Breakin’ Convention is one of my highlights of the year. This three-day hip-hop dance festival, held at London’s Sadler’s Wells, celebrates the very best in breaking, popping, locking and, this year, strutting.
As always, curator Jonzi D includes a nod to the forefathers and brought the original strut man Lonnie ‘Pop Tart’ Green to London to perform with his crew PT.3000. It was great to see the pioneers in action and reminded me, on a much smaller scale, of the tribute a couple of years ago to Greg Campbellock Jr, the man who brought locking to the world.
On the other end of the spectrum was France’s Pro-Phenomenon, who seemed to have taken a shine to Chicago’s footwork, a relatively new street-dance style first performed at Breakin’ Convention last year, and characterised by insanely fast moves.
When it came to crews this year, the UK’s Unity predictably brought the house down with their crowd-pleasing brand of grimy street dance. My favourite, however, was France’s Vagabond Crew who delivered some alien b-boy business and skills that got them standing ovation.
France delivered again with Gemini, the Don Draper of flamenco-style locking, but the most spectacular solo came from Brooklyn’s Storyboard P and his hypnotic bone-defying waves set to the soundtrack of Marvin Gaye. It was like watching water, and as someone on YouTube so succinctly put it: “That shit cray.”