Post date: 03 October 2014

In a world where talent shows have become nothing more than a device to prop up a judge's ego and generate headlines for gossip columns the BBC has commissioned a new dance competition for young dancers that will be the biggest dance competition to air on national TV - and the judges are all legit.

A long time coming in the climate of 'reality' TV and imported talent show formats, BBC Young Dancer of the Year won't feature celebrities, gimmicks or public voting: Producers have drafted in the leading experts in dance to judge the show where dancers can compete in four categories: Ballet, contemporary, hip hop and South Asian dance.

The series, open to dancers aged between 16 and 20, will focus on the work put in to being a dancer, developing work, and importantly the context and technique of each dance style with category finalists receiving mentoring from leaders in their discipline to see them perform to their best ability.

Sadler's Wells has assisted in helping the BBC in selecting judges and together with Breakin' Convention advising the judging criteria for the hip hop category.

Across the series an expert in each discipline will whittle numbers down for the semi finals: Judges include David Nixon, Seeta Patel, Sharon Watson and DJ Renegade with further names to be announced.

On his appointment as a judge for BBC Young Dancer of the Year, Renegade, who is the coach for UK b-boy champions Soul Mavericks, commented: "BBC Young Dancer is a great opportunity to demonstrate that hip hop is a complex and mature dance style including different areas of specialisation requiring dedication and hours of practice." 

He continued: "Bringing together the best young dancers from across the country will provide much needed education and inspiration across the youth sector."

Those that make it through to the grand final will be judged by dance heavyweights Matthew Bourne, Akram Khan, Wayne McGregor, Tamara Rojo, Kenrick Sandy and Alistair Spalding, with the finals taking place at Sadler's Wells in May 2015.

"BBC Young Dancer is an opportunity to inspire young dancers to aim for the highest standards and to share with a wide public not only the creativity, energy, talent and expressiveness in all their respective genres, that they have, but also the rigorous technical requirements and hours of practice required to achieve their excellence," said Kenrick Sandy, who is choreographer and co-founder of Boy Blue Entertainment.

Further to the experience and professional development from their mentors, the category final winners will be awarded a cash prize to support their studies in dance, with the grand winner winning £3,000 and the BBC Young Dancer of the Year trophy.

Aged 16 – 20 and want to enter BBC Young Dancer of the Year? Visit the BBC's website for full details, including entry criteria, show schedule and the application form - deadline for applications is 17 November 2014.

Post date: 01 October 2014

Breakin' Convention, in partnership with the Black Dance Archives Project and State of Emergency, presented a Hip Hop Retrospective: an event during our 2014 festival showcasing three London dancers who were central to the early stages of Hip Hop dance development in the UK, through film, performance and conversation.

We’re proud to announce that the second on the list was Jonzi D himself, filmed and edited by Denisha Anderson.

Watch the interview below now to hear stories of Jonzi D, born and bred in Bow, East London, as he discovered hip hop culture and worked his way up the ladder of success starting in holding the renowned club nights Apricot Jam through to a career on stage and TV with the likes of Lyrikal Fearta and eventual TV commissions for stagework Aeroplane Man and Silence Da Bitchin’.

Using archival footage, images and documents, each short film explores the dancers' experiences, inspirations and legacies. This is a unique opportunity to gain an insight into these often untold stories about UK dance history.

Don’t forget, if you haven’t already, subscribe to BCTV now for the next video in the Pro:File series!

Post date: 23 September 2014

The legends rise again… After a premiere in London last year Boy Blue Entertainment is back with their feature length show, touring the UK October to November! 

Inspired by an infatuation with manga culture, The Five and the Prophecy of Prana is Boy Blue Entertainment’s biggest theatrical work since Pied Piper premiered in 2006 (if you can excuse Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy and Mikey J Asante’s contributions to the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony and Street Dance movies occupying the time between creating theatre shows).

Imagine hip hop dance meeting kung fu, with outstanding visuals, moves and music with badly dubbed voiceovers included as standard and you’ve got The Five and the Prophecy of Prana!

