Reflections on Breakin’ Convention 2019

The team has had a few months to digest the moveable Hip-Hop feast that was our first experience of performing at Breakin’ Convention, 2019

This year’s four-day festival, called ‘one of the country’s best — and certainly liveliest — barometers of popular culture’ by the Times, over-delivered on expectations across all areas. Hype for the event was thoroughly built-up by the usual word of mouth leading up to the event, and curated on the day by Jonzi D 🎙️, a community legend who is truly a class act and perhaps the first MC to pronounce our name without any hint of confusion!

You couldn’t ask for a better venue for an epic cultural moment than Sadler’s Wells, which was well supported by a veteran production team that created the platform for creativity to shine throughout the long weekend. Breakin‘ Convention’s publicity and social media teams also deserve a shout out, making great use of different media (the group loved the advert in Angel tube station, and the Instagram 📸 stories all weekend) to build a community out of the performers and supporters in the build up to the event as well as over the weekend itself.

Acts on the mainstage, supporting stages and throughout the weekend were all phenomenal, each of them contributing an entirely unique energy and creativity to produce an electric four days that made Hip Hop feel tangible throughout the festival atmosphere.

🕺💃🏽Logistx, Géométrie Variable and Jingo Crew from the mainstage stood out. Not only were we overwhelmed by their jaw-dropping performances, but these acts showed the truly international scope of the festival which was hosted in London and showcased talent all the way from the West Coast, through France, to South Korea. We also loved A.I.M. Collective’s funky, skilful popping set in red jumpsuits – were the costumes really a nod to Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’?

As performers, Breakin’ Convention carried a lot of expectation for the team. For a long time, the show was a key goal for the Archetype, and being able to open the entire festival was one of the team’s greatest ‘Dream come true’ moments that many of us struggled to fully believe until we were stood backstage ready for the festival to begin.

Our set, ‘Air’ 💨, was itself a special moment for the team creatively, capping off the Elements narrative that started two years ago with the introduction of ‘Water’ which won first place at WOD UK, 2017 🏆. Our choreographers leveraged each of the previous sets in the sequence through an extended introduction for the piece that held snippets of ‘Water’ 🌊, ‘Earth’ 🌍 and ‘Fire’ 🔥.

When ‘Air’ itself began in earnest – a set that was filled with physical challenges in terms of choreography as well as transitions across the vast Sadler’s Wells stage – the team was strengthened by a sense of release, the momentum of our preceding shows behind us and the crowd cheering us forward.

On that note, a special shout out to Sadler’s Wells’ sold out day one crowd: they were incredible, and without a doubt our best audience yet, screaming from start to finish. We were very well looked after by the stage / production team too, owing them a very big ‘thank you!’ 🙏

The team was lucky enough to be mentioned in a number of reviews of Breakin’ Convention which you can check out below:

📰 The Times, Review: Breakin’ Convention 2019 at Sadler’s Wells by Jeremy Gonzalo

” Some (sets) were short but ambitious, large-scale ensemble dances such as the Archetype’s Air, in which the cast rippled in swift waves across space…”

📰 Lucy Writer’s Platform, Breakin’ Convention 2019 at Sadler’s Wells – Love, Hope and Healing from the Next Generation of Hip Hop Dance Theatre Talent by Hannah Hutchings-Georgiou

” ‘Air’ was a refreshing rush of bubbling positivity; a stylistic fusion and blissful blitz of street, contemporary and Latin American movement that blew the cobwebs and political cynicism away to announce that Breakin’ Convention had arrived and was fresh as ever.”

📰 I am Hip-Hop London, REVIEW | BREAKIN’ CONVENTION 2019… HIP-HOP THEATRE’S POWERHOUSE! by Apex Zero

“Jonzi and his co-host Jacqui Beckford, who signed the whole show, raised that excitement to the fullest, as the show opened with 3 amazing group pieces. ‘Air’ by Archetype explored environmental issues, duality and balance …”

Breakin’ Convention is an institution and community in itself, enabling people from different perspectives and backgrounds to connect over their enthusiasm for dance, Hip-Hop, and expressions of creativity in general – something that the team aspires to achieve with our own performances. It was an immense honour to open the four-day festival; even with all of our expectations, there is nothing we would have changed.

Until next time,

The Archetype

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