Monthly Archives: May 2019

Introducing ‘Dance Mama Live!’ with Lucy McCrudden

In a first-of-its-kind event, Dance Mama will bring together parents who work in dance to share their experiences with each other at Sadler’s Wells next week. Dance Mama Live! will address the challenges faced by working parents, engaging participants with a host of panel discussions, case studies and networking sessions.

We speak to founder and dance specialist Lucy McCrudden about the inspiration behind Dance Mama and what we can expect from the event.

What was the inspiration behind Dance Mama?

Becoming a mum! Back in 2012 when I fell pregnant, the only resource I knew about was a factsheet from Dance UK (now One Dance UK) on being pregnant and dancing. After I had my daughter in 2012, I felt quite strongly that there wasn’t anything ‘official’ to really support me as a parent working in dance. All I could really do was talk to other friends and colleagues in dance who were parents about what their set up looked like, trying to garner as much wisdom as I could.

Lucy Balfour. Image: Pierre Tappon

This phase of your life impacts your physiology, psychology and creativity, and trying to orientate yourself in this new world is tricky without a road map. Although awareness has periodically been raised about parenting over the years, at the time I did think there wasn’t enough consistent energy being put into it.

I was interested in keeping the dialogue going, so I asked to write an article for One Dance UK.  In doing my research, I interviewed colleagues of different genders, ages, stages of parenthood and family set up, and it turned out that their stories were the most interesting ones to share. I set up Dance Mama on a simple WordPress site in 2014, and quickly learned that it had become a reference point for quite a few people. For example, choreographer Rosie Kay commented: ‘Dance Mama has been really invaluable for me to read – I really don’t know how other women do it’.

What has the journey of Dance Mama been like so far, and where do you see the platform going?

I decided to put all my energies into Dance Mama in late 2018 and up-level. It now has a better site with signposts to written resources, organisations and videos, as well as a growing number of some 30 stories which are the cornerstone of the platform. I also developed an online community as well as a mentoring service, Mentor Mama.  

It’s great to have been included in events at the Royal Opera House and Greenwich Dance this year. I’m now looking into research partnerships, particularly post-natal re-entry to the industry, and am currently an Ambassador for the Parents in the Performing Arts (PiPA) campaign. Although Dance Mama is transparently me, I want it to be an inclusive and diverse space that caters to all types of families and dance styles. This will hopefully be reflected in the case studies and community as the site grows.

What, in your opinion, are some of the challenges as a mother working in the dance world?

There are a few! The biggest challenge is definitely childcare and having less time to work and express that creative side of you. This comes down to the shift in priorities: as dance folk, it’s ingrained in us that dance always comes first. Suddenly, when you have this tiny little baby depending on you, it’s family first – and that is quite a big psychological shift. For women who have carried children, the physical aspect is a big one. Especially if you are relying on your intrinsic motivation to train in short bursts when you are chronically sleep-deprived!

What are some of the highlights?

I think a big highlight is having your child take part in cultural opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have experienced. Having been around live music and dance throughout both my pregnancies, I feel that has contributed to both my children picking up language fairly quickly. There’s also something wonderful about sharing a passion with your child. Both my children like dance, and while I don’t force it on them to pursue it as a career (that’s up to them!), it’s brilliant to be able to take my child to something that we both enjoy.  Recently, I took my eldest daughter (now 6) to see Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, which was a real thrill. I do think that having a consciously creative parent can add an extra enriching dimension to childhood.

How would you describe the connection between dance and parenthood?

Very intimate (laughs)! Again, it’s that trinity of the physical, psychological and creative. I feel that dance supports my parenthood; I draw on my 360 dance skills: inviting play, fun, movement and music into what we’re doing, as well as having discipline, organisation and negotiation in my approach to managing the family’s activities.

Equally, parenthood has helped me in my work by giving me insight into the demographic of ‘parents/carers’, which gives me a deeper understanding in my management of learning and participation. It’s well-known that new parents are at risk of social isolation, but I feel this can be magnified if you have followed a creative vocational career, where often the pursuit of that career has led you away from your own family.

How do you balance being a parent and working in dance? Do you have any top tips?

Let’s just say balance doesn’t always happen. It’s something that everyone strives for, but in reality, it peaks and troughs. The main thing is that balance is really unique to each family – you have to find your own rhythm, your own choreography and see what works for you.