Telling the story of five mischievous youths faced with the choice of facing the judicial system or cleaning up their bad habits under the disciplinary eye of Wang Tang, a downfallen hero who himself is trying to shake off a scandalous past.

Kenrick and Mikey J explain The Five and the Prophecy of Prana below…

The creation of Prana included Boy Blue training with monks from the Shaolin Temple to give each move an authentic foundation when combined with hip hop movement to create the choreography during the research and development process.

With a stellar cast including Tommy Franzen (first half of the tour) or Jeffrey Felicisimo (second half of the tour) as the lead role of Wang Tang, Tyrone Isaac-Steward as the evil Emperor, Frank Wilson as Choo Fang and many other familiar Boy Blue and ZooNation faces, the show comes together in one of Kenrick’s strongest showcases of street dance theatre with Mikey J’s thumping soundtracks.

Listen to the Prophecy of Prana soundtrack below

Catch The Five and the Prophecy of Prana on tour from 2 October to 14 November 2014

For tickets visit 

Barbican, London 
Thursday 2 – Saturday 4 October

Brighton Dome 
Tuesday 7 & Wednesday 8 October

Lighthouse, Poole 
Friday 10 & Saturday 11 October

Hall for Cornwall, Truro 
Monday 13 & Tuesday 14 October

Cast, Doncaster 
Friday 17 October 

Northern Stage, Newcastle 
Tuesday 21 & Wednesday 22 October

Nottingham Playhouse 
Friday 24 & Sat 25 October

Grand Theatre, Blackpool 
Tuesday 28 & Wednesday 29 October

Gulbenkian, Canterbury 
Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 November

Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry 
Tuesday 4 & Wednesday 5 November

Oxford Playhouse 
Friday 7 & Saturday 8 November

The Lowry, Salford Quays 
Tuesday 11 & Wednesday 12 November

Sherman Theatre, Cardiff 
Friday 14 & Saturday 15 November

Running time: 110 minutes including an interval
Age suitability: 6+

Post date: 05 September 2014

Breakin' Convention, in partnership with the Black Dance Archives Project and State of Emergency, presented a Hip Hop Retrospective: an event during our festival showcasing three London dancers who were central to the early stages of Hip Hop dance development in the UK, through film, performance and conversation.

First up on the list was the inimitable "original b-boy of London Town" Dolby D of London All Stars. 

Watch the interview below now to hear stories of when Dolby D frequented Covent Garden, went up against the Rock Steady Crew and how he got into b-boy culture.

Using archival footage, images and documents, each short film explores the dancers' experiences, inspirations and legacies. This is a unique opportunity to gain an insight into these often untold stories about UK dance history.

Don’t forget, if you haven’t already, subscribe to BCTV now for the next video in the Pro:File series!


Post date: 21 August 2014

No Excuses, No Limits! That's the motto of ILL-Abilities, and the motivation behind an ambitious project that Lazylegz organised as a community act of solidarity. 

The I Can Challenge was an event to help participants find satisfaction, motivation and inspiration to accomplish personal goals.

For Lazylegz it was to walk 2.5 kilometres without leg braces or crutches. Lazylegz was born with Arthrogryposis, a condition affecting the bones and causing stiffness in the joints in the body, which mainly his legs creating weak muscle developments and makes walking unaided for long periods of time difficult.

Lazylegz invited anyone that wanted to take part whether to get in shape, stop smoking, overcome cancer, get a degree, help a family member, or wanted to show unity.

When the event took place earlier this month over 800 participants joined in with supporters as far as the eye could see.

"It was a really magical day!" said Lazylegz afterwards. "The energy was incredible and seeing the kids challenge themselves was priceless."

Watch the "I Can" Challenge video below! 

Post date: 13 August 2014

When Popin' Pete, Electric Boogaloo, appeared in Chris Brown's Yeah x3 video in 2010 he was immortalised with a shop front bearing his name. What better way to develop a quirky music video prop in a music video than make it real and get dancers involved?

The first Popin' Pete's Pop Shop took place last year in a small shipping container in East London. Now the project is back with a massive 3,000 square foot gallery at the LondonNewcastle Project Space in Shoreditch before hitting Birmingham and Essex.

