International celebration of hip-hop is heading to Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 22:37 11 May 2014

NNF14 - Ukweli Roach - Breakin' Convention. Photo: Paul Hampartsoumian.

NNF14 - Ukweli Roach - Breakin' Convention. Photo: Paul Hampartsoumian.

Paul Hampartsoumian

An international celebration of hip-hop dance theatre is coming to King’s Lynn for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Arts correspondent Emma Knights finds out about some of the acts taking part.

NNF14 - ILL Abilities will be performing at Breakin' Convention in King's Lynn. Photo: Belinda Lawley. NNF14 - ILL Abilities will be performing at Breakin' Convention in King's Lynn. Photo: Belinda Lawley.

Stars of the hip-hop world will be impressing the crowds with their moves when the Breakin’ Convention tour stops off in Norfolk on Tuesday.

The Sadler’s Wells’ festival is now in its 11th year and as part of its 2014 UK tour it is visiting the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, with hip-hop theatre artist Jonzi D hosting and curating the event.

Among those performing is London-based Ukweli Roach who is a founding member of the BirdGang Dance Company.

“It’s an exciting genre. It’s one that moves and changes and progresses so quickly and it’s full of showmanship,” said Ukweli, when asked what it is that he loves about hip hop dance.

Ukweli, who has worked with the likes of Mariah Carey, Kylie Minogue, and Cheryl Cole, and whose film and TV work includes choreographing the opening sequence of the film StreetDance, is also a RADA-trained actor and he likes to incorporate both dance and drama into his work.

“I trained in acting so I like to fuse a lot of performance in there to take it beyond just dancing. I like it to be a movie on stage,” he said.

For the tour Ukweli has choreographed a piece called Vice featuring 10 performers.

“It’s a piece about addiction basically. On the surface it’s about addiction but underneath that it is about a struggle or the struggle to reach an ideal or fulfil human potential,” he said.

Joining Ukweli in the Breakin’ Convention line-up is Olivier Award-nominated ILL-Abilities, an international group of b-boys who have overcome extraordinary challenges.

They aim to help spread the message “No Excuses, No Limits,” redefine society’s view of disability and promote empowerment.

France’s Wanted Posse, a team that has won many of the world’s most high profile hip-hop dance battles, will also be taking to the stage, as will Cambridgeshire-based Dance Offensive, Elementz Ent., and SIN Cru.

Breakin’ Convention will also see the Corn Exchange’s foyer transformed with live DJs, freestyle dance jams, graffiti exhibitions and workshops.

• Breakin’ Convention is at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange on Tuesday, May 13 at 7.30pm.

Advance tickets £13 (under 18s £10). Tickets on the door £15 (under 18s £12). For more information and to book visit or call 01603 766400.

• For more about Breakin’ Convention visit

• For more NNF Festival Focus features click here.

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