For me, I think intrinsic motivation is key. There is a great movement for this now with campaigns like #timesup and personal development experts like Dr Brené Brown coming into focus. Engaging with these keeps me inspired. I want to help empower women, particularly those who are freelance, to have more courage to assert healthy boundaries needed to address that balance.

Being super organised helps – you find that you’re doing a lot of coordinating people’s schedules when you have a family of four! I often joke on my socials using the hashtag #thejuggleisreal. Oftentimes in our line of work, there’s a culture of ‘workaholism’ due to our passion for our art form. The change in priority really helps put things into perspective, which is why at the same time the culture of flexible working in the arts is exceptionally useful.  

Can you summarise what we can expect from Dance Mama Live! in a few words?

In three words, I would definitely say it aims to: inspire, share and connect. The event will inspire parents working in dance, with particular relevance to those working freelance. Interacting with the discussion panel, they will share their experiences and hear stories from #dancemamas. Finally, Dance Mama will connect people together. Once we do this, we can move forward as an industry; by enabling us to be better resourced, and by increasing the presence of women in parenthood within the industry. I am very grateful to Sadler’s Wells for being in partnership with me for Dance Mama Live! and am excited for what the future holds. 

Dance Mama Live!takes place at Sadler’s Wells on Monday 3 June. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.


Sadler’s Wells Breakin’ Convention is set to deliver a three-year national programme to strengthen the hip hop sector thanks to a grant from Arts Council England.

Sadler’s Wells has been awarded £630,660 as part of the Arts Council’s National Lottery Project Grants funding programme. Using this funding, our Breakin’ Convention team will continue to build on the learnings and legacy of 16 years of successful hip hop theatre development with an ambitious new programme, Breakin’ Out.

Breakin’ Out will encompass three distinct and connected strands: Grass Routes partnerships, artist development and performance.

Grass Routes partnerships

This will see a new area of engagement for Breakin’ Convention. The programme will reinforce the national hip hop network by fostering relationships between hip hop artists and cultural institutions. Joining forces with six national practitioners – two each year – Breakin’ Out will deliver high-quality training at a local level, including youth projects, masterclasses and teacher training, as well as providing mentorship in organisational development. The first year partners will be with Dance4All in Bournemouth and Bad Taste Cru in Gateshead.

Breakin’ Convention Park Jam. Image: Paul Hampartsoumian

Artist Development

With no formalised training currently existing for hip hop artists in the UK, Breakin’ Out will provide a variety of progression routes at different points in their artistic journeys, giving more people access to hip hop at entry level and forging pathways into the sector. Breakin’ Convention will deliver its successful Open Art Surgery professional development project around the country, offering participants the opportunity to learn under different mentors and perform locally and nationally. Artists will also be offered bespoke ‘Higher Learning’ training days, focused on theatre practice.

Open Art Surgery. Image: Owen Ling

Nurturing the development of artists represents an integral part of the programme in the lead up to the opening of the UK’s first hip hop theatre academy, part of Sadler’s Wells’ additional, mid-scale venue to open in east London in 2022. The new theatre will be part of new cultural and education district East Bank, in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


Breakin’ Out will reach out to wide and diverse audiences through two large-scale Breakin’ Convention national tours, engaging over 1000 UK artists and featuring 34 national performances. The festival will tour to cities including Norwich, Blackpool, Sheffield, Doncaster, Canterbury, Brighton, Plymouth, Poole and Birmingham in spring 2020 and 2022.  

Phase T (France) at Breakin’ Convention 2010. Image: Belinda Lawley

Alistair Spalding, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sadler’s Wells, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that, through the Arts Council’s support, over the next three years the programme will engage over a thousand artists and large audiences across the country, strengthening the UK infrastructure for hip hop and widening its reach.”

Jonzi D, Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artist and artistic director of Breakin’ Convention, commented: “Breakin’ Convention has been a catalyst in the exposure and development of hip hop in the theatre. A hunger from artists and audiences has been created! We have a responsibility to continue supporting hip hop culture and this funding will enable us to strengthen the sector, and to prepare for the opening of Sadler’s Wells’ hip hop theatre academy in 2022.”

Breakin’ Convention Presents

Yaman Okur 1mm Au Dessus Du Sol. Image: Ragbui

After introducing audiences to the work of artist Pierre Rigale by presenting his work Scandale in 2018, Breakin’ Convention Presents returns with 1mm Au Dessus Du Sol (1mm above the floor), a collaboration between French choreographers Yaman Okur and Sébastien Lefrançois.

