Breakin’ Convention 12

Breakin’ Convention 12

Photo: Paul Hampartsoumian

Hip hop dance festival featuring many groups from throughout UK

There are so many things to love about Breakin’ Convention, from the pre-show action in the foyer to the charged atmosphere that fills the Festival Theatre. But perhaps the most inspirational aspect of this bi-annual hip hop festival is the way local, relatively unknown acts share the same bill as international stars.

This year’s show will feature male/female duo Clash 66 from France and Korea, and current b-boy world champions Vagabonds Crew, also from France. They’ll be performing on the same stage as breakdance and streetdance crews from Scotland and Newcastle, because shining a light on local talent is every bit as important as showcasing world-class superstars.

‘Breakin’ Convention represents the breadth of hip hop theatre performance from around the world,’ says co-host, Tony Mills. ‘With work that is conceptual and narrative-led all the way through to more commercially-orientated streetdance. All the while trying not to lose the rawness that is integral to hip hop dance styles. We try to reflect this in the local act programme, encouraging groups who want to take a more conceptual approach, and those who simply want to show off their skills.’

Representing the local scene on Friday 18 will be Mills’ own crew, Random Aspekts, which has joined forces with Heavy Smokers to create a work inspired by Motown. Captivating dancer Daniel Aing will deliver a solo, b-girl group Ready Ready Sauce take a look at social issues that have affected them, and Edinburgh-based all-female crew Jack in The Box make a welcome return to the Breakin’ Convention stage.

The following night, Heavy Smokers are back to demonstrate their high level of technical ability, Newcastle’s Sana crew and Bad Taste are also in town (the latter deemed by Mills to be ‘one of the UK’s top crews’), as are all-female outfit Rockabeat. ‘They focus strictly on the locking dance style,’ explains Mills, ‘and it’s refreshing to have a crew that’s dedicated to excelling in one form. Locking could be considered a lesser-known funk dance style, so I’m excited that Scottish audiences will get a taste of this.’

Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Fri 18 & Sat 19 May

Breakin' Convention 12

This celebration of hip hop dance theatre features interactive freestyle sessions, live DJ and demonstrations taking place out in the foyer.