"We're back bigger than before with more artists, workshops and a 3000 square foot space to transform," said Kate Scanlan. "Throughout the project there will be opportunities to learn, share and have fun with the dance."

Special events include a Youth Takeover programme introducing young people to the artforms; popping workshop and freestyles and a series of events designed to bring the whole community together to enjoy, learn history and create the future.

As well as Popin' Pete there will also be DJ Biznizz (Tha En4cers, UK), Mr Dane (Vop Stars, UK), Dickson Mbi (Fiya House & Prototype crews) & Vicky 'Skytilz' Mantey (Boy Blue Entertainment) to keep the jam moving.

"I am very excited about this year's Popin' Pete's Pop Shop, seeing that last year was so good," said Popin' Pete. "I know this year is going to be even better, I love teaching the youth and giving back to the community. Let's get the UK popping!"

Outside of London? To help dancers from outside of London there is also an £800 bursary available to support dancers to travel to London. To apply contact
Key information
· You can pre-book (inc deals) on the Scanner's Inc Eventbrite page.
· There is a Travel Bursary to non-London dancers
· There are FREE places on the Youth Takeover for young people in Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth & Southwark
· There are two Young Filmmaker Commissions – deadline this Friday at 5pm.

Popin' Pete's Pop Shop 2014 dates

Venue: Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP

21 August
Launch Party 18:00-21:00

22 August
Youth take over (ages 10-18) - 12-3pm
3.30-5.30 – open practice session
6-7.30 Popping Workshop
8-9.30 Popping Workshop

23 August
Popping Kids workshop (ages 5-10) & Jam with Skytilz & Popin' Pete
Open practice 1-2.30pm
2.30-4pm Popping Workshop
4.30-6pm Popping Workshop
7-10pm The Hang out – talk, chill, tunes

24 August
12-1.30pm open practice
1.30-3pm Popping Workshop
3.30-5pm Popping Workshop
5.30-9pm The Social Jam

25 August
Youth take over 12-3pm
3-4.30pm open practice
4.30-6pm Popping Workshop
7-9pm Take it back to the '80s fancy dress workshop party & closing event

Workshops at DanceXchange, Thorp St, Birmingham, West Midlands B5 4TB

28 August - ESSEX 
Workshops at Bam Bam Boogies Studio, V Dance Studio, Springhealth Leisure Centre, Brian Close, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 9DZ

Popin' Pete's Pop Shop is conceived and produced by Scanner's Inc. Supported with National Lottery funding through Arts Council England, Youth Opportunity Fund Hackney. Produced in association with East London Dance, Londonewcastle, Electric Boogaloos, Diabolical, Bam Bam Boogies, DanceXchange, The Realness.

Post date: 29 July 2014

Come and join us at the Tate Britain for an evening of free events including the unveiling of Jonzi D's new portrait and a whole lot more.

Taking place on Friday, 1st August, Spaces Between will explore the individual voice and its transformation and influence on youth culture using various spaces throughout Tate Britain to show how it exists between social structures and cultural boundaries. As part of the evening there will be a series of free performances, workshops, installations, talks and online activity.

Artist Benjamin Wachenje, who has been designed every Breakin' Convention poster since the beginning, will be unveiling a new painting of Jonzi D and talk, which will also include a performance. Check out the preview of the painting below.

Musically there will be provided by an eclectic mix of artists performing live including DJ Snuff, emerging jazz outfit Parshmaune and international hip hop collective End Of The Weak who have teamed up with London-based MC cypher event Higher Learning to showcase a selection of high quality wordsmiths. It's gonna be dope!

Late at Tate programmer Adrian Shaw said: "These events are now led by the Young People's Programme with the aim of giving young people a genuine voice in the gallery. So it's really great to be working with Louder Than Words with their commitment and in-depth experience of working within the youth cultural sector."