Curated by Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artist Jonzi D, the initiative provides a platform for the finest hip hop theatre makers to showcase a full-length work on our stage, as well as welcoming creations by contemporary choreographers working with street dance forms. Breakin’ Convention Presents: Yaman Okur and Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven’s 1mm Au Dessus Du Sol is at Sadler’s Wells’ Lilian Baylis Studio on 27 and 28 September 2019.

A look back at Get Creative Festival 2019

Sadler’s Wells was proud to be among the arts organisations and community groups hosting over 1600 events across the country as part of the Get Creative festival – the UK’s biggest celebration of have-a-go creativity.

From  11 to 19 May, the annual festival shone a light on all the innovative and inspiring cultural activity occurring nationwide and highlighted the central role creativity plays in our lives. Taking part in the initiative for the fifth consecutive year, Sadler’s Wells hosted two free dance workshops: one for over-60s and another for 2 to 4-year-olds and their carers.

We take a look back at the creative festivities through the eyes of our inspiring workshop attendees, and ask how dance has helped them to explore and embrace their creativity.

“Dancing is just something she embraces. The key thing about the workshop was that it helped her stay focused in a creative way.”
I used to do a lot of dance years ago and I missed it so bad it was like a physical ache. I feel like the class has enabled me to free myself up again. It’s wonderful.”
It’s helped me be less self-conscious about dancing and looking silly. As other people get into it, you follow them, and you become aware of the music together.
It’s been fun, enjoyable and inspiring!
It’s given me a greater insight into the creative relationship between the choreographer and the people she’s working with.
I was out of my comfort zone, but I managed to get into my body and feel really relaxed – it’s made a massive improvement to my day.
“We really enjoyed the range of activities and the fact that it was a wider creative movement workshop that tied into a theme as well, which is really nice.

Images throughout: Sarah Vaughan-Jones


This year, Sadler’s Wells has once again been working in collaboration with BBC Young Dancer to provide expert advice and support across the biennial competition’s four categories: Ballet, Contemporary, South Asian and Street Dance.

With one day to go until the overall winner of BBC Young Dancer 2019 is unveiled at the grand final at Birmingham Hippodrome this Saturday, we ask judge and Sadler’s Wells’ Associate Artist Jonzi D for the top five things he is looking for in the winning dancer.

1. Originality

This year’s winning candidate will have something powerful, and importantly something new to say. They will be a risk-taker with a fresh take on their style; one that transports us outside of the box and brings us closer to something truly special.

We were blown away by this year’s performance by our former NYDC member Adanna Lawrence in the contemporary final of BBC Young Dancer.

2. Assurance

I’m looking for someone who inspires confidence – someone who puts me at ease through their movement. I’m not worried when I watch them perform, because neither are they.

Here’s the perfect throwback to Archie Sullivan performing the wonderfully playful Les Bourgeois for the Ballet Final of BBC Young Dancer 2015.

3. Technical Dexterity

Alongside a strong passion for dance, our 2019 winner will have the full package of technique and talent that speaks for itself – letting us know loud and clear that they have what it takes to get to the next level.

Contemporary dancer Connor Scott became the first ever BBC Young Dancer winner in 2015, and you can definitely see why in his first solo, Get Up, which he choreographed himself.

4. Musicality

The winner will have a rhythmic ear. They will be adept at interpreting music, repeating that music, and transmit that through their body language in ways that defy our expectations. It’s a skill of extreme precision, knowing not only how to hit the beat, but also when.

Take for instance Jodelle Douglas and Matthew ‘MindTrick’ Holt’s body-popping duet ‘Canvas’, performed at the BBC Young Dancer 2017 Street Dance Final.

Of course, we couldn’t forget Keiran Lai’s Transformer-esque first solo ‘Tinman’, which he performed for the Hip Hop Final in 2015.

5. Engagement

…and not the marriage kind! We’re looking for a connection with the audience that runs deeper than the eye can see. It’s that special je ne sais quoi about a performance that can make our hair stand on end, something spectacular that grips us and leaves us wanting more.

We still get chills remembering the stunning kathak duet from South Asian category winner Vidya Patel and Jaina Modasia in the 2015 finals.

The Grand Final for BBC Young Dancer will be broadcast on BBC Two on Saturday 18 May at 8pm and be available on BBC iPlayer.

“When you free your mind, that’s when creativity happens”: Sadler’s Wells Gets Creative with Clara Andermatt

Get Creative is a major annual celebration of the nation’s arts, culture and creativity, highlighting the central role that creativity plays in people’s lives. From 11 to 19 May, Get Creative invites the entire nation to get involved and share its creative talents.

We are passionate about the power of creativity and believe it offers something special for everyone. For the fifth year in a row, we will be taking part in the Get Creative festivities with two dance workshops on 13 and 17 May: one for over 60s and another for young children aged 2-4 and their carers.

Ahead of this, we speak to Clara Andermatt, renowned Portuguese dancer and choreographer, who will lead the first workshop alongside our over-60 resident company, the inspirational Company of Elders.

What does creativity mean to you? Why is it important?

Creativity to me is when you are able to transform somehow, to transform reality. I think everyone has the capacity to be creative. Creativity depends on imaginative minds, the ability to materialise and realise creativity in a personal and unique way. Sometimes you are more creative in your head than whatever you are trying to show in your materialisation, because the mind is so immense. I also feel that creativity never ends. There’s this sense of constant possibilities, and I think everything can feed this creativity. It really depends on the way you look at things.

Clara Andermatt. Image: Ines D’orey

How does dance help you to express, experience and explore this creativity?

I think dance has the capacity to open up channels in your body and in your mind. I have a phrase that I say a lot to my students: “The more you can free your body, you free your mind, and when you free your mind, that’s when creativity happens.”

It’s an amazing and beautiful thing, to dance, to move. When you move, you don’t need to think about anything. It’s also something you can use to get more in touch with yourself. And you don’t need to make it beautiful – you can move and it can be ugly but it’s so wonderful to yourself!

It’s also really a physical thing – you make all your systems and metabolism dance also. That is so important for your creativity. You are able to open and relax, and when your mind relaxes your creativity can flow. Your body expands, your creativity expands. As Merce Cunningham said: “When we dance, we feel alive.”

Clara Andermatt. Image: Ines D’orey

How valuable are the arts?

Art has the capacity to transform people, and to make them think and feel. When you watch or experience some form of art, you also become that thing somehow. You experience it in your mind and on your body, even if it’s just through observation. It’s fascinating really and I believe it’s been proven. Art enables you to discover yourself, to get closer to your own thoughts and feelings. It opens up many questions, and questioning things is really a way of getting to know yourself and discovering things about life. The more you know yourself, the more you can participate in the world around you. You can be part of the whole. There’s a lot to do in life, and I like to participate.

The arts are different from science and mathematics. There is no right or wrong. It’s something that can expand your own being and the way you express yourself. The more you discover in your interior, the more you can then exteriorise it. The arts have this amazing power to be able to do that.

In your opinion, do the arts offer something to people from all walks of life?

Absolutely – from all ages and all bodies. My work has a lot to do with that. We all have unique bodies. It’s the expression of this singularity, of each person and each body, which makes up the full potential of the performance and of the world. Otherwise we’re all the same, we all do the same, and that’s so narrow. What is beautiful is to showcase the many expressions of different bodies and personalities with different qualities. Different forms and deforms. The importance lies in mixing it all. We learn so much from experiencing and by watching and seeing. It’s important for us and it’s important for others.

Company of Elders. Image: Ellie Kurttz

Your career as a world-renowned dancer and choreographer spans over 30 years. What are the key ingredients for a long creative career spent doing what you love?

There’s no secret (laughs). When we have secrets, we don’t profit from them – the more you share, the more you gain! I would say my key ingredients are the passion and the love. My dad used to say that love is attention and dedication and the older I get, the more I understand this. So if you love something that you do you, put that energy there. The energy is precisely that attention and dedication you give, as well as the time you spend on it.

Clara Andermatt. Image: ACCCA – Companhia Clara Andermatt

Of course I can’t put luck aside. Luck is also something that life presents to you. It’s up to you to grab it, you know. And I jumped into life from my mother’s womb straight to a dance studio! There was no question about it. In a way, the questions only appeared later. Dance was something I always loved to do.

It’s also important to live in the present, to be fed by the present. That and the energy that other people give me keeps me going. I’m much more of a collaborative than a closed person. That’s where you really generate creativity. There’s no secret really – I just like to feel the intensity of life, to be in the world and not of the world.

Clara Andermatt (left) and Mickaella Dantas in collaborative dance project ‘A Educação da Desordem’ in 2018. Image: Alípio Padilha

What words of advice or wisdom can you offer to first-timers considering attending our open session for over 60s?

Again, as Merce Cunningham said: “The only way to do it is to do it,” (laughs) so if you are willing to experience something new, just come and have the experience. I think experiencing new things in life is a sign of being alive, of being curious about things. Of course it takes courage, but when you take that step you continue wanting to discover yourself, to keep transforming yourself and the things around you.

I also think it’s a very strong and powerful experience to actually be in a class with other people that are moving, and you are communicating and sharing things with your body. You don’t have to talk. There’s a kind of language you are using to communicate with yourself and the others.

Clara Andermatt. Image: Estelle Valente

There’s a first time for everything, and it’s important not to take things too seriously, to feel uncomfortable sometimes. Maybe you won’t like it, but maybe it will just connect with you and suddenly it may change everything. You have to be willing to continue finding different connections in life. Maybe it’s not dance, but you’ll never know until you try!

You can find out more about Clara’s work and keep up with her company via Facebook and Instagram.

The Company of Elders will perform a mixed bill of exciting works in the Lilian Baylis Studio on the 14 June. The evening will see a revival of Natural, a piece combining text and dance created by Clara for the company in 2005. For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Get Creative is led by BBC ARTS and What Next?, in collaboration with various arts, cultural and voluntary organisations across the UK. For more information about the campaign, and how we are getting involved, click here.

“We break down the fourth wall. It’s the true hip hop experience.” Breakin’ Convention: The story so far

Breakin’ Convention is the UK’s biggest festival of hip hop dance theatre. World-renowned for representing the origins and evolution of hip hop culture from around the world, it is one of the most prestigious platforms for dance theatre globally. True to form, this year’s festival at Sadler’s Wells promises a lineup of exceptional dance talent from the UK and beyond, with international companies hailing from around the globe.

We speak to Michelle, Head of Breakin’ Convention, about the festival’s genesis, its evolution and what audiences can expect from its 16th year.

What is the meaning behind Breakin’ Convention?

The name is something a lot of people get confused with, because hearing it they think of a breaking competition or that you’ll just see breaking performances. The name Breakin’ Convention actually comes from the aim to break convention – of what people think hip hop culture is and of what you’re used to seeing in the theatre. It’s breaking conceptions about the conventional way you see hip hop – at a convention (laughs).

Michelle Norton, Head of Breakin’ Convention. Image: Dave Barros

How would you describe the Breakin’ Convention experience?

The festival encompasses all of the elements of hip hop. We commission artists to create graffiti on the walls of Sadler’s Wells. You have DJs, and not only that but the original DMC champions like Cutmaster Swift, DJ Billy Bizznizz, DJ 279 – some of the biggest names when we think of London hip hop culture. We have cyphers in the foyer, rap and freestylers in our front-of-house spaces, we even have a special menu for the occasion – lots of jerk chicken, soul food and West Indian cuisine.

You get to see the best of the UK and the international hip hop scene, so it’s everyone coming together. We break down the fourth wall; the artists come into the foyer and mingle with everyone. It’s the true hip hop experience.

Breakin’ Convention 2018 – 15th Anniversary Highlights

It’s also open for all. As much as the idea behind the festival was to bring in hip hop audiences and let them know that theatre is for them, it makes people that wouldn’t usually be into hip hop see that hip hop is for them too. There are no barriers. It makes everyone feel welcome and comfortable.

You’ve worked your way up from festival volunteer to projects coordinator, to finally heading the Breakin’ Convention team. What are some of the personal highlights of your career?

When we started touring internationally in 2013 and brought the festival to the Harlem Apollo – that was a major highlight! There have been quite a few. I’d say the global effect of our work, but also the development of the UK hip hop scene and of our artists, especially in theatre.

The festival is one thing, without it we probably wouldn’t have been able to create the platforms for professional development that we now have, and to develop the kind of work we’re now developing within hip hop in the UK and internationally. I think over the years it’s been seeing the development of the scene in the UK and how it’s grown, and how a lot of these artists are now on the same level as the international ones, which wasn’t the case when we first started.

What is it like to run the festival?

I’ve been here since the very beginning. I volunteered for the first festival back in 2004 and knew Jonzi [Breakin Convention’s Artistic Director] from way before, since we were in our teens. I grew up in the 80s when hip hop first got big in the UK, and it’s the same feeling now as it was then – the feeling of wanting to be part of it all. I remember walking in the building on the Tuesday after the festival, and almost feeling like I’ve come off a high!

Jonzi D, founder & Artistic Director of Breakin’ Convention

As Mufasa [French hip hop dancer] said last year after her debut performance at the festival, ‘you just feel love’. You’re in the building and that’s what you feel, from the Wednesday when you see the graffiti being put up on the walls, to the next day when the companies start coming in for their tech runs. It feels like a family within our team, but also within the wider context of hip hop.

Michelle (right) pictured with Breakin’ Convention’s Education Coordinator Shay Rafati. Image: Dave Barros

How do you keep Breakin’ Convention feeling fresh and exciting from year to year?

It’s different every single year. There’s a blueprint of course, but with every single year we’re constantly thinking: ‘How can we top that?’ For our 10th anniversary in 2013, we commissioned 10 UK artists: the whole night was dedicated to just UK artists on the main stage. Last year, we had a 15-piece orchestra as part of a new piece marking our 15th anniversary. We are already looking at how to top that for our 20th.

Breakin’ Convention 2019 promotional poster

We try and make sure there’s something for everyone. We look at the programme every year and ask ‘Have we got something for the older generation? What’s something that’s a little more innovative? Are we representing enough females? Are we representing rawness? Are we representing more of the theatrical, the artistic?’ We try and do things organically, so that we’re not dictating what the scene has to have – it’s more a case of what is needed and what is wanted.

What in your opinion is needed in the scene? How has Breakin’ Convention facilitated that?  

Hip hop artists don’t have the same kind of opportunities as ballet and contemporary dancers – there are no hip hop conservatoires. You can’t go to a school where you can learn and study hip hop in that sense. So doing things like our artist development programmes Open Art Surgery and Back to the Lab means that artists are not only able to develop their craft, but they’re also learning how to direct their pieces, they’re looking at lighting -all of those things they don’t usually have the privilege of doing.

Back To The Lab: A hip hop choreographer’s course

We need to develop our artists to be on the same level playing field, and so the professional development side of Breakin’ Convention has really started to grow. It’s nice that within Sadler’s Wells on the whole, we’re working with a lot more hip hop artists. It’s a real pleasure to work with the artists we work with. Professional development and education are the things we’re really pushing now. Looking towards the hip hop theatre academy that Sadler’s Wells will establish as part of our new venue in east London in 2022, it’s definitely about incorporating those things.

Something that Jonzi always says is that we’re at an advantage, in that even though hip hop has been going for 40 odd years now, we still have living legends. In 2008, we started doing training with the legends of hip hop under what we called the Pioneers project. The fact that we can invite people down to a workshop with Popin’ Pete [one of the originators of the “popping” dance style and member of the Electric Boogaloos], for instance, is something that you can’t always do in other, more classical dance styles.

Popin’ Pete: Harlem Funk Renaissance

What does Breakin’ Convention have in store for our audiences this year? What can we expect?

The best from around the world and around the corner – just like our slogan says! On the international front, everyone we have apart from B-Boy Junior [world-renowned Congolese break dancer] is quite new to the Breakin’ Convention stage. We’ve got Jinjo, a crew from South Korea who are B-boy champions, and France’s Geometrie Variable. We’ve got someone like Logistx, a B-Girl from California who is 16, so very much the new generation.

B-Boy Junior Bosila and Kalli Tarasidou will appear as duo Company Même Pas Mal at Breakin’ Convention 2019. Image: Christian Schneider

And then even on the UK front, we’ve got an influx of new companies on the stage like The Archetype and Cocojam. Boy Blue is one of the regulars, having performed at the festival almost every year. We have some familiar faces performing in a new capacity at Breakin’ Convention such as Fiya House, a collective consisting of founders Brooke Milliner and Dickson Mbi. It’s all very fresh and really exciting.

If you could choose a word that captures the essence of the festival, what would it be?

Sensory. There’s just something about the senses – all of them are aroused. There’s music, there’s the smell of different foods, there’s the energy of the people coming in. The building just comes alive. I always tell people that no matter how much you can describe it or watch a Breakin’ Convention video, you have to be there to experience it yourself. When you come to the festival, how you then experience it, and sit in it… it’s different, you know? It’s a sensory experience.

Breakin’ Convention will take place at Sadler’s Wells on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May 2019. Tickets are available here.