Breakin’ Convention’s all-new international line-up is heading to Birmingham Hippodrome on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 June as part of its ground-breaking hip-hop festival.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Breakin’ Convention 2023 will commence at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in April before embarking on a major UK tour, which culminates at the Hippodrome.
Hosted and curated by Breakin’ Convention’s Artistic Director Jonzi D, Breakin’ Convention 2023 showcases exceptional hip-hop crews from all over the UK including top poppers, lockers, b-boys and b-girls plus showstopping international acts.
The Breakin’ Convention festival will feature live DJs, graffiti artists and freestyle dance sessions taking place all over the Hippodrome. A renowned and inclusive celebration of hip-hop culture, Breakin’ Convention’s national tour will host three exceptional, international acts plus the best local crews in each location, carefully chosen by Jonzi D, local hip-hop representatives and the Breakin’ Convention team.
The Hippodrome’s programme features Coady Crew, Company Apidae, Gfunk Collective, O’Driscoll Collective on Tuesday 13 June and DanceNuvo, Marshon Dance Company, Nathan Lafayette, and Reckless on Wednesday 14 June. The local crews will be joined by the festivals touring headline acts.
Breakin’ Convention’s headliners are as follows:
Ghetto Funk Collective (Netherlands)
A collective of artists including dancers, musicians, DJs and more, Co-founded by best friends Ruben Chi and Roché Apinsa, Ghetto Funk Collective has created its own funk-fuelled movement, sound and experience. Dancers include Rowly Hughne, Imaury Dos Santos Moreno Horta, Joshua Markiet, Jinko Adams, Joao Balde Arias and Ibrah Kakande. The crew will perform It’s on the one, named after a phrase used in a funk to describe a tight and syncopated rhythm emphasising the first beat of each measure – James Brown often directed his band with this during live performances. The dancers take the audience on a journey paying homage to funk’s rich cultural heritage while infusing it with a fresh, modern sensibility, a celebration of funk dance styles and a testament to its enduring power.
Yvonne Smink (Netherlands)
Bringing her highly original, hip-hop-infused take on the art of pole dancing, Yvonne has been honing her skills since 2011, practising every day. Her practice originated from wall climbing and she immediately fell in love with the physical challenge pole dancing offers. Her breathtaking, gravity-defying signature style is influenced by Chinese pole and breakdance amongst other forms. Every performance is loaded with power moves and intricate detail as Yvonne demonstrates her natural grace, flow and physical dexterity.
Yvonne is a multiple Dutch and international pole champion who owns her own pole dancing school for all levels and performs in over 60 countries across the world. Her showstopping performance at Breakin’ Convention 2022 at Sadler’s Wells earned her exceptional praise as audiences watched her dance, high above stage level. She lives and works in Paris.
MOVER (South Korea)
Founded in 2014, MOVER is a creative crew producing various activities not limited to specific genres of dance but building on and utilising their considerable skills as breakers. With Artistic Director, Seoljin Kim, MOVER take various challenges beyond just moving the body, dancers Bboy Rocket, Bboy Tazo, Bboy Mario, Bboy Sknuf, Bboy Pocket and Bgirl Steel8 complete the line-up. MOVER will perform a piece titled Merry-Go-Round referring to a DJing technique in hip-hop that repeats the interlude or break of a song by using twin turntables. In their view, B-Boying, which originated from this music is a dance that mirrors our lives, flowing and moving with a repeated rhythm.
A wide range of emotions such as joy and sadness, accomplishment and emptiness are expressed by the dancers and performed to dynamic Korean traditional music, delivering a sense of “heung” (a sense of joyful excitement) and “han” (a sense of deep sorrow or resentment) brought to life by MOVER via dance.
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.
“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 have 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.’”
Breakin’ Convention is at Birmingham Hippodrome on Tuesday 13 June and Wednesday 14 June.
Tickets can be booked online at birminghamhippodrome.com or by calling the box office on 0844 338 5000*
*0844 calls will cost you 4.5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.