Lawrence Toppman

Breakin’ Convention hip-hops back to Charlotte this fall

Just Dance, which will perform at Breakin’ Convention 2016 in Charlotte, brings high-energy hip-hop from Korea.
Just Dance, which will perform at Breakin’ Convention 2016 in Charlotte, brings high-energy hip-hop from Korea.

Even retired breakdancers don’t like to rest on their laurels – or anywhere else. So irrepressible Jonzi D will return with the second Charlotte edition of Breakin’ Convention Sept. 30-Oct. 1, bringing a lineup of new talent.

Breakin’ Convention, created by Sadler’s Wells in London and sponsored here by Blumenthal Performing Arts, premiered in Charlotte last October with an outdoor festival and two striking evenings of dance on the Knight Theater stage. The event, sponsored by Sprite in Charlotte, has rocked Sadler’s Wells London since 2004.

The format will be similar to last year’s. You’ll get free activities in a Street Jam sponsored by the Arts & Science Council. This event will include live DJs, graffiti artists, and even hip-hop dance workshops. Meanwhile, local b-boy, b-girl, and other hip-hop dance crews and artists will come from Charlotte and the surrounding areas to perform alongside better-known artists brought to town.

Jonzi D has curated shows that will import groups from Korea, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada, and all these performers are new to Charlotte this year.

Just Dance Productions has a seven-person crew that includes some of Korea’s most notorious b-boys, who fuse traditional Korean music and culture with high-energy breaking. The Canadian-Swedish alliance Tentacle Tribe, led by Emmanuelle LêPhan and Elon Höglund, uses conceptual hip hop and influences from all types of earthly creatures, incorporating different dance and movement techniques.

South African artist Jane Sekonya had a scholarship at Ballet Rambert School of Dance in London in the ’90s but has performed with Jonzi D Productions and been directed by Jonzi as a solo artist since 1999. And the UK entry Pro-Motion, six dancers who came together in 2015, uses dubstep and electronic music to showcase popping and animation skills. (In animation dance, a performer pretends to be an inanimate model trying to move like a human.)

You can learn more at 704-372-1000 or BlumenthalArts.org.

Toppman: 704-358-5232

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