Breakin' Convention, Sadler's Wells, London

4.00

 

As Breakin’ Convention reaches its tenth birthday, it celebrates generations of hip hop dance. The youngest performers on stage on Sunday night were B-Girls Eddie and Terra, who are nine and six years old; the line-up also starred the Electric Boogaloos, the pioneering hip hop group who formed in 1975. From new styles to accepted masters, it’s a festival with sharp moves and a happy sense of community.

The audience coos at the cuteness of Eddie and Terra, who dance with Soul Mavericks, then bursts into applause at their polished windmills and handstands. The adults of the group snap from virtuoso steps into frozen groupings, making frames that other dancers can burst through.

The “next level” in Brooklyn’s Nextlevelsquad is impossible flexibility. This crew uses bonebreaking, a technique that pushes shoulders and elbows to double-jointed extremes. They dance wearing gas masks, faces hidden and distorted as they twist their bodies into tight knots. The audience’s oohs mix with squawks of appreciative horror.

None of these dancers are naturally double-jointed, their frontman explains to Jonzi D, Breakin’ Convention’s founder, curator and host, before he’s embarrassed into giggles by female whoops at his bare torso.

The all-female French crew Zamounda add touches of jazz and African dance to the hip hop mix, slinking and strutting with fierce cool. Another French dancer, Emilie Sudre of Compagnie Révolution, breakdances in spike heels and a little black dress. She’s both seductive and confrontational, purring through her acrobatics in steady slow motion.

The Electric Boogaloos’ number sets them up as exhibits in a museum of music, with a robotic female voice announcing different periods from soul onwards. It plays on the Boogaloos’ reputation as the grand old men of hip hop, while giving them the chance to whisk through their greatest hits. Their style is still taut and distinctive.

Hip hop is full of inspirational slogans, performers talking about challenging themselves. The ILL-Abilities crew, who all have different disabilities, build that language into their set. The show Limitless introduces each man, then shows him overcoming his apparent limits in an explosion of movement. The journey format is a surefire success, but does reduce the amount of time we see them dancing – a pity, since they’re remarkable as dancers, as well as for triumph over adversity.

Breakin’ Convention spills happily off the stage of Sadler’s Wells, which produces the festival. There are freestyle circles in the foyers, demonstrations of graffiti art and beatboxing, people trying things out. Between acts, audience members win t-shirts by jumping on stage to dance – and by dancing well. Hip hop dance’s next generation look ready and eager.

Until 6 May; box office: 0844 412 4300

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam