 young artists signed up and spent six days working intensively with professional Hip Hop artists to write lyrics and beats, choreograph routines, create artwork and shoot their very own music video. The result: Zapp Town!

Choreographed by Katie P, filmed by Ara Stevens and under the creative eye of Jonzi D, the dancers took to the high street in Angel, Islington, to shoot the video, much to the surprise of a few onlookers...

Zapp Town
Choreography:
Katie P
Film Production: Ara Stevens
Director and Editor: Ara Stevens and Marqus AKC'Ent
Aerosol Art: Luke AKA Mr Dane
Music Production: Kewba Da Great
Music Video Shoot: Jump Off TV (http://jumpoff.tv): Ara Stevens, Marqus AKC'Ent, Zak Lansky
Videography: Ara the Coach (http://jumpoff.tv)

Zapp Town premiered at the Future Elements night ahead of Breakin’ Convention 2011 where it was shown to an audience of 1,800 people.

The Future Elements week takes place in the run up to the Breakin’ Convention festival with one focus in mind: take our kids, come up with an original idea, choreograph and shoot it within a week.

Aiming to engage the young people positively as part of Breakin' Convention's mission to nurture the creative talent of the next generation of dancers and creative people, Future Elements is in its third year, following the legacy of Juicy Skank and Dr Merkage Bop.

Zapp Town: The Making Of

Why not have a look at a slideshow of photos taken during the rehearsals and production period, below?

Post date: 24 May 2011

For the first time in its seven year history, Red Bull BC One came to Belfast, Northern Ireland.

It was in Ulster Hall, below the ominous grand organ, that Red Bull set up the cypher stage where b-boys from across the country would battle to represent Ireland with 16 of the world’s most elite b-boys later this year in St Petersburg, Russia.

It was during this brief stay in Belfast that it was possible for Breakin’ Convention to meet dancers from Northern Ireland’s hip hop dance scene and a snapshot of what it’s like – at least within 24 hours.

Out of those we spoke to many reflected the diversity of Belfast’s hip hop community. One collective, Funkarama, was made up or a group of friends from different countries, dancing styles and social backgrounds.

Yet despite a steady stream of negative news reports we might have become accustomed to about politics dividing the city over the years, everyone within hip hop contradicted the divisive stereotype.

Across the audience of a thousand strong spectators, t-shirts repping crews such as Funkarama, Rapture Crew and Belfast City Breakers could be spotted, although few and far between - most simply came for the spectacle of power moves on display.

Sure, there are pockets of hip hoppers in Belfast, but the opinions about the scene vary.

One person we spoke to, Fernando from 4H20 Kids, commented: “A lot of our crews here are foreigners. Even in Belfast. You don’t get local people interested in hip hop, so it’s good to see that someone cares [enough to bring BC One over.]”

So what does it mean to people have BC One in Belfast for the first time? The consensus was it’s going to make everybody happy because there isn’t enough.

The most recognised names out there include the major b-boys like Junior, Cico and Mouse, compared to few local heroes. Hopefully news of B-Boy Armstrong, who emerged as champion, will help shine some light on the Belfast scene.

“The breaking scene here is growing steadily and it’s competitions like the Red Bull BC One that encourage new blood,” said B-Boy Mouse after the event. “This event is not just about dance skills, but also reputation, character and good standing within the b-boy scene."

Mouse also taught workshops ahead of the competition for those interested in breaking.

However, the b-boy scene is still in its juvenile stage. For a regular London jammer the after party was an example of how it compares to London’s scene.

There’s an air of disdain from those not within hip hop looking down their noses at b-boys, or anyone in hip hop attire for that matter, which may hold the scene back by oppressing self expression.

It was the same case when b-boys cyphering outside Ulster Hall were asked to stop dancing and move along – outside a breaking event!

But a little interference from the authorities didn’t faze those that turned up – for many hip hop fans just having BC One come to Belfast was enough to satisfy a hunger for hip hop culture.

B-Boy Armstrong

Will B-Boy Armstrong’s win impact on the scene? Maybe other corporate brands besides Red Bull will hop on Northern Ireland’s hip hop bandwagon? We hope so, as Breakin’ Convention would love to come back to Belfast in the future.

With a welcoming attitude and a real desire to learn more about the culture, Belfast is at the foundations of hip hop, so let’s hope it continues to keep growing from the foundations up and best of luck to B-Boy Armstrong at the next BC One qualifier in Barcelona.

What do you think? Did we get it right? And do you think Breakin’ Convention should tour Belfast?

Post date: 23 May 2011

Before the curtains closed at Breakin Convention 2011, Jonzi D announced BC and Boy Blue was collaborating with Channel 4 on a television project.

Well here is an opportunity to be a part of the production, titled One Man Walking.

While we can't go into detail yet One Man Walking is a powerful and stylish collision of hardcore hip hop choreography, krump, b-boying and parcour, to be shot on the streets of London in July.

The film brings together the scripting and direction of Breakin Convention's Jonzi D with choreography and music specially created by Boy Blue Entertainment’s Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy and Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante. One Man Walking will be directed by Margaret Williams, who is well-known for her many award-winning dance films.

Audition requirements
If you think you're suitable what we need is strong, enthusiastic, hard working dancers trained in hip hop choreography, movement direction and krump.

Audition date: Tuesday 24th May 2011

Time slots
1-2.30pm
2.45-4.15pm
4.30-6pm

Venue:
Centre Stage Studio
1 Gurney Road
London E15 1SH

Filming dates
Filming will be 2, 3 and possibly 4 July so please ensure you are free for these dates and up to 2 weeks rehearsals after the auditions. 

