Last Updated on September 16, 2021
Celebrating the most innovative artists in hiphop
Breakin’ Convention Presents showcases breaking world champions The Ruggeds from Wednesday 15 – Saturday 18 September. The company, from Eindhoven in the Netherlands, brings its explosive tricks to the Peacock Theatre with the UK Premiere of Between Us.
Highly skilled, athletic and known for their pursuit of new and unusual moves, The Ruggeds epitomise the spirit and energy of breaking. Whether it’s synchronized backflips or their intricate footwork performed at breakneck speed, some parts of their routine leave you holding your breath for the tricks dangling on danger’s edge.
Their unique dynamism has seen them collaborate with the likes of Madonna, Rita Ora and Justin Bieber, and won them world-wide recognition at numerous international battles and championships including a World Title at the UK Bboy Championships in 2014.
Between Us explores the risk-taking, playful and soulful dynamics of this technically brilliant crew. The premise is a group of flatmates living together with dance sequences depicting sleep, play, leisure, and fighting. One segment has the crew performing breakdance battle sequences as if they were just celebrating. However, a novelty for me is seeing a contemporary style dance sequence performed by three crew members with their legs while holding a headstand the entire time. These sequences were clearly intricately choreographed for a mistake could result in a long-term injury. The risk-taking element is almost invisible to the audience due to the performers’ high technical ability, but it is most definitely there. Back in university, I tried to join my university’s breakdance society but promptly sprained my ankle due to a botched landing from a back walk. That mild injury left me struggling to walk for several weeks.
Comprising highly technical solos and duets balanced with contagiously energetic group work, Between Us dazzles the viewer with new and unexpected tricks that are meant to mimic everyday movements that will at times seem superhuman. One segment has a crew member pretend to be lifeless as the other crew members throw him around and make him perform an assisted head spin without any headgear on. Another crew member shows off his extreme flexibility as he struggles to free his hands from glue. It is most definitely a feast for the eyes and an impressive show of what the human body can achieve after 15 years of travelling the world for performances and battles.
At some points, I definitely felt that I was watching an Olympic level performances staggered over a 75 minute period. Indeed, with an impressive list of breaking accolades under their belt, company members and b-boys Lee, Stepper, Tawfiq, Zoopreme and Lagaet are preparing for the Olympic Games in 2024.
About Breakin’ Convention
Breakin’ Convention represents the origins and evolution of hip hop culture from around the world and around the corner. Through its international festivals and tours and professional development programme, Breakin’ Convention is at the vanguard of the global development of hip hop theatre artists.
Breakin’ Convention Presents The Ruggeds: Between Us
Wednesday 15 – Saturday 18 September 2021
Performances at 7:30pm
Tickets: £18 – £40
Ticket Office: www.sadlerswells.com