Reviewed by Jan Dixon
I attended the Breakin’ Convention UK Tour 2017 performance at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton on 16th May 2017. This was part of an international festival of hip hop dance theatre, which incorporated not only local dance troupes, but performances from around the world. I enjoy a variety of musical genres and was interested to experience this type of musical interpretation live on stage.
The actual stage performances started at 7pm, but prior to that, from 5pm, the audience were invited to attend workshops and showcases by local performers, rappers, graffiti art and spoken word artists. This interactive audience participation in the festival was also provided in the half hour interval of the show – at no extra cost, which was extremely good value also considering the affordable ticket prices.
Two comperes introduced the acts; Jonzi D and TenchoO, who gave a brief summary of the performers prior to their routines. TenchoO also performed a track of his album, which the audience enjoyed.
In the first half of the show local acts performed, including SHAKE, B-Boy Josh and SwagOut Revolution. The audience, with a predominant demographic age of young teens (mostly accompanied by parents), were enthusiastic to see their peers perform, which enhanced the feel-good ambience of the show.
The Soweto Skeleton Movers took the stage for the end of the second half, performing their contortion infused Pantsula style of dance to wild acclaim from the audience. Amazing performers showing different styles of dance/acrobatics to loud and rhythmic music.
The second half of the show started with the Oydessey Dance Crew from the UK, who competently demonstrated their more traditional style of hip hop dance moves.
The next international act on stage was Tentacle Tribe from Canada, which consisted of a duo performing ‘contemporary urban dance’. This act was not met enthusiastically by the audience, as it was very slow to get into any lively dance routines and seemed to focus mainly on contemporary interpretative dance rather than hip hop, which is a more active style.
To finish off the show, we were treated to the amazing spectacle of Just Dance from South Korea, a “super-crew of the world’s greatest poppers and b-boys.” Their act included live Korean drumming, which was incorporated into the stunning dance routines. The audience was extremely enthusiastic about this act, gasping aloud at the awe-inspiring acrobatics and break-dancing routines. At the end of their performance they received a well-deserved standing ovation.
The Mayflower Theatre is close to railway links with a variety of car parks close-by. I would advise to check the nearby Southampton football club fixtures as this can have a huge impact on the volume of traffic entering/leaving Southampton. Do allow for this when travelling to the venue. The theatre itself is due for refurbishment next year, but the seating and interior were still clean and well maintained.
Tickets cost from £12.50 to £15.50 (booking fees may apply).
Breakin’ Convention is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton from 16-17 May 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.mayflower.org.uk or call the box office on 02380 711811.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811