Lifestyle & Entertainment

Breakin’ Convention is back

Breakin’ Conventionwelcomesdynamic French crew Compagnie Niya to London with their acclaimedfull-length showGueules Noires, live and direct at Sadler’s Wells. Breakin’ Convention kicks of their 2022 festival with Gueules Noires on Friday 29 April. Thisexciting UK premiere performance isto be staged alongside a shorter work that Compagnie Niya will perform in the main festival. Breakin’ Convention 2022 runs from Friday 29 April to Sunday May 1

Breakin’ Convention is the world’s biggest and most renowned celebrationl of hip hop dancefounded by Artistic Director and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Jonzi D in 2004. The festival has successfully toured the world and has been selling out at Sadler’s Wells for 18 years.

In this atmospheric piece, choreographer Rachid Hedli pays tribute to the migrant workers of the Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin. These include his own father plus the fathers and grandfathers of the Compagnie Niya crew. Retracing life in the mines, Compagnie Niya’s razor-sharp dance skills are used to full effect, to bring moving and authentic stories of solidarity, struggle and fraternity to the Sadler’s Wells stage.

Says Hedli: At my parents’ house, I came across my father’s old mining objects: His pickaxe,lamp, helmet,lunchbox and bag were gifts from the Mining Company. I saw that he was touched and nostalgic and I asked questions. He talked about hisjob,hisworkmates and comingtoFrancewithhissmallsuitcase,hopingfor a betterlife.

Movedbyhiswords,asanartistI felt that Imustpaytributetohim…paytributetothem. Miningwas a hard job, uncomfortable, dangerousand rewarded with a starvation wage called ‘laquinzaine’. In this piece,four dancers deal with the livesof miners from our region. Most of them had immigrated to rebuild post-war France

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To come in Breakin’ Convention with this show proves that dance is a universal language, with dance, we can share this story beyond words, an important point in this case, because the UK shares this mining story in some parts of the country.

Breakin Convention’s Artistic director Jonzi D says: “Technically proficient at breaking and popping, Compagnie Niya present visually poetic hip hop dance theatre. Choreographer Rachid Hedli is a compelling storyteller. Gueules Noires reflects film noir with sharp, shadowy scenes from the perspective of North African migrant miners in the north of France. Gueules Noires is a stunning piece of work that literally takes us underground!”

Breakin Convention 2022 curated and hosted by festival Artistic Director and Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Jonzi D showcases the best of international and UK talent.Compagnie Niya was founded by Rachid Hedli in 2011,the result of years of partnerships with various professional troupes and his work as an interpreter, dancer and educational demonstrator. Compagnie Niya is dedicated to artistic research and innovation, focusing on people, the individual, the environment and history.

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