Hip hop filmed – with help from Danny Boyle

Watch a clip on YouTube

Danny Boyle directs Emancipation of Expressionism – a hip-hop and street dance film.

Olivier Award-winning company Boy Blue Entertainment created Emancipation of Expressionism in 2013 for the 10 year Anniversary of the Breakin’ Convention festival – and then recreated it at the Barbican Theatre in London, last year where it was filmed by The Space.

Danny Boyle directs Boy Blue Entertainment in Emancipation of Expressionism
Danny Boyle directs Boy Blue Entertainment

The 11 minute film showcases the talents of artistic directors Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy, Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and film director Boyle, who all previously collaborated for the London Olympics Opening Ceremony. It captures specialist hip-hop and street dance styles for online audiences including schools and students following the selection of Emancipation of Expressionism as part of the GCSE Dance curriculum.

Choreographic inspirations

The piece is inspired by four starting points relating to human experience and everyday moments in life: Birth, Journey, Connection, and Freedom. Kenrick created the choreography using these inspirations, drawing or “sampling” from different aspects of hip hop and street dance forms to create an exciting and varied movement vocabulary.

The soundtrack was created by Michael “Mikey J” Asante who said:

“When hip-hop started in Brooklyn it was there as a form of self expression, so it’s amazing to be at the forefront of bringing the dance form into the UK education system. It’s our job to keep the authenticity, which is why we’re so excited to be making this film.”

Emancipation of Expressionism is ground-breaking as for the first time in UK mainstream education hop-hop is included alongside its contemporary peers; each section is a scene, a moment in life and the whole work is a journey. Kenrick uses structured freestyle, which invites specialist dancers to create their own movement, in relation to the vision of the piece.

“When we heard that AQA wanted to put Emancipation of Expressionism on the syllabus, we knew we had to make a film that took the dance to the next level. With Danny Boyle directing we’re making a film that will inspire and connect with students, whilst picking up on the detail and structure of the dance.”

The Emancipation of Expressionism film will be produced for BBE by London’s Artstrust Productions.

The piece was seen on on BBC2 at 10pm on Saturday 27 January as part of “Darcey’s Bussell’s New Dance’.