Breakin' Convention: local hip hop crews hold their own on the world stage
- Lucy Ribchester
- 9 May 2017
Scotland's hip-hop scene shows itself to be thriving and versatile in Breakin' Convention's celebration of local companies
Breakin' Convention founder and artistic director, Jonzi D sums it up when he says that this weekend of hip hop is about 'the best work from around the world, and around the corner.' Over the course of two nights, companies from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee, spanning age ranges, shared the stage with internationally renowned crews from South Africa, Canada and South Korea.
Jonzi D and Tony Thrills are gold-hearted hosts who make the Festival Theatre feel both raucous and cosy – each evening defies you not to leave on a high after soaking up the energy, attitude, teamwork and style on stage. It's also a window into the versatility of hip hop dance in exploring different themes, and it's fascinating to see how different Scottish companies are using and fusing it.
There are the traditional crews giving us crowd-pleasing formations and blasts of showy solos – YoungBlud Crew, a five-strong team of stylish movers led by choreographer Rudy Mbunzama, and Dundee's B-Bairns, a crew made up of children and parents, whose aim is to boost self-esteem and family bonding. In both groups, the flair is fabulous and they know how to play to their strengths and show an audience a grand time.
Then there are companies using hip hop to create narrative or emotional experiences. Ashley Jack's MiniJackers Youth Company has developed a fizzing, flickering piece about the overuse of technology, that buzzes with an unnerving spark.