Hip Hop Theatre Festival Breaking’ Convention 2023 announces first Headline Acts

Breakin’ Convention 2023 has announced the first headline acts for their 20th anniversary celebration of the UK hip hop theatre festival.

The first international and UK headline acts of the 2023 festival include: the Ghetto Funk Collective from the Netherlands, Brazilian b-boy Samuka, French dance collective La Diva aux Pieds Nus, UK dance company Far From The Norm, Dutch threading artist Justin de Jager, and Boy Blue, east London’s leading street dance company.

The festivals is set to take place from Friday 28 April to Monday 1 May at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. The festival, hosted and curated by UK hip hop theatre legend and Breakin’ Convention Artistic Director Jonzi D, will feature local and international acts showcasing the best of hip hop dance, including poppers, lockers, b-boys and b-girls. The foyer will also receive a makeover, with live DJs, bespoke graffiti, and freestyle sessions, creating an ultimate celebration of hip hop culture.

For the first time, Breakin’ Convention will present a series of events across London venues in the lead up to the Festival at Sadler’s Wells. The festival will start with an extended weekend at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, before embarking on a UK tour across nine venues from 17 May to 14 June.

Breakin’ Convention Artistic Director Jonzi D said: “20 years strong! We started big. We presented pioneering og’s from the US, breaking champions from Korea, and visionaries from France. We graffitied the mezzanine. We transformed the audience at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. We didn’t stop. We grew.

“20 years later, we’ve become the most globally recognised brand in hip hop dance theatre. Our artistic development programmes have nurtured hundreds of artists, and I’m proud to say that next year we will welcome the first cohort into our Hip Hop Theatre Academy in the new Sadler’s Wells East building.

“For the first time, the Festival spreads its wings to showcase artists in several London venues leading up to our bank holiday celebrations at Sadler’s Wells, providing more opportunities to engage with poetry, and text based performance. We will also spread the flava across the UK with our national tour! We’ll present world class crews from the Netherlands and Korea, and local dance crews from Brighton to Blackpool.

“20 years has flown by. Because our values have remained intact. Our goals are clear. The concept is the same as it ever was… ‘The best hip hop theatre from around the world, and around the corner.’”

Reflecting on the Festival anniversary, Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Sir Alistair Spalding, said: “Sadler’s Wells is so proud of what Breakin’ Convention has achieved over the past 20 years. It has grown to be an important reference point and showcase for talent today, consistently keeping a finger on the pulse of the dance world to present relevant acts that need to be seen.

It’s a big anniversary, and we are so excited to be opening the Hip Hop Academy Theatre in Stratford in 2024.”

More international and local acts will be announced in due course. Breakin’ Convention 2023 promises to be a landmark celebration of hip hop culture and dance.

More about the acts

Ghetto Funk Collective is a dance company specializing in locking and draws inspiration from the 1970s funk era.

Brazilian b-boy Samuka is a member of Ill-Abilities, an international breakdancing crew of disabled dancers who showcase their unique dance moves.

La Diva aux Pieds Nus is a French dance collective of five Black women who celebrate women in their individuality and plurality through waacking, krump, popping, hip hop, house, and Afro.

Far From The Norm creates social and political work through hip hop theatre and experimental movement. Justin de Jager presents a new piece for three UK dancers and Boy Blue is a multi-award-winning street dance company.

👤 📅2 February 2023
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📷 Main photo: Breakin Convention - Sadler Wells

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