One-handed hops and dizzying spins

UK’s biggest festival of hip hop dance comes to Birmingham.

The UK’s biggest festival of Hip Hop Dance, Breakin’ Convention, comes to Birmingham in June bringing jaw-dropping performances from around the world and around the corner.

Taking place on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd June at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Breakin’ Convention includes live performances from international hip hop dance crews including Soweto Skeleton Movers (South Africa), Just Dance (South Korea) and Tentacle Tribe (Canada). In addition to the headline international acts, local crews, DJs, graffiti art and freestyle jams will transform The REP’s foyer making Breakin’ Convention an experience rather than just a show.

Now in its 14th year, Breakin’ Convention has firmly established itself as one of the major highlights on the British dance calendar and one of the world’s greatest celebrations of hip hop culture, hosted and curated by UK hip hop pioneer Jonzi D.

Jonzi D said: “It’s a pleasure to bring Breakin’ Convention to The REP. The Birmingham hip hop scene is one of the best in the UK and whenever we’ve brought Breakin’ Convention there in the past, it’s always been hype!”

From the most notorious township on the African continent comes the Soweto Skeleton Movers. Experts in Pantsula, a native South African township dance, the crew use comedic contortionism, frenetic footwork and magical hat tricks to a soundtrack of Afro house to astound and amaze.

Joining them is all-female Canadian crew, Tentacle Tribe. Founded in 2012, the Montreal-based dance company create conceptual hip hop pieces with a contemporary twist. B-Girls Cleopatra, Vic Versa and M-Queen give the impression of interlocking parts of a complex machine with one dancer’s precise moves setting off echoes that ripple through the group.

Completing the international line up, and making their UK premiere, are Just Dance from South Korea. Choreographed by B-boy, Ducky Kim, Just Dance presents an updated vision of Korean shamanistic mask performance. Live Korean drumming accompanies a crew of poppers and B-boys, many with world titles to their name.

Breakin Convention offers local dance companies the opportunity to perform alongside international acts. The festival line-up includes Rhythm Junkiez Dance Company from Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham based companies Jigsaw Collective, Broken Silence, Marshon Cadets, 2014 UDO world street dance champions Street Dance Academy and Nuvo Origin. The two day festival is suitable for all ages and includes B-Totz for under 10s on Saturday 3rd June from 1pm–4pm.

Jonzi D is the founder and Artistic Director of Jonzi D Projects and Breakin’ Convention. A dancer, spoken word artist and director, he is an advocate for hip hop and has changed the profile and influenced the development of the UK British hip hop dance and theatre scene over the last two decades. Jonzi D is a graduate from the London Contemporary Dance School and an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells. He has toured his own work internationally and is regularly invited to judge international dance competitions.