Review: Breakin' Convention at Sadler's Wells

Performance: 3 - 5 May 08
Reviewed by Stella H - Friday 9 May 2008

Sunday 4 May

Having missed only one Breakin’ Convention so far I was interested to see what was on offer this year. with so many companies showing over the weekend its always difficult to choose which day to go. I opted for the Sunday night as I’d heard so much about the Austrian company Moving Shadows – now called Nobulus. Wish I’d been able to go on the other two nights as well, the Membros and Project Soul pieces sound amazing – maybe an opportunity for a triple bill performance with the three headlining acts? What struck me about the Sunday night line-up was that although the work still boasts high energy dynamic, and sometimes impossibly fast, dance routines, mixed with awe inspiring jumps, flips, spins from the b-boys and b-girls – overall the choreography has changed from some of the pieces I saw in the first BC festival. The pieces are relying less on the ‘wow’ factor of flips and head spinning, and are now focusing on developing interesting choreography that explore more complex themes with an emphasis on finding variations in pace, mood, dynamics and styles. Some pieces seemed further along this choreographic journey than others. Its harder to maintain the pace of the high impact hard hitting movement for the lengthier pieces. So the choreographers are discovering ways to keep the momentum while delivering an interesting and engaging piece of work.

My personal favourites of the night were – a popping solo by Mr Steen, amazing what this guy could do with his body. A sublime solo by Kenrick “H20” Sandy, shame that Nobulus used the same music later on on the evening. Top 9 – a company from Russia – just brilliant. and Nobulus the headlining act. A quirky, and imaginative end to the evening. Mr Steen’s group piece based on The Nutcracker, had quite a loose connection for me with the original story. But that aside I really enjoyed it. The ballet dancing fairy god mother saves the heroine from the clutches of b-boy ork-like monsters. To be honest I thought the monsters should have won, their dancing was breath-taking against the non-stop bourrees with slightly irritating arm-waving by said fairy-godmother. Mind you all was forgiven when the hero-turned nutcracker soldier-turned hero was finally reunited with his girl. And lastly a special mention for the 2 five year olds who blew the place away with their street dance routine as a celebration of 5 years of Breakin’ Convention.

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