Other highlights on the evening include a spoken word showcase within the grand spaces of the Duveen Galleries inspired by this year’s Tate Britain Commission sculptor Phyllida Barlow; a workshop with UK beatbox champion Reeps One in the Manton foyer; an acoustic performance by hotly-tipped rapper Little Simz against a backdrop of stunning portraits from the Tate Collection and live painting by leading British graffiti artist Mode 2 in the Clore Studio.

There will also be an exclusive spoken word mixtape available to download during the event by renowned DJ and poet Charlie Dark and an opportunity to explore the galleries of Tate Britain after hours.

The programme is free to attend and is curated by cultural communications organisation Louder Than Words.

Above: Mode 2

Late at Tate schedule and info 

Event info:

Cost: Free

Time: 18.00- 22.00

Date: Friday 1st August

Address: Tate Britain Millbank, London SW1P 4RG



Speakers Corner
Clore Lawn
Live music from a collaboration of new emerging hip-hop and jazz talent, urban griots, rap artists, beatboxers, turntablist and dancers exploring the fluctuating social-political paradigms that effect youth culture. Supported by Universal Zulu Nation, End Of The Weak and Higher Learning.

Reeps One
Clore Lawn
Live drawing on the Clore Lawn from artist and UK beatbox champion Reeps One


Mode 2
Clore Studio
Live painting performance by leading British graffiti artist Mode 2, preceded by a one-off workshop attended by young arts appreciators and members of Tate Collective

Little Simz
Forgotten Faces
Live acoustic performance against the backdrop of stunning portraits from the Tate Collection

Poetry Luv
Duveen Galleries
Pop-up poetry throughout the Duveen Galleries inspired by Tate Britain Commission sculptor Phyllida Barlow. Spoken word artists Jaja Soze, Nego Tru and Sophia Thakur showcase young, emerging poets

Library and Archive
An exploration of the words behind the artist, a display and reading of artists from the Archives and Access project generously funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Benjamin Wachenje and Jonzi D in Conversation and Performance by Jonzi D
Artist Benjamin Wachenje unveils a new portrait, on view for the evening of cultural icon and Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells Theatre Jonzi D, who for over ten years has exposed a generation to the rich cultural heritage of Hip-hop.

BFI Young Collective and Tate Collective discussion
BFI Young Collective and Tate Collective discussing key influences of modern text


Reeps One
Manton Foyer
Film screening and cymatic sound wave and vibration demonstration from UK beatbox champion Reeps One

Visibly, Invisible
Digital Studio
Inspired by Henry Moore's figurative pieces and Phyllida Barlow's dock photographer, Saira Awan curates an immersive real-time multimedia response to questions around individual identity, stereotyping and labelling.


Your Mum Visuals
Your Mum Visuals maps the evolution of the MC and sound system culture across R&B, Reggae, Dance Hall, Hip Hop, Jungle, Garage, Drum & Base, Dub Step and Grime.

Lost In Space
Manton Studio
Sound and visual artist Anderson presents an immersive audio play and 3D animation journeying into outer space exploring the power of words



Charlie Dark mixtape
Via the 
Tate website
DJ, poet and Run Dem Crew founder Charlie Dark digs through his vast record collection to produce a spoken world mixtape of rarities, essentials and lyrical classics. An educative, challenging and informative adventure through the sounds of protest, celebration and self-expression

Chew TV live streaming
Via the 
Tate website

All events are FREE

Post date: 06 July 2014

Breakin' Convention is proud to announce our next Open Art Surgery in London on Friday 18 July!

Open Art Surgery is where hip hop artists – dancers, emcees, musicians, as well as poets and magicians - present brand new short works devised and developed at Sadler's Wells over the course of one week with mentorship from Jonzi D and Anthony Ekundayo Lennon.

July’s Open Art Surgery features choreographer Andrea Queens (AQ Arts), Breakin’ Convention 2013 company Grounded led by Sunanda Biswas, Hobbit from The Beatbox Collective, magician and b-boy Magical Bones, Definitives Dance Company’s O'Neil Rochester, Breakin’ Convention 2013 company Protocol and spoken word artist Realitie.

With such a wide variety of artists working to make a short piece of theatre, who knows what will come out of the week of development?

