Curated and hosted by UK hip hop pioneer Jonzi D, Breakin’ Convention is an awe-inspiring weekend of exceptional performances from world champion b-boy and b-girl crews to cutting edge street dance companies. Joining Jonzi D, will be Toronto’s local rep Judi Lopez. The two have most recently collaborated on Open Art Surgery at Toronto’s Harbourfront.
Headline programming includes two evening main stage performances featuring some of Canada’s best hip-hop companies (listed below) performing alongside renowned international acts on the Sony Centre stage.
Juxtapose – Juxtapose is led by choreographer Saxon Fraser, a third generation dance artist with the versatility to work with companies like Cirque du Soleil, Moment Factory, W&M Physical Theatre and Unkut Productions. Her creations have been presented for Dragonfly Orchestra in China, at Royal Albert Hall in London, le Zenith in Paris and the Kremlin Palace in Moscow.
LockUnity – LockUnity is a community of lockers in Montreal. It is a diverse collective of like-minded artists who are passionate about locking and strive to build an active and healthy scene through weekly practices, classes, events, performances and battles. Originally founded in 2007, LockUnity has opened for Arcade Fire and performed at Hip Hop International Canada, Bust-A-Move, KOD Canada and the Las Vegas Locking Camp.
RoyaLazyness – RoyaLazyness is a dance duo composed of b-boy Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli (Canada) and b-girl Roya “The DestRoya” (Australia), united through crutch-power. Together, they will perform their piece Creatures.
Previously announced international acts include award-winning b-boy squad Just Dance (South Korea) led by B-Boy Ducky, Soweto Skeleton Movers (South Africa) showcasing pantsula dance developed by Soweto Skeleton Mover pioneer Jabulani, and BirdGang Dance Company (UK) performing a powerful piece of filmic hip hop dance theatre from British choreographer and performer Ukweli Roach.
Pre-show and during intermission on June 23rd and 24th, the Sony Centre lobbies and surrounding areas will be transformed with DJs, graffiti exhibits, free-style dance jams, and workshops from top international and local artists creating an atmosphere of celebration from the moment people arrive.
The third day of the festival takes things back to the roots of the culture with a free outdoor “Park Jam” at David Pecaut Square. This day of public activity (1pm-6pm) sees dance artists joined by DJs, beat boxers, and graffiti artists in a funk-filled, open-air dance, music and art extravaganza for the whole family.
There will be additional exciting announcements to follow regarding the local acts performing in Breakin’ Convention at the Sony Centre as well as content of the Park Jam at David Pecaut Square.
Mark Hammond, CEO and Director of Programming for the Sony Centre is excited that the time has finally come for Breakin’ Convention to touch down in Toronto. “I think it is an ideal hip-hop dance festival for Toronto because the scene here is so big and vibrant. It is perfect for the Sony Centre as we are constantly trying to break down social walls, and engage our artists and audiences. The theatre is very proud to present Breakin’ Convention in association with Luminato – three partners collaborating in the presentation of great art for great audiences.”
“An inspirational event that brings together international and local artists to perform, exchange ideas and to entertain their audiences, Breakin’ Convention is a festival within a festival. I am delighted that the partnership between Luminato and the Sony Centre makes it possible to bring this phenomenally successful international dance event to Toronto for the first time,” said Josephine Ridge, Luminato’s Artistic Director.