Tickets for Sept. 30 – Oct. 1 on sale NOW!
An exciting new line-up of international acts is headed to Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts for Breakin’ Convention, the international festival of hip hop dance theatre created by London’s Sadler’s Wells, returning to Blumenthal Performing Arts Sept. 30 – Oct. 1.
“The return of Breakin’ Convention to Charlotte is incredibly exciting after the premiere event brought such an entirely new energy, and new audiences, to our theater,” said Blumenthal Performing Arts President and CEO Tom Gabbard. “Not only do families have the opportunity to experience performances from some of the most notable hip hop artists from around the world and from right here in the Queen City at Knight Theater, but this year we’re also inviting the public to enjoy free activities all week long on the plaza at Levine Center for the Arts.”
Breakin’ Convention, sponsored by Sprite in Charlotte, has been produced and presented annually at Sadler’s Wells London since 2004.
“We are pleased that Sprite is returning to Breakin’ Convention CLT 2016 as the presenting sponsor,” said Reginald Bean, Multicultural Marketing Director for Charlotte-based Coca-Cola Consolidated. “This exciting event is not only a showcase of some of the best talent in hip hop dance culture, but also an incredibly fun night for families to enjoy together.”
The festival comprises stage performances of the very best in hip hop dance theatre from around the world and around the corner. Breakin’ Convention is a true celebration of hip hop culture. It is regarded as one of the defining new stories of dance in the UK and beyond in the past decade. This two-day celebration of hip hop culture will feature Friday and Saturday night shows at Knight Theater showcasing some of the world’s great hip hop dance stars. During the day on Saturday, enjoy free activities and performances at the Street Jam. This event at Spirit Square is sponsored by the ASC and will include live DJ’s, graffiti, and even hip hop dance workshops where you can test your skills.
An integral part of Breakin’ Convention is the inclusion of local acts. Several b-boy, b-girl, and other hip hop style dance crews and artists will come from Charlotte and the surrounding areas. The aim is to unearth emerging artists and give them a unique opportunity to perform at a major venue and be inspired by the other artists with whom they are performing alongside.
Just Dance (Korea)
Just Dance Productions presents a seven strong crew comprising some of Korea’s most notorious bboys including Bboy Pocket and Bboy Ducky, fusing traditional Korean music and culture with high energy breaking. Just Dance Productions work in cooperation with the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, Korea Tourism Organization, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Korea Foundation.
Tentacle Tribe (Canada)
Tentacle Tribe is a Canadian-Swedish creative alliance between Emmanuelle LêPhan and Elon Höglund. Although having worked together since 2005, Tentacle Tribe was founded in 2012 while the two artists were performing their first official collaboration, a duet tailored for the Cirque Du Soleil stage in Québec City. The Montreal-based dance company creates uncommon dance works with a contemporary twist using conceptual hip hop and influences from all types of earthly creatures. As practitioners of different dance and movement techniques, active participants in the street dance scene, and as stage performers, they approach choreography through a wide variety of movement philosophies. They wish to create work that transcends the boundaries separating movement styles and that express the embodiment of music beyond technique. The work experiments with intricate partnering, refined musicality and a saturated dose of physical choreography.
Jane Sekonya (South Africa)
Born and bred in Kathlehong-Johannesburg Jane began her career training at the Johannesburg Dance Foundation in 1988 before gaining a scholarship at Ballet Rambert School of Dance in London during 1994. Jane has performed with Jonzi D Productions and been directed by Jonzi D as a solo artist since 1999. Collaborations include: Aeroplane Man national tour from 1999-2004; Spoti, a solo piece directed by Jonzi D premiered at The Place theatre, London in 2001; Period Piece, an ensemble piece directed by Jonzi D premiered at The Place Theatre, London in 2005; Ivan – a duet produced by Jonzi D Productions and premiered at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in 2006; Untitled solo directed by Jonzi D and produced by Jonzi D Productions performed as part of Lyrikal Fearta and Other Works at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in 2012.
Pro-Motion, formed in 2015, is the brand-new animation dance concept from the internationally renowned streetdance company, Plague. With the popularity of dubstep and electronic music, Pro-Motion was created to showcase futuristic choreography and features an elite collective of the UK’s very best popping and animation dancers. Having already performed alongside music legend, George Clinton, as well as performances at the inaugural Baku European Games Ceremony 2015 and the 2016 Olivier Awards, Pro-Motion is already building a strong reputation on the global dance scene. Founded by Rob Pountney of ProDance and headed up by Plague choreographer, Brooke Milliner, Pro-Motion is a six strong team of unique streetdancers who all specialize in different aspects of the popping dance umbrella in styles such as waving, tutting, robot and boogaloo. Much of the choreography features illusionistic movements and intricate musicality and it is easy to appreciate the high level of skill and technical ability within the group.
Jonzi D (UK)
As the Artistic Director of Breakin’ Convention and Jonzi D Projects, Jonzi D has been actively involved in British hip hop culture, rapping and b-boying since its genesis in the early 80s. Since graduating from the London Contemporary Dance School, Jonzi has been committed to the development of hip hop theatre, creating Lyrikal Fearta in 1995 and Aeroplane Manin 1999. He was an Associate Artist at The Place Theatre and has performed and created dance theatre pieces all over Europe, North America, Russia, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Cuba, Uganda and Southern Africa. As an MC/poet, Jonzi D has worked with The Roots, Steve Williamson, Mannafest, Lenny Henry, MC Mell ‘O’ and toured with Gangstarr. He is currently a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist.
For more information about Breakin’ Convention, visit BlumenthalArts.org.
Image credits: Tentacle Tribe – Place des Arts, October 2014 – Vintage; Just Dance – Jason Halayko; Pro-Motion – Paul Hampartsoumian.