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Breakin’ Convention 2018: at Sadler’s Wells, London

Jonzi D
Jonzi D

Sadler’s Wells was host to the 15th Breakin’ Convention over the May Bank Holiday weekend. This special three-day event celebrated everything hip-hop from dancing to music and even graffiti associated with this ever-growing form of expression.

During the weekend, Sadler’s Wells organised many fantastic events such as dance, beat-boxing and graffiti workshops throughout each day which culminated in over 4 hours of entertainment in the evening utilising both the main stage and the studio stage at Sadler’s Wells main venue at Rosebery Avenue.

The main show was hosted by Jonzi D, the founder and artistic director of D Projects and the Breakin’ Convention itself. Creating the convention 15 years ago Jonzi is an advocate for hip-hop dance and theatre. The main event showcased the best in the dance world with many of the acts coming from around the world to take part.

Featuring a variety of styles of dance from break-dancing, popping, contemporary, hip-hop and street this finale show was an energetic, slick demonstration of dance. There were over 10 acts performing including Myself, an all-female act from the UK, who impressed with their lyrical street dance. Femme Fatale, a trio from LA, also excelled with their musicality and popping skills. There were comedic dances from the likes of Room 2 Manoeuvre and Zeljko Bozic plus some impressive storytelling through dance from French dancer Salah.

In addition to the superb dancing on display, audiences were treated to amazing beat-boxing and an outstanding improvised rap which certainly got the energetic audience members shouting for more. During the interval, audience members could go to various different events, try the Jamaican food or attend another show in the Studio Theatre. The love and passion for the style of dance and music was evident from the moment you entered the door. This was not going to be a quiet night, but it was definitely fun! It was also brilliant to see people from all ages and races attending this event, proving that dance and music is all-inclusive.

The second act featured a 15-piece Jazz Sonic Orchestra from Jazz Re:Freshed who are also celebrating their 15th Anniversary this year. The talented orchestra played a specially commissioned score by Jason Yarde, who also played the lead saxophone. The music was fantastic and having it played live on stage during the second act really brought the atmosphere to another level.

Stealing the show in the second act were Boy Blue Entertainment. This crew were outstanding. The precision, strength and agility demonstrated in their innovative and powerful choreography was fantastic. They are certainly a group not to miss if you get the chance to see them perform. Other highlights of the second act were The Ruggeds, whose breakdancing skills were eye-watering and Mufasa whose stylish dance included lovely vocals and the cello performed brilliantly by Ayanna Witter-Johnson.

This event was full of energy, passion and atmosphere. Whether you are a fan of hip-hop or not this was certainly a brilliant night out and audience members couldn’t help but join in by the end. The dancing, music and passion on stage was infectious.

Definitely, keep your eyes peeled for similar events held by Sadler’s Wells and the acts featured in this year’s Breakin’ Convention.

4 stars

Review by Amanda Reynolds

Breakin’ Convention, the renowned Sadler’s Wells project celebrates a landmark 15 Years this May Bank Holiday. To honour this auspicious anniversary Breakin’ Convention’s Artistic Director, UK hip hop theatre pioneer Jonzi D has created an extended programme looking back over the festival’s achievements, as well as looking forward to the future and possibilities of hip hop dance and culture.

International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre
Saturday 5 – Monday 7 May
Sadler’s Wells, EC1R


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