South Korean Hip Hop group MOVER. Picture: BAKI

Breakin’ Convention

Birmingham Hippodrome


Hip Hop and street dance has come a long way, growing internationally over time from its initial American roots. With TV Talent shows giving a welcome platform to this art form, a new and continually growing culture has evolved.

With the recognition of Sadler’s Wells, Hip Hop has now been fused with contemporary dance and although a lot of the classic moves are still there, there is an intelligence and thoughtful creative input that puts it on par with any other classical dance form.

Breakin’ Convention began back in 2004 as a unified celebration of street dance. Jonzi D the festivals founder and host on the night, has ensured that independent dance artists and teams throughout the UK have had a professional stage to showcase their abilities and the amazing work that is being done.

The show comprises of internationally renowned acts alongside locally represented acts from within the tour locations.

Highlights of the evening were the openers Coady Crew UK. A large well skilled team who collectively provide a uniformed dance spectacle, with a couple of very young star performers in the team. Their routine called Suits was an energetic and strong team performance and a great show opener.

Company Apidea, another UK act, produced a highly fluid piece called Dissention. With just a trio of performers and an emotive soundtrack they invented new and intricate moves not seen before and showed clearly how Hip Hop has transmuted into another form. 


Dutch artist Yvonne Smink defying gravity. Picture: Richard Budd

Yvonne Smink from the Netherlands took the art of Gymnastic Pole dance to another level. Her piece symbolized an underwater and watery experience. With impossible power she seemed airborne, whilst at times supporting her entire weight gripping the high pole only with her ankles, an act that silenced the audience with her technique.

Korean performers Mover have built their act around more traditional Hip Hop dance moves. In stark Black and White they added beatboxing to their performance and one of the team literally became a spinning top on his head and at speeds that seemed impossible to achieve.

Ghetto Funk Collective from the Netherlands brought back a New York swagger to their performance. Whilst the other acts opted for solid beats or experimental soundtracks they danced to a James Brown type soundtrack. Just when you thought they had finished and took their applause, they dropped another beat and hyped their routine even more.

All in all every act was superb and there were way too many teams and performers to mention. With other activities and Dance offs around the theatre prior to and after the show, it made for a truly unique evening of street dance entertainment.

Considering many of these teams and performers are self-taught or formed from individual independent and local collectives, it is a great show case for the art form and the truly inspiring work that is being done. To Wednesday, 14-06-23.

Jeff Grant


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