B.Supreme returns to the Southbank Centre after what feels like forever due to a late Easter weekend this year. But along with chocolate eggs, it brings a new concept to the festival for women in hip hop: B.Supreme Europe which opens on 25 April.
B.Supreme Europe is a collaboration between established European hiphop brands Battle of the Year from Germany, Spin Off from Holland and Lezarts from Belgium. Having worked with B-Boy Storm who has been given the task of overseeing the Europe project, dancers from each country will come together to create a one-off performance piece. You will find well known and loved groups from the UK who are enthusiastically involved with this international project such as Unity and Peridot.
While seasoned B.Supreme attendees might be accustomed to a three day festival, this year it’s a two day affair, streamlined into one evening. Despite the truncated length, organiser and director of the event Holly McCartney remains as excited as ever about the prospect.
“Unity is doing an amazing piece where one of the partners in Belgium asked us to take a piece from London to their event, so we took Unity,” explains Holly.
“We’ve got Clara de Paris with Septieme Sens, a girl from Sweden called Santana from a company called Attaka doing a solo piece, Marvel from Peridot, Myself who are always brilliant, Funkdamental – Yami (aka B-Girl Rowdy) and more.”
Regulars may wonder why the third day has been culled but the condensed format allows it to focus more on the showcases and, of course, the battles and Holly is keen, as always, for the audience to feed back their opinion on the event after. Positive feedback led to the trial of a Bonnie and Clyde themed night in 2009 (2-on-2 breaking battle with one b-girl and b-boy), which caused some to ask if the focus of B.Supreme is shifting from being a women-only event?
“The important thing is that the focus is never purely on the men, the focus is always on the women at B.Supreme,” said Holly. “It is a platform for men [too]. We don’t showcase any boy groups, and if there are men involved they’re always with women.”
She adds “We always invite men to come, they don’t just turn up and perform!”
One thing is for sure, with Studio B, B.Supreme’s own studio in Brixton, recently opened and catering for both genders, the B.Supreme brand is going from strength to strength.
B Supreme Europe 2011
Septieme Sens (France)
Marvel (UK) & Shan Tao (Sweden)
Henry O Tawiah (Holland)
Tickets