Amid the seasidey Southbank this weekend, there's an urban takeover! Intelligent Movement, part of the Festival of Britain, celebrates Hip Hop culture with an impressive schedule of events - including workshops, battles, performances and DJ sets from some of the most respected names in the biz.
Friday we headed straight to Popping Pete's 'popping' masterclass, where around forty participants were put through their popping paces. They were in good hands - Pete and fellow Electric Boogaloo members were responsible for bringing this dance style, along with locking and boogaloo, to the masses and were the choreographers of 'Thriller'. With their roots in pure funk, these styles were widely adopted into the hip hop movement in the early '70's, where they took on a life of their own. We'd liked to have said that we got down and dirty with 'em, but hey, two left feet said not.
The astounding noises coming out of Bellatrix - the UK's leading female beatbox artist, had everyone stopped in their tracks. With a versatility that showed no bounds - mixing banging beats, heavy basslines and didgeridoos (?), her pioneering style has made her one of the few global performing female beatboxers around. Joining Bellatrix on stage before launching into her own set, was the charismatic MC Envy; a 24 year old Mancunian who has rocketed to prominence since the release of her debut album last year. In her affable stylee, she informed the demurely seated audience that she wasn't about to do 'Cum By Yar' and promptly ripped through a lively half hour set.
B-Supreme - Ladies of Britain, a night dedicated to women in Hip Hop, commenced with a dance battle that pitched some of the rising stars of UK street dancing against each other for a prize of £200. Pairs battled it out through to the finals with jerky moves and faux intimidation tactics while uber cool judges looked on. The winner was a bit too aggressive for our liking, but she definitely threw the shapes.
There's still time to rock it to the bang bang boogie with loads going on today - dance workshops, performances and the Street Dance XXL championships happening at 3pm.
Intelligent Movement 14 - 17 July Southbank Centre