Antonio Bukhar Ssebuuma (UK)
Box ticking, code switching or forge a way through the back door, Ssebuuma examines the sacrifices made to meet institutional acceptance. Ssebuuma is co-founder of Ugandan hip hop dance crew Tabu Flo and course leader for the CertHE Cultural Dance Forms course at Northern School of Contemporary Dance.
Made up of young dancers with different special needs and disabilities is AWA (Atypical with Attitude), making its Breakin’ Convention debut with a piece acknowledging the power of unity. Blindfolded dancers express feelings of loss and isolation whilst finding companionship and commonality through their hip hop dance vocabulary. The company featured as part of BBC talent show The Greatest Dancer in 2019.
Waacking artist Bagsy asks what it means to be a man, in new work Surrender. Taking inspiration from his own identity, examining masculinity, expectations and Yoruba’s god of thunder Shango, Bagsy creates an intimate exploration of his journey through the form of waacking. The work was developed as part of Breakin’ Convention’s artistic development programme Back to the Lab (2021).
Gemma Hoddy (UK)
Veteran of the award-winning Boy Blue, Gemma Hoddy presents Betty’s Blues. A quartet of women perform a sassy blend of iconic jazz dance shapes, punctuated by a furious popping technique. Paying homage to the classic generation of musical theatre, jazz samples and thumping hip hop beats are brought by producer and co-founder of Boy Blue, Mikey J Asante.
Patience J (UK)
Last seen at Breakin’ Convention in 2015 with Girlz On Point (GOP), Patience J brings energy and attitude with Colours, a celebratory work exploring modern Afro dance forms from the African diaspora including n’dombolo and azonto. An established performer and choreographer, Patience J has collaborated with an assortment of world-famous brands and vocal artists.
Spin and S.I Stature (UK)
Making their Breakin’ Convention debut is Colombian b-boy Spin and rap artist S.I Stature who present a power struggle between two armies. Developed as part of Breakin’ Convention’s recent Open Art Surgery, they use combative breaking and spoken word to shine light on the crisis in Colombia.
Spoken Movement (UK)
Returning to Sadler’s Wells with Family Honour is Spoken Movement led by artistic director Kwame Asafo-Adjei. The work uses popping and tutting to illustrate a psychologically potent duet between Asafo-Adjei himself and dancer Catrina Nisbett which explores the religious and cultural taboos in a Ghanaian family. It has won multiple awards worldwide including Paris’ Danse Élargie in 2018.
W.A.R (We Ain’t Regular) brings the raw to the Sadler’s Wells stage with a world premiere performance. The company appeared alongside rap artist Stormzy for his performance of Shut Up at Glastonbury 2020.
As well as world-class dance crews and soloists, the 2021 programme features films from Breakin’ Convention’s latest initiatives Power to the Pixel and Next Day Delivery – a collaboration between choreographers and writers. Next Day Delivery films come from winners Sun Kim and Surid – (Gas) Lighting; Anthony and Kel Matsena – Too Much, Too Little; Ken Masters and Rob Anderson; and Berkavitch and Si Rawlinson – Eat The Rich.
2021 marks Breakin’ Convention’s 18th anniversary. Best known for its flagship annual festival, its year-round