Breakin’ Convention Review

The Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham – 31st May 2023

Reviewed by Jill Heslop


Nottingham was buzzing with excitement as Breakin’ Convention, the international festival of hip hop dance theatre, brought their magic to the city. This was a family occasion, with both young and old in the audience, all in fine voice as they showed their appreciation for each of the acts.

Breakin’ Convention has been performing for twenty years and is still developing, bringing this popular dance form to theatres which is unconventional in itself! There was a varied programme, showcasing local dance talent alongside international performers, highlighting the huge range of style and expression within the genre.

Master of ceremonies was Jonzi D, the artistic director, introducing each performance and encouraging as much noise as possible from the audience who did not let him down. The evening was split into two sections but even before the start of the show, there was foyer entertainment with dancing and music on each level of the concert hall. The place was literally popping!

First up were local hip hop Dance Academy Beat Bots who filled the stage with their synchronised dancing in suits. Next, soloist Jamal Sterrett, brought a spell-binding delicate mood with his blend of styles of bruk up, flex and ballet in his choreography. JME Dance Company charged onto stage with their warrior queen moves, whose message was inspired by the empowerment of sisterhood. Part One was rounded off with a lively and technically brilliant performance by Mover, from South Korea. Their athletic prowess and humour were illustrated with their break-dancing moves and live beat-boxing which truly wowed the audience.

The second half started with a pole dance performance by Yvonne Smink from the Netherlands. This was a mesmerising display of bodily control and muscular power. She was followed by another local hip hop dance company, Take 1 Dance, in their flowing white outfits, commanding lots of passionate support and showing unity in their dance moves. The final act of the evening were the Ghetto Funk Collective again from the Netherlands. Dressed in seventies flares and caps, they showed great character and style in their performance and really got the audience involved in their action with their infectious humour.

This was a great evening, celebrating twenty years of Breakin’ Convention with energy, strength and exuberance.