Search

Review: Jonzi D - The Letter and Other Works at Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells

15:42 01 November 2012

Jonzi D. Picture: Paul Hampartsoumian

Jonzi D. Picture: Paul Hampartsoumian

Archant

Hip hop maestro Jonzi D explores his rejection of MBE in first work in decade

Hip hop maestro Jonzi D returned to his creative roots with this performance of his first new work in 10 years.

For many years Jonzi has been the face of the hip hop dance revolution in the UK, primarily for his work in Sadler’s Wells festival Breakin’ Convention, where he is an associate artist.

Now he has returned as a creator of some sharp, relevant and poetic new dance theatre.

Working with a small team of performers, and a live band lead by Kwake Bass, the evening encompassed music, poetry, movement, politics and wit; offering a rare insight into this pillar of UK hip hop dance.

The first half included an introduction by Jonzi, followed by some work by performance poet OneNess Sankara (who has been nominated for a BEFFTA award for Best Spoken Word Artist and Best Female Act).

She delivered a bleak piece on gang rape, followed by a light, uplifting song Orange Wednesdays. The highlight of the first half had to be energetic Ugandan dance troupe Tabu Flo.

The second half focused on a solo piece performed by Jonzi: The Letter. It’s an exploration of the responses Jonzi encountered when offered an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list. The Letter is an eloquent and touching story as he agonises over the various comments colleagues, friends and family gave to him, acting out all the characters himself, before he can make his final decision – should he embrace the proposed MBE that would recognise his life work, or reject it on its implications and roots in the colonial past? The Letter comes to a head as the family come together at Christmas Day and Jonzi is nervously awaiting their reaction to his decision.

* The Letter and Other Works was at the Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue, EC1

0 comments

Latest Entertainment Stories

Yesterday, 17:15
Interior of restaurant

Cocktails flowing, a DJ spinning Latin vibes, bright street art and striking mismatched decor – Señor Ceviche is every inch what I’d imagine a bustling Peruvian bar to be like.

Yesterday, 17:04
American Ultra. Picture: Alan Markfield

It’s a smart idea basing a film against a counter-culture sleeper assassin, but American Ultra is too implausible to pull it off, says Michael Joyce.

Thu, 13:00
You Won't Succeed On Broadway Without Any Jews. Picture: Pamela Raith

This nostalgic production was a clumsy look at Broadway’s Jewish history, says Marianka Swain.

Thu, 11:00
Diana Vickers. Picture: Philip Lyons

Ahead of her new show, Hatched ‘n’ Dispatched, the former X Factor star tells Alex Bellotti why she could only ever be a performer.

Most read entertainment

Competitions

Happy viewing!

MyOffers are giving you that chance to win an amazing Samsung 55” Curve HD TV.

Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder