Open Art Surgery: Experiments in Hip Hop

Breakin’ Convention hip hop theatre event featuring Bigg Taj, Jackin’ the Box and Ready Ready Sauce

A big round of applause and a few cheers says it all when you’ve enjoyed a performance. But what if it wasn’t quite what it could have been? If you’ve ever felt like giving feedback after a dance show, now’s your chance.

Hosted by Breakin’ Convention’s artistic director, Jonzi D, Open Art Surgery is an opportunity for members of the hip hop theatre community to hear what people really think of them. ‘It’s easy to congratulate and pat each other on the back, but giving a space where constructive criticism is encouraged is very important for the artists,’ says Jonzi. ‘But I often have to prompt “negative” feedback, because some audience members feel awkward being critical. Audience members are also encouraged to carry on the conversation in the bar afterwards, which is a “safer” place for those less confident speaking publicly.’

Jonzi has invited some of the major players in Scottish hip hop to take part, most of whom people will remember from this year’s Breakin’ Convention. What is it about these particular artists that Jonzi wants to investigate further?

‘Ashley Jack from Jackin’ the Box has a willingness to tackle serious subjects and that’s something I’m interested in seeing more of from her,’ says Jonzi. ‘Heavy Smokers are some of the top b-boys in the UK and always open to experimentation, Ready Ready Sauce show a distinct theatrical curiosity in the work they present, and Xena Productions and Beatboxer Bigg Taj want to explore the connections between movement and vocal percussion. Bringing the different elements of hip hop culture together is something very close to my heart and it doesn’t happen enough.’

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 24 Nov

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