Breakin' Traditions of Dance

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Byline: By Tamsin Lewis

An acclaimed Hip Hop dance festival is breaking out of London and into Newcastle as organiser Jonzi D explains to Tamzin Lewis.

It will probably be the first time that locking, popping, beatboxing, and DJing takes over the Theatre Royal. Breakin' Convention is the aptly named showcase for some of the world's best Hip Hop dancers at Newcastle's historic theatre tomorrow. (WED).

The night has been preceded by theatre workshops introducing DJ skills and Hip Hop dance styles, films at Side Cinema and classes today (TUES) at Dance City with performers.

Breakin' Convention will be hosted by Hip Hop pioneer Jonzi D, who is intentionally bringing the dance style into a theatre environment.

He promises to give the Theatre Royal a makeover with DJs cutting and scratching in the foyer.

Jonzi D says: "Ultimately we will help save the future of the theatre because a lot of young people don't go to there as they feel it doesn't relate to them.

"Nightclubs and concert halls represent modern day culture, music and ideas, and a lot of productions in theatres don't do that. It is important for theatres that we have something a lot of young people can relate to and develop an artistic discipline in."

Breakin' Convention is a special breakaway tour of Sadler's Wells' internationally acclaimed Hip Hop Dance Theatre Festival, now in its fourth year.

This is the first time that the festival appears outside of London and performing in Newcastle are Electric Boogaloos from Los Angeles, Brazilian Frank Ejara and Franck II Louise from France.

Jonzi D, a Sadler's Wells associate artist, says: "These artists really sum up the Breakin' Convention ideals and it is important that these three acts are part of the first tour. Electric Boogaloos are pioneers of body popping, Frank Ejara has a clever theatrical approach to dance, while Franck II Louise explores a futuristic landscape freeing itself from the constraints of a restrictive society."

Appearing from the North-East will be Bad Taste Cru and Eye of the Fly with guest DJ/MCs including Ken Masters & Pacca Merchants and human beatbox Mr Breaks. …