Video above: ‘I am really happy to say that this particular configuration of artists in Denver is the only one we are doing, not only in America, but in the world,’ says Jonzi D. Interview by Senior Arts Journalist John Moore. Video by DCPA Video Producer David Lenk.
The hip-hop dance theatre extravaganza will include a lineup specially tailored for Denver and the return of popular 303 Jam
Breakin’ Convention, Sadler’s Wells Theatre’s critically acclaimed international hip-hop dance theatre festival, will return to The Buell Theatre the weekend of November 3-4. Events will include a special matinee for students only on Friday, November 2, and the popular 303 Jam will return on Saturday, November 3. That’s a full afternoon of free activities, performances, live DJs and workshops. Tickets are on sale now.
Sadler’s Wells Theatre, located in London, is renowned as one of the world’s leading dance venues. Breakin’ Convention is the world’s biggest festival of hip-hop dance theatre. Curated and hosted by U.K. hip-hop pioneer Jonzi D, the weekend will be filled with performances from world champion bboy crews to cutting-edge street-dance companies live on stage and taking over the whole building. Events will include dance workshops, graffiti, DJs and freestyle sessions.
This year’s line-up features the dynamic world champion bboy crew The Ruggeds (Netherlands); hip-hop dance from BirdGang Dance Company (U.K.) tackling subject of addiction; a moving solo celebrating black beauty with music by Nina Simone from French dancer Antoinette Gomis (France); a comedic duet from Sample Culture (Netherlands); and the renowned popping trio Femme Fatale from Los Angeles. That plus eight curated local acts to be announced.
“This is not just about dance from around the world,” said Alicia Bruce, General Manager of the DCPA’s Broadway division. “It’s also about dance from around the corner.”
Jonzi D is the founder and Artistic Director of Jonzi D Projects and Breakin’ Convention. A dancer, spoken-word artist and director, he is the foremost advocate for hip hop who has changed the profile and influenced the development of the U.K. British hip-hop dance and theatre scene over the past two decades.
“Theatre has been missing out on a brand-new vision and voice and audience,” Jonzi D said. “This is a chance where you can bring your children and your grandchildren to something which will hopefully bring the whole family together and also demystify maybe some of the stereotypes that people have about hip-hop.”
Ian Flaws, again the designated local rep for the Denver gathering, made it clear that Breakin’ Convention is, indeed, all about breaking conventions. His personal priority, he said, is authenticity.
“I am excited to be asked to do this again because this will be a bigger stage and a bigger platform that we are all hungry for here in the community,” said Flaws, who runs the Bboy Factory here in Denver, which is a dance studio dedicated to the preservation of the traditional hip-hop culture. “And I think we deserve it,” he added, “because there is a ton of talent in this state.”
Flaws said Breakin’ Convention is a unique opportunity for the larger metro population to get a taste of what hip-hop is all about — especially if for the first time.
“It will be a great introduction to hip-hop,” said Flaws. “And when I say hip-hop, that usually brings an automatic assumption that we are only talking about rap music. Hip-hop is really a big, vibrant culture that includes dance, art, food and music. Hip-hop is a culture that comes from the street, and I think Breakin’ Convention is a beautiful introduction to everything that is positive in hip-hop culture.”
Breakin’ Convention 2018: Ticket Information
• Dates: November 3-4
• The Buell Theatre and surrounding areas
• Full schedule off workshops, activities and performances
• Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE
• Groups: Call 303-446-4829
• Special student-only matinee performance at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 2
• Breakin’ Convention officially kicks off with the free 303 Jam from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, November 3, at The Buell Theatre. Enjoy free activities and performances including live DJs, workshops, free demonstrations and performances. Free fun for the whole family. Appropriate for ages 7 and up.