Blumenthal Performing Arts will bring the hip-hop dance festival Breakin’ Convention to Charlotte for its Southeastern debut and only its second trip to the United States.
The fest first came to North America in 2013, when it played the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Now it comes to Levine Center for the Arts on Oct. 9-10 with performances by hip-hop artists from around the world, as well as artists from Charlotte and the surrounding region. There will be ticketed performances in Knight Theater on Friday and Saturday nights, plus free activities and daytime performances on Saturday on the grounds of Levine Center and inside Knight Theater.
Sadler’s Wells Theatre, the British presenters who launched the festival 12 years ago, change the lineup every year. They augment it not only with local dancers but with local graffiti artists, DJs, beatboxers and MCs. The deadline period for applications is April 20-May 4, with auditions May 21-23. Details: breakinconvention.com.
Jonzi D, the artistic director of Breakin’ Convention and Jonzi D Projects, has been involved in British hip-hop culture, rapping and b-boying since its genesis in the early 1980s. Since graduating from the London Contemporary Dance School, he has been committed to the development of hip-hop theater, creating “Lyrikal Fearta” in 1995 and “Aeroplane Man” in 1999.
Blumenthal President Tom Gabbard calls him “the visionary who has driven this project from its inception and ... our guide for the launch in Charlotte. (He) is working to place hip-hop dance in the art zone (where) a company like Alvin Ailey resides.”