To audition for One Man Walking, please send an email with your CV and details to boyblueent@mac.com to secure a time slot.

Let's start Breakin Convention

Post date: 13 May 2011

It's been just over ten days since Breakin' Convention finished and we've just received the photos from the 2011 festival.

Over the course of the weekend there were hundreds of memorable moments, from a night dancer's arm being ripped off and eaten to Morning of Owl's gravity-defying power moves.

Of all those photos we've managed to whittle it down to 22 - one for each of the main stage and Lilian Baylis performances

Click play to begin slideshow. Photos © Paul H and Belinda Lawley 2011.

Post date: 05 May 2011

Breakin' Convention 2011 was a resounding success with a full house across the entire bank holiday weekend.

From dancers to spectators, families and friends, thousands of people turned up at Sadler's Wells dressed to impress ahead of the show.

Whittled down from hundreds of photos, below is a selection of our top 20 flyest audience members, the people that give Breakin' Convention its true character.

Click the play button to start the slideshow!

Post date: 29 April 2011

Free to day pass holders/£4 for day pass holders

What happens when you bring together some of the UK's top hip hop dancers, a DJ, an MC and a live saxophonist and put them in a studio together? A one-off.

Join host Hakeem Onibudo as he hosts the Freestyle Funk Forum on Saturday and Sunday from 4:30pm with dancers Brooke Milliner, Dickson Mbi, Cindy Claes, Turbo, DJ Billy Bizznizz, MC Jonzi D and award winning saxophonist Steve Williamson in a live improv showcase where anything can happen!

"We're creating paramaters that will really challenge these amazing dancers and exploring ideas that the audience can influence," said Jonzi D. "You want to come to the Freestyle Funk Forum because we're making the dancers move out of their comfort zone. The power is in your hands."

Blending the format of Jonzi's Open Art Surgery workshops and Hakeem's audience participation games, the Freestyle Funk Forum will break down the 'fourth wall' of theatre and allow the audience to decide what happens on stage.

Brooke and Dickson recently represented the UK at the international hip hop dance event, Juste Debout 2011 in Paris, Turbo returns from making it to the Got to Dance finals on Sky One and Cindy Claes has just returned from training in LA.

Breakin' Convention is also blessed to have saxophonist Steve Williamson providing the music with resident Breakin' Convention DJ, Billy Bizznizz.

Steve Williamson's career is based on the constant study of harmony and research of the all possible harmonic approaches to compositions. His wide musical knowledege gives him the opportunity to experiment with his music, creating always innovative and unique compositions - so it's going to be the perfect for what's in store!

The Freestyle Funk Forum takes place in the Lilian Baylis Studio on Saturday 30 April and Sunday 1 May from 16:30 - 17:30.
Tickets are available in person on the day of the performance from the ticket office until 4pm, and then from the foyer.
Tickets are issued on a first come, first served basis and are subject to availability.

Post date: 18 April 2011

Party people! Welcome to the new Breakin’ Convention website!

We’ve spent many a night sleepless to get it up, running an looking fresh (coz hip hop don’t stop), so have a look around and check out the Breakin’ Convention 2011 line up and this year's featured artists.

The new layout is much cleaner and should be easier to navigate, making it easier to find what you need ahead of the festival and better connections to our social networks.

So are you following Breakin' Convention on Twitter? Have you 'liked' us on Facebook? What are you waiting for?

In future the site will expand to include regular news, videos, and include a full A-Z of every artist that has performed at Breakin' Convention.

Welcome to something new, from everyone at Breakin' Convention.

Post date: 17 April 2011

If you thought the Breakin’ Convention festival weekend finished at 9:30pm on Monday night you’d be mistaken – for some it’s just the start!

From 10:30pm at the O2 Academy Islington (a five minute walk from Sadler’s Wells) Jonzi D will host the official Breakin’ Convention after party.

DJ sets from Breakin’ Convention resident DJs Tha En4cers and DJ Hooch will spinning a selection of the finest hip hop, funk and soul. Between the cyphers and the freestyle circles be prepared for some Breakin’ Convention style party games.

At midnight a special guest PA from rapper and spoken word artist Lyric L, beats provided by DJ Cyndi and live funky drumming from Tuca.

Admission to the Breakin’ Convention after party is £5 with a BC wristband, otherwise £8 in advance or £10 on the door.

Address: The O2 Academy Islington, N1 Centre, 16 Parkfield Street, Angel, Islington

Post date: 11 April 2011

Breakin’ Convention loves Big City Brains so much we’ve invited them back for a second year in a row after killing it last year.

Those that came to Breakin' Convention in 2010 will remember how Danish popping sensations Big City Brains and the Robot Boys killed it with Robiality 2020, an 18 minute abstract popping pantomime with some crazy

Big City Brains are some of Denmark’s leading poppers (they were founded in 2003 by Phax, Mori516 and Mr.Steen)

Talent aside, what’s really exciting about is the appearance of Ashigaru, an actual robot.

Big City Brains’ piece Human Robot closes the show on Sunday night.

Pandora from Big City Brains is also taking a class in the style of tutting as part of the Breakin’ Convention workshops.

Fundraising campaign for Japanese earthquake appeal
Breakin’ Convention supports the makers of the Ashigaru robot in their appeal for donations towards the thousands of Japanese people affected by the tsunami in March.
You can make a donation to the Red Cross here.

 

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