International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre Breakin' Convention

Friday, 23 June 2017 19:30 – Saturday, 24 June 2017 19:30
Location: Sony Centre For The Performing Arts, 1 Front Street East, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Category: Dance


The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, in association with Luminato, is very pleased to announce the Canadian premiere of the acclaimed Sadler’s Wells project, Breakin’ Convention June 23-25, 2017.

Curated and hosted by UK hip hop pioneer Jonzi D, this 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 eight of Canada’s best hip-hop companies performing alongside renowned international acts (listed below) on the Sony Centre stage.

Just Dance (South Korea) – B-Boy Ducky leads this squad of b-boys from Korea’s most infamous crews, known for winning world titles over the last 15 years. The 7 Human Emotions features live drumming and traditional Korean masks in a presentation of ancient culture with a hip hop remix.

Soweto Skeleton Movers (South Africa) – From the most notorious township on the African continent comes the Soweto Skeleton Movers. The audience highlight of Breakin’ Convention 2016 returns with a brand new performance. Experts in a particular form of pantsula dance developed by Skeleton Mover pioneer Jabulani, the crew use comedic contortionism, frenetic footwork, and magical hat tricks.

BirdGang Dance Company (UK) - A powerful piece of filmic hip hop dance theatre from young British choreographer and performer, Ukweli Roach. Revolving around the inner struggle of addictions, Vice follows one man’s pursuit of an ‘ideal’; the type of person he wants to become, the type of woman he wants to be with, and whether he can overcome his addictions to reach this ideal.

Pre show, 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”. This day of public activity 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.

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 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.


Breakin’ Convention is committed to celebrating, elevating and supporting hip hop dance theatre. Spearheaded by Jonzi D, the company works with the most respected, innovative and inspirational hip hop artists in the industry. Through its eponymous world-renowned annual international festival, professional development, youth projects and educational programme, Breakin’ Convention seeks to position hip hop dance alongside more historically established art forms. Breakin’ Convention is a Sadler’s Wells Project and Jonzi D, an Associate Artist, is based at the theatre.

Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Jonzi D is the founder and Artistic Director of Jonzi D Projects and Breakin’ Convention. A dancer, spoken word artist and director, he is an advocate for hip hop and has changed the profile and influenced the development of the UK British hip hop dance and theatre scene over the last two decades. Jonzi D is a graduate from the London Contemporary Dance School and a former Associate Artist at The Place. He has toured his own work internationally and is regularly invited to judge international dance competitions.

Jonzi D devised and directed TAG... Just Writing My Name in 2006, IVAN in 2006 and Markus the Sadist, a rap theatre piece in 2009. All pieces successfully toured the UK to critical acclaim. He has also devised, choreographed and featured in various hip hop inspired fashion shows.

Jonzi D performed The Letter at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe and also featured on TEDx Warwick and spoke at the European Commission forum on creativity and diversity. In 2016 Jonzi D performed at Breakin’ Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Judi Lopez is the founder and Project director of KeepRockinYou. She has actively been involved in the Hip Hop Culture and dancing since the early 2000's. Since returning to Toronto from South Korea and the UK, Judi has been committed to the development of the B-girl community by starting the project The Toronto B-girl Movement in 2012. Judi has danced for Rihanna and was a featured character in the “Lost Girl” Canadian series. Although still a student to the craft, Judi is grateful for all the lessons learned, thankful for all the opportunities given, and blessed to have the opportunity to teach others not only the art but also the knowledge.

About the Presenters:

Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto’s first Performing Arts Centre, has played a defining role in the cultural life of Toronto for more than 50 years. Today, the Sony Centre is home to a roster of national and international artists that reflect the diversity and sophistication of 21st century Toronto. In addition, the Sony Centre is dedicated to developing Toronto’s younger audiences through family programming, workshops targeted towards school-aged audiences, an under-30 membership program, and other community initiatives.  

Luminato is Toronto’s global multi-arts festival dedicated to performance, visual art, music, theatre, dance, and more. The 2017 festival runs June 14 to 25. Full programming details will be announced in early April.
As it launches its second decade, Luminato has become one of the preeminent arts festivals in North America, having commissioned close to 100 new works of art, with more than 3,000 performances featuring 11,000 artists from over 40 countries.
Curated by Artistic Director Josephine Ridge and led by CEO Anthony Sargent, Luminato is a charitable, not-for-profit, cultural organization.  

Special thanks to:

Celebrate Ontario
Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund
Ontario Arts Council
The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in association with Luminato present
Breakin’ Convention 
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts – 1 Front Street East 
Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24 – doors open at 5pm and show begins at 7:30pm
Tickets are $20.00 in advance and $25.00 at the door. Additional service charges may apply.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the Sony Centre Box Office,
Over the phone at 1-855-872-SONY (7669) or online at
Breakin’ Convention Park Jam 

Also, don't miss the Breakin' Convention Park Jam, a free funk-filled, open-air dance, music and art extravaganza suitable for the whole family on June 25. Click here for more more details.


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