Breakin’ Convention 08: International Hip Hop Theatre

I found this excellent article from the United Kingdom’s, The Independent, regarding the international appreciation of B-Boying as a fine arts presentation. The article is excellent due to the fact Hip Hop‘s aesthetics are progressively being extracted and translated into other mediums as previously documented in Jeff Chang‘s book, Total Chaos. This weekend, from May 3-5, it is the Breaking Convention 08: An International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre at Sadler’s Wells in London.

Creator, Director, and Host of Breaking Convention, Jonzi D tapped into Hip Hop’s fine art influence in 1995 while inspired by productions ranging from NYC to Western Europe. He later teamed up with Sadler’s Well’s Executive Director, Alistair Spalding, whose liberal acceptance of the Hip Hop culture endorsed it on a silver platter in 2004. Together they exhibited Hip Hop as a full blown cultural experience seasoned with Graff Art and Turntablism. It became a festival blessed by the enthusiasm and respect of its audience, and it has steamrolled up hill ever since as a national tour.

Jonzi D’s cultural convictions are prolifically stated on his site:

“The success of Breakin’ Convention proves there is more to Hip Hop culture than the stereotypical ‘bling bling, gangsta rapper‘ image constantly presented in the media. Breakin’ Convention is the first festival in the UK that provides an international platform of artistic excellence in breakin’, popping, locking and the various developments in street dance forms. We are delighted that we can continue developing this fresh and funky dance style, re-energising the theatre for artists and audiences looking for something new.”

This year’s Breaking Convention 08 is headlined with international B-Boys and B-Girls performing from Japan, USA, Brazil, Korea, United Kingdom, Denmark, Austria, France, and Russia as in previous years. This is definitely an exceptional ensemble of Hip Hop’s global influence and appreciation, and why it is more universally celebrated as a culture throughout the rest of the world as it once did in the United States not long ago.

From what I have studied in The Independent’s Article, Sadler Well’s and the Breaking Convention’s site, this is a very important venue to the global Hip Hop community and to Hip Hop as a culture. I believe in the next few years this production will be touring continents. I really do believe this, and I am truly looking forward to one day being in the audience.

Below are two performances from prior Breaking Conventions.

Franck II Louise of The United Kingdom


Planet Soul of Korea


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