A pioneer of hip-hop theatre comes to the Black-E this weekend.
Jonzi D – “one of our favourite performers and people”, says the venue – is the artistic director of international hip-hop dance theatre festival Breakin’ Convention and an associate artist at Sadler’s Wells in London.
His new show is called Lyrikal Fearta and is described as “an energetic, beat-driven and topical show rooted in hip-hop culture and addressing themes of masculinity, displacement, politics and social issues”.
Jonzi D uses poetry, movement, music and wit in his performance of Lyrikal Fearta, a three part piece underpinned by hip-hop, but universal enough to be interpreted and enjoyed not just by fans of the culture, but anyone. The show discusses the generational division within the hip-hop community that has resulted from the dominance of rap music in the western world.
His acclaimed solo piece The Letter closes the show, with Jonzi visualizing his response to being offered an MBE – using what he calls ‘choreopoetry’ to examine a wide variation of responses and points of view as he struggles to decide what to do.
Jonzi D has been a leading light in British hip hop culture, rapping and b-boying since the early 1980s. He is a graduate of London Contemporary Dance School and has created and performed in hip hop dance works all over the world. As an emcee, Jonzi has worked with many famous faces including The Roots, Steve Williamson, and Gangstarr.
The show also features Ivan Blackstock, a graduate of Urdang Academy and London Contemporary Dance School. He founded London-based BirdGang Dance Company, has worked with Arlene Philips on Flash Dance the musical, as well as on the film Streetdance 2 3D and as a backing dancer for the Pet Shop Boys. Ivan has also worked with Dizzee Rascal, Will.I.Am and Rita Ora.
Catch Lyrikal Fearta at The Black-E on January 31 and February 1. Tickets are available via The Black-E, on Great George Street or on 0151 709 5109 or online, as well as through the Philharmonic box office or News from Nowhere bookshop on Bold Street.