Sadler’s Wells, London
May 4, 2019
Now in its 16th year, Breakin’ Convention again featured a vibrant mix of hip hop performances. Besides the main acts on stage, where the charismatic personalities of hosts Jonzi D (curator of Breakin’ Convention) and Jacqui Beckford added to the lively nature of the event, audience members were given glimpses into the hip hop culture with tasters around the Sadler’s Wells building.
From UK female body poppers to break dancing from South Korea, there was a wide variety of talent in this annual celebration of hip hop. The dancers all performed with a strong relationship to the music, which ranged from instrumental and electronic through more soulful to upbeat numbers.
The different styles presented saw much use of unison; sometimes basic, bit at times with high bursts of energy. The intricate patterns and bodily isolations made for a very easy watch.
One of the many impressive performances was by Geometrie Variable, a hip hop dance company from France. Although somewhat repetitive, the dancers’ complex and methodical arm movements were fascinating in their detail. As they combined tutting and popping, they created an array of lines and patterns using their arms. The various duos, trios and quartets, and the shapes created, made for an intriguing visual.
Also notable, if different, was James Gregg and Rubberlegz who perform as a duo. As their name suggests, they display an unnatural use of the legs. The complexities of their movement created an intimate piece that had a distinct and memorable identity.
Some of the acts had a more lighthearted and upbeat feel. One in particular was Perry Louis’ JazzCotech Crew, a group who perform UK dancefloor jazz and whose style reflects the clubbing scene of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Their fast footwork is a defining staple to their performance.
However, of all the individual performers on stage, the one that sticks in the memory is Logistx, a renowned, young dancer from America. Just fifteen years old but already a very strong dancer, she showed a great amount of control, maturity, sensitivity and highly developed self-expression. The audience were quite rightly impressed. Her choreographic style includes intriguing hand gestures and she is capable of flips, turns and headstands that appear quite naturally.
Rounding off the show, Jinjo Crew is an extremely talented group of break dancers from South Korea who bring a unique style and culture to the stage. They produced multiple tricks and impressive stunts including plenty of flips and at least a dozen head spins. The way they took everything to the extreme made for a very exciting final performance. They also have plenty of personal charisma: animated, engaging and with lots of attitude.
But what is most notable about Breakin’ Convention is the broad range of talent from dancers as they showcase a love for their craft. The interactive and inclusive nature of the event also makes for a highly entertaining and enjoyable evening.