After the performances have taken place you will be invited to give constructive feedback after seeing all the performances, helping shape the work for further development.

Companies and choreographers that have done an Open Art Surgery in the past include Soul Mavericks, Rowdy Lofvenberg, and Cindy Claes, all of whom have gone on to develop longer theatre shows and commissions as a result of their participation.

There is no other show like this! Watch the work, critique the work before spilling out in to the bar to keep the conversation going. Don’t miss it!

Date and time: Friday 18 July at 7.45pm

Venue: Lilian Baylis Studion, Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tickets: £5 - book online or call 0844 412 4300Transaction fee applies: £1 for telephone and online bookings. No charge in person at Ticket Office.

Open Art Surgery may contain language or content unsuitable for younger children.


Post date: 04 July 2014

Did you know that at this time six years ago Breakin' Convention uploaded our first video to YouTube? With almost 4 million minutes of footage watched since then we're growing at an incredible rate and have recently re-launched it as BCTV. So sit back, relax, and enjoy some videos on BCTV now. Hit the subscribe button below and sign in to your YouTube to get started!

Why did we launch BCTV?

We launched online video channel BCTV to capture the full range of Breakin' Convention's work and the artists it works with. We're more than just a festival: With year-round projects taking place we're commissioning up-and coming film makers to document the positive aspect of hip hop culture. This film will give you a better idea.

Breakin' Convention documentary series 

These are playlists that open in a new window 

Future Elements feature-length music videos 

These are playlists that open in a new window

Most viewed video: Kenichi Ebina at Breakin' Convention 2011

Kenichi Ebina went on to appear on America's Got Talent 2013 - and won!

Post date: 20 June 2014

Do you fancy taking up dance but need aren't quite ready to turn up to your local dance studio? Why not take a dance class with two leading hip hop companies, or find your feet at a flamenco class?

Alongside the shows in the Sadler's Sampled season (17 – 29 June), the Sampled workshops are an exciting chance to learn moves by some of the leading dancers and dance makers working today.

Available for youth dancers with little or no experience are classes from Soul Mavericks, ZooNation and Lucia Carusco.

Workshops cost £2 each. To book a workshop, please call the ticket office on 0844 412 4300.

Sadler's Wells Sampled 2014 workshops for ages 12-17 (28 & 29 June)

3.45 – 4.45pm
Hip Hop: ZooNation Dance Company (age range 12 – 17)
Taught by members of the critically acclaimed ZooNation Dance Company, this class will guide you through a range of hip hop styles and introduce you to the unique style of the company's narrative hip hop theatre.

5 – 6pm
Flamenco Youth: Lucia Carusco (age range 12 – 17)
Lucia Caruso is an accomplished flamenco dancer, choreographer and teacher with an international reputation. Her class will focus on body posture, footwork and choreography, with a special focus for younger dancers.

5 – 6pm
Hip Hop Breakin' (age range 12 – 17)
B-Boy Coop from the UK leading b-boy crew Soul Mavericks will teach a varied and exciting breakin' class aiming to increase strength, fitness, flexibility and balance.

Sadler's Wells Sampled

Bringing world class dance to new audiences, Sadler's Sampled is a two week taster festival of dance. In only its second year, Sadler's Sampled allows spectators to get closer to the action with standing tickets from just £8, and activities before and after each show.

Shows in Sadler's Sampled

Want to sample a show at Sadler's Wells starting at £8? Check out the shows coming up as part of the Sampled season!

17 & 18 June
Dada Masilo - Swan Lake 
An intriguing and radical interpretation of a ballet classic.

20 & 21 June
Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre - Rian 
A thrilling dance-gig that sees contemporary dancers perform alongside a live band.

23 & 24 June
Eastman - Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui - 4D  
An evening of four sublime duets from Sadler's Wells Associate Artist Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

28 & 29 Jun
A weekend of dance diversity, offering a taster of the best of Sadler's Wells. With Jasmin Vardimon Company, German & Gisela, National Youth Dance Company, Daniel Proietto, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and ZooNation Dance Company who will perform an extract from their new work.