A new Hip Hop Theatre Academy to develop the next generation of hip hop theatre artists is one of the major initiatives at Sadler’s Wells’ fourth London venue, Sadler’s Wells East, due to open in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in late 2023.
Run by Jonzi D, Artistic Director of Breakin’ Convention, Sadler’s Wells and a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist, the Hip Hop Theatre Academy is a two-year course for students aged 16 - 19. It will offer intensive, practical training in hip hop performing arts, with a focus on live performance and theatre production at an international standard. Students will achieve a Level 3 Extended Diploma, and the course will cover all the artistic elements of hip hop theatre, including classes in breaking, popping and hip hop dance, as well as rap, DJing, beatmaking, and graffiti.
With Breaking now recognised as an Olympic sport as well as an art form, Breakin’ Convention and Sadler’s Wells are working with Breaking GB to bring Olympic athletes to the Hip Hop Theatre Academy. It is a natural progression for Jonzi D to direct the Hip Hop Theatre Academy, as he has been running world-leading professional development programmes through Breakin’ Convention for many years and is a leading authority in hip hop dance theatre. These exciting plans from Sadler’s Wells demonstrate the vision behind its East Bank project - the most ambitious new project of its kind for over 150 years.