Catalyst Rwanda – breakdancing hits street children in Africa

What happens when an English ‘b-boy’ breakdancer meets young Rwandan hip-hop fans being helped by a charity that works with street children in Kigali?

Les Enfants de Dieu aims to transform the lives of Rwandan street children by giving them somewhere to live and an education. There are currently 130 boys aged six to 20 years at the centre and they are passionate about hip-hop. In 2011, London-based Catalyst Rwanda took the world-renowned b-boy Pervez, from Live 2 Break Crew, to work with these remarkable young men.

This summer, some of the boys travel to London to take part in Southbank Centre’s Africa Utopia.

Catch Catalyst Rwanda at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Thursday 19 July, as part of Africa Utopia. Get tickets here. 

LONDON FASHION WEEK: BLANCA LI CHOREOGRAPHS FLASH DANCE FOR STELLA MCCARTNEY

Our judge for this Friday’s Dance Your City Competition made headlines last week – the Guardian even talks about ‘fashion history’ and the ‘event of the season’. London Fashion Week 2012: Stella McCartney invites to a dinner in an old church in Mayfair. The guest list includes Kate Moss, Rihanna, Zaha Hadid and Kanye West. Suddenly some of the guests start a flash dance in the evening wear of Stella McCartney. Supermodels and dancers including the choreographer Blanca Li herself surprised the soiree with this special display of fashion. This video gives an idea of the spectacle by the remarkable choreographer, responsible for Daft Punk’s 1997 ‘Around The World’ music video:

There are still some tickets for Blanca Li’s show Elektro Kif this Friday and Saturday. You could even give it a try and learn some cool Elektro Kif moves in the workshop on Saturday afternoon 14:00!

On Friday at 18:00 Dance Your City Competition finals will take place live in The Clore Ballroom, free to everyone and sure to be an epic battle.

Stella McCartney’s party will go down in fashion history (Guardian article)

Daft Punk – Around the World (YouTube)

Get tickets for the show

ZooNation’s Kate Prince confirmed as judge for Dance Your City competition!

Kate Prince, photo: Rachel Cherry

Kate Prince, photo: Rachel Cherry

 

There’s only 2 days left to enter and vote for your favourite video for Southbank Centre’s Dance Your City competition. Check out the favourites here.

The top 6 acts will go on to compete in the live finals at Southbank Centre on Friday 2 March in front of a line-up of guest judges who are dance-legends in their own right. We’re very pleased to announce that ZooNation’s Kate Prince will join this panel. The final is free to come and watch so make sure you come down to Southbank Centre to take a look at the finalists! The overall winner will get the chance to perform on stage at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall ahead of the Elektro Kif performance on Saturday 3 March.

Dance Your City Live Final at Southbank Centre on Friday 2 March. More info here.

Vote for your favourite video in Dance Your City here.

Elektro Kif with Blanca Li Dance Company at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 2 & 3 March. Get tickets here.

 

 

Coop Dog talks Hip Hop

 

Coop Dog

 

Coop Dog

 

Coop Dog

‘I discovered dance like a teenager discovers sex; natural and inevitable.

To join a crew you have to battle everyone in the crew to get initiated  but when I joined the Soul Mavericks I didn’t want to up show all the youngsters so I skipped that, but yeah if you want in you gotta gel with us, eat with us, train with us, n party like us!

If you wanna ski you go to the South of France!  I want people to think that about dance and London… if you wanna dance you go to London. In the 80s we had the second biggest hip hop break dance scene  in the world here in the UK, we gotta bring it back home baby.

The first time I saw breaking properly I was an adult, that’s no good. Kids in school, college and uni should see all dance all the time, no one should discover b-boying as an adult. That’s why I like the Dance Your City comp, it can reach everyone through facebook, that’s why I got involved.’

Coop Dog is part of Soul Mavericks who recently made a video for our Dance Your City competition. Check theirs out here, plus vote for your favourite video.

KENRICK “H2O” SHADY IS ON THE JUDGING PANEL FOR DANCE YOUR CITY

The live final of Dance Your City is on Friday 2 March at 6pm in the Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre. The 6 groups with the most public votes on facebook with compete to be the ultimate winner in front of a public audience and expert panel. Over the next few weeks we will be announcing the judges on the panel who represent the best of British Hip Hop and Street Dance.

First up is Kenrick “H2O” Sandy, choreographer, performer, teacher and Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Oliver Awarded Boy Blue Entertainment. This man’s talents have no limits! Kenrick’s career spans over 10 years, both nationally and internationally. Video choreographic credits include Peter Andre and Plan B, Alexandra Burke, Misteeq, Beverley Knight, Big Brovas, Victoria Beckham, Sophie Ellis-Bexter, Dizzee Rascal and All Saints. Boy Blue Entertainment’s production of Pied Piper won an Olivier Award and the company won Best Dance Act Award at the Black Entertainment Film, Fashion, Television and Arts Awards in 2010.

With this incredible list of achievements Kenrick is highly recognised as one of the most accomplished Hip Hop specialists from the UK today and we are really excited to have him as one of the judges for Dance Your City. Kenrick has seen a lot of good dance in his time so I’m sure his standards will be high and he will be expecting a lot from the finalists.

Find out more and enter Dance Your City: www.southbankcentre.co.uk/dyc

Check out Kenrick’s Boy Blue Ent. trailer for some inspiration:

COUNT DOWN TO DANCE YOUR CITY COMPETITION

In just under a weeks time Southbank Centre will be launching the Dance Your City competition on facebook. Inspired by Blanca Li’s film ‘Dance Challenge’ which opens with a b-boy breaking in front of the Eiffel Tower, we challenge street dance groups to create their own one minute dance video in front of an iconic landmark and upload it to the Facebook page. The competition and public voting opens on 5 December. The top six videos chosen by the public vote will perform at a live final at Southbank Centre on 2 March for a public audience and expert panel, and the ultimate winner will perform on stage in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 2 March before Blanca Li’s show Elektro Kif and receive 20 hours free rehearsal space at Southbank Centre.

So, if your are a dancer or in a stree dance group keep an eye our blog and Facebook page as we launch our street dance competition. Start creating your videos and voting for your favourites!

Free ‘electro’ workshop – the newest form of streetdance

Southbank Centre will be presenting a new street dance show called Electro Kif in March 2012 by Spanish choreographer Blanca Li. Blanca uses Electro, a streetdance style originating from the suburbs of Paris. Electro, a frenetic and quirky form of streetdance, is typically performed to electro house music.

In anticipation of this new show Southbank Centre have invited Blanca and one of her dancers over to London in November to teach a taster workshop in Electro to give us a flavour of this style. We would like to invite you to take part in this free workshop on Tuesday 8 November 4.00 – 5.15pm. Places in the workshop are strictly limited and will be given to the first 20 people who email jessica.santer@southbankcentre.co.uk to book a place. The workshop is open to people age 16 and above with at least 2 years experience in street dance.

Elektro Kif, photo: Laurent Paillier