b.supreme interview

We chat to Holly McCartney, director of b.supreme festival, to find out where the festival comes from and what to see this year, when it comes to Southbank Centre over the Easter weekend.

What is b.supreme about?

b.supreme is the first and only festival in the UK purely dedicated to platforming the work of women in hip-hop.  The three-day festival encompasses professional and youth dance performances, DJs, MCs, Beatboxers, Film artists, Graffiti artists and dance battles from some of the leading female hip-hop dancers from all over the world.

How did b.supreme come about?

Judi McCartney (Independance) and I came up with the idea of a female hip-hop festival back in 2005 when we were working predominantly with male hip hop artists and becoming increasingly frustrated with the machoism involved. We thought we’d do a bit of research into women in hip-hop as at the time and there just wasn’t much of a female hip-hop scene, especially in the UK,  there wasn’t any kind of platform just for women. We approached Southbank Centre with our idea and then following a year of research and a whole lot of persuading and begging mixed dance groups to give up their women for one dance set, we managed to pull together a festival that featured just women.

I don’t think we realised the potential for b.supreme at the time  because it had been so difficult finding enough women in hip-hop to make up an entire festival. It was a bit of an experiment. We’ve been completely overwhelmed by the interest and support from women all over the world and since 2006, the female scene (and hip-hop dance scene in general) has grown massively so we’ve had loads of fun developing the festival to encompass every hip-hop discipline.

If I only have time to see to come to two events during b.supreme 2010, what should they be?

Definitely go to International Supreme on Saturday 3 April in the Purcell Room as this is always a great opportunity to experience hip hop dance from different parts of the world where the styles have been developed differently. I’m especially looking forward to the Waackers’ performance from LA. I would also recommend the breakin’ battles on The Clore Ballroom floor on Easter Sunday: there are lots of them, they’re always great fun to watch.

b.supreme is coming

b.supreme, the UK’s festival for women in hip-hop is back at Southbank Centre this Easter weekend (Friday 2 – Sunday 4 April) with dance performances, workshops, battles and more.

If you’ve never experienced b.supreme before, here are a compilation video we found on youtube, to get you in the mood. Join us for two performances by the best UK and international hip-hop dance girl groups in the Purcell Room plus masses of free events on the Clore Ballroom floor at Southbank Centre.

So you think you can dance? Get ready to make your mark on Southbank Centre’s Dance Atlas

Luca Silvestrini

Luca Silvestrini, Artistic Director of Protein Dance

In April we’ll be launching a brand new user-generated website to create a world map of dance! To make your mark and help us fill it, we want you to create your own signature dance move, video it, upload your vid and pinpoint where you’re from on our world map for everyone else to see.

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Tim Etchells on Kate McIntosh

Tim Etchells, artist, performance maker and artistic director of theatre company Forced Entertainment, has worked with Kate McIntosh, who is coming to Southbank Centre on Thursday 4 March to present her piece All Natural.

On his blog, Tim Etchells talks about Kate McIntosh and says that All Natural is ‘a fascinating piece’ and that you should ‘try to catch it if you can’. Read more on Tim Etchells’ blog.

Tickets for Kate McIntosh’s All Natural are on sale on Southbank Centre’s website.

Update: Tim Etchells writes more about Kate McIntosh on his Guardian Blog: Tim Etchells on performance. ‘What I like about Kate’s work – which lies somewhere between theatre, performance and dance – is this sense that the body is a question, a construct, a thing that is not quite owned by the self, that is not even altogether human.’ Read more.

Kate McIntosh / Martine Pisani video

Nicky Molloy, Head of Dance & Performance at Southbank Centre, talks about two pieces coming to Southbank Centre this week: Kate McIntosh’s All Natural and Martine Pisani’s sans (without)