Birmingham Hip-Hop artists at the Hippo…

Ben Wooldridge (@benwooldridge) writes…

This July something exciting is happening here at Birmingham Hippodrome, Open Art Surgery will bring together hip-hop artisits from across the city together for a week of workshops hosted by Birmingham’s award winning jazz musician Soweto Kinch and much loved Hip Hop theatre pioneer Jonzi D.

Jonzi D and Soweto Kinch

Jonzi D and Soweto Kinch

The week long course will see Soweto and Jonzi working with local dancers, DJs, beatboxers, emcees, musicians and graffiti artists culminating  in the Open Art Surgery performance in the theatre’s Patrick Centre on Saturday 20 July.  Results are shared to a live audience who are then invited to critique, question and feedback to the artists.

Open Art Surgery, masterminded by Jonzi D, aims to develop professional hip hop artists from Birmingham to engage and understand hip hop theatre better. Participants will receive training, mentorship and studio space to experiment and create new works in progress throughout the week.

The live event will be hosted by Jonzi and Soweto as they introduce the fresh new work developed during the week. The event will feature local artists including Mad Flow, Marso Riviere, MDK and RTKAL. Audiences can expect to see the very best in breaking, popping, locking, rapping and turntablism chewed up and given a theatrical overhaul.

The Open Art Surgery performance takes place on Saturday 20 July 2013 at 7.45pm in The Patrick Centre at Birmingham Hippodrome and tickets are priced at just £5! Click here for more info & to book.

The fun has just begun…an exciting 2012 lies ahead!

As we come to the final couple weeks of Oliver!, 2012 has already proved to be an exciting and eventful year. However, as we cross our fingers for the sunshine to return and head into spring and summer, here at Birmingham Hippodrome we have even more to look forward to…

Artists impression of The Voyage...

Artists impression of The Voyage...

The good news is, this summer, we will be providing the city with two major cultural events – both of which are FREE!! Birmingham Hippodrome is delighted to be producing The Voyage (21-24 Jun nightly at 10pm) a spectacular free outdoor event in Birmingham’s Victoria Square which forms part of the opening weekend of the London 2012 Festival.    In a unique global collaboration between Australia’s leading physical theatre and aerial company Legs on the Wall and the UK’s leading outdoor dance company Motionhouse, a giant ship will be constructed in the square and transformed into a live set for a cast of over 160 who will present high wire, extraordinary aerial acrobatics, massive projections on the Town Hall and song and dance.  You can visit www.thevoyage.org.uk for more information.

To add to the flurry of activity in the city centre, Birmingham Hippodrome’s Six Summer Saturdays returns this summer for the third year! Animating the city with the very best outdoor and interactive performance, these FREE events inspired by London 2012, will run over six Saturday’s (7, 14, 21 Jul & 11, 18, 25 Aug) and promise to feature a multitude of exciting sights and sounds. Visit www.sixsummersaturdays.com to find out more.

As well as bringing theatre to the streets of Birmingham, let’s not forget the fantastic activity happening on our main stage! 2012 marks the third International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB) This award-winning city-wide festival, co-produced by Birmingham Hippodrome and its partners DanceXchange, attracts artists and companies from all over the world.

Royal Ballet Flanders

Royal Ballet Flanders

Performances include Royal Ballet Flanders (25 & 26 April) who perform the groundbreaking William Forsythe ballet Artifact in Birmingham for the first time, Danza Contemporanea de Cuba (8 & 9 May), legendary ballet star Sylvie Guillem and dancer/choreographer Russell Maliphant (11 & 12 May)  perform PUSH; plus the critically-acclaimed hip hop festival, Breakin’ Covention (14 & 15 May) returns to Birmingham with live performances, DJ’s and MC’s in the foyers combined with international artists. Lastly, Birmingham Hippodrome welcomes the sensational Circolombia (16-18 May) who perform their gritty production, Urban, fusing electrifying circus, South American hip hop and reggaeton dance www.idfb.co.uk

To round off a fantastic season we also have blockbuster musicals including The King & I (1 – 5 May), Wonderful Town (22 – 26 May), I Dreamed a Dream (29 May – 2 Jun) Dirty Dancing (4 Jul – 25 Aug) and Sister Act (9 – 20 Oct), phew!! Who’s excited…I cant wait!

…p.s has anyone heard the very exciting news about a certain masked man coming to Birmingham next March…? Friends booking opens 8 May!