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. 

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.

b.supreme Europe: B-boy Storm, battles and breaking

On 25 April, we have an evening of hip-hop dance featuring an exciting European collaboration between b.supreme, Battle Of The Year, Spin Off and Lezarts Urbains. With hip-hop performances from men and women featuring choreography from legendary Bboy Storm and an awe-inspiring dance battle featuring BOTY’s Solo Breakin’ Champion.

Check out this video for a sneak peak of b.supreme’s work.

 

 

Come on down to b.supreme Europe with Storm at Southbank Centre on 25 April 2011. Get tickets here

Get to know… Flawless!

Flawless’ hit show Chase the Dream opens tonight at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. We caught up with the guys earlier to ask them our quick questions.

Flawless: Chase the Dream

Flawless: Chase the Dream

Nathan ‘Oddey’ Kabs

Paul ‘Breaker’ Samuels

Simon ‘Shock’ Smith

Neo

What do you fear the most?
Breaker: I fear losing my mum the most.
Shock: Messing up on stage in front of thousands of people!
Neo: The fear of losing the closest people to me.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
Oddey: I call my mum’s mobile number the most.
Breaker: My little brother’s.
Shock: 118 118!

What – or where – is perfection?
Oddey: Perfection to me is someone who doesn’t get too complacent in what he or she does. There’s always room for improvement and don’t settle down for nothing less.
Breaker: Whilst I’m training listening to music.
Neo: Perfection defines the journey of Flawless!

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Oddey:
My favourite hero would have to be Batman, just because everything about him is dark and his car is the one thing that makes me like Batman ever more.
Breaker: Spawn because when I was little I always thought he was cool.
Shock: Spiderman because he saved lives because of his power and I feel my power is being an artist an inspiring the younger generation and it could save their lives if they chase their dreams and make it happen.
Neo: Peter Petrelli from Heroes because he had the ability to gain everyone’s power.

What’s your favourite ritual?
Oddey:
Living the dream, waking up with a smile knowing that I’m going to dance/perform/train.
Breaker: Getting home, chilling and playing PS3!
Shock: Waking up every morning and living my dream.
Neo: Our group prayer before every performance. It gets me focused and ready for the performance.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
Oddey:
The person I admire most is my dad, because if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have been the person who I am today in many ways, such as growing up on the correct path and having my future business plans sorted.
Breaker: Popping Pete because he has shown no matter how old you are or get, you can always chase your dreams by doing what you love.
Shock: Usher because he is inspires me to work hard.
Neo: My mother. She is a strong and determined person who has taught me to always be positive and do what I love.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
Breaker:
Speak other languages.
Shock: Sing, fashion designer and act.
Neo: I’ve always wanted to be able to sing!

Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre?
Oddey:
The special memory which I have of the Southbank Centre is performing in front of a sold out Flawless show event.
Shock: Doing the National Movie Awards at Southbank for Streetdance 3D the movie.
Neo: Finding out that Flawless were going to have a show at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall!

If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?
Oddey:
My ideal Southbank Centre show would be to have Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Usher and Flawless all on the same stage and creating the biggest dance/singing show ever.
Shock: Flawless, Michael Jackson, Usher, Drake, N.E.R.D, JAY-Z, Beyonce, Cirque du Soleil, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Royal Ballet, China Olympics. Huge movie directors, huge fashion designers.

What’s your favourite website?
Oddey:
My favourite website would have to be Google! This site never fails to help me when I need it!
Breaker: YouTube
Neo: Well I’m always checking my Facebook!

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Oddey:
Most important life has taught me is that, when you believe in yourself and want to achieve something GO FOR IT! Never let anyone tell you different. Chase your dream.
Shock: Learn from your mistakes and never give up.
Neo: That everything happens for a reason.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Oddey:
The most played music is Michael Jackson ‘Smooth Criminal’ live on the Bad tour.
Breaker: Dwele – I think I love U
Shock: Cold Play
Neo: Alicia Keys feat. Drake – Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)

Flawless: Chase the Dream at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall 21 – 23 December, 2010. Book tickets here

Sky1 Competition Winner Akai joins Into the Hoods

What happens when a selection of fairytales ‘evolves into a popular musical and transforms into a hip-hop inspired, funk-a-delic sensation?’

This summer, ZooNation graces Southbank Centre once again with their urbanised spin on the popular musical Into The Woods and this time, they are joined with Akai.

Akai is the winner of the popular ITV1’s reality show Got To Dance. With his outstanding, natural skills in breakdancing, ticking, pop n’ locking and waving, the 11-year-old from Kent will add to ZooNation’s fantastic performance.

‘I am so happy to be part of Into the Hoods. It’s an amazing opportunity and I am going to enjoy every minute of it!’
Akai

This hip-hop inspired piece provides social satire by way of dance as well as updated interpretations of classic stories such as Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella. ZooNation’s Into The Hoods is not just ‘a show for the kids’ and not just a show you watch to ‘be down with the kids’. It’s known as ‘a show that shakes the seats and rocks the house.’ (Daily Mail)

We’re excited!
Buy tickets / More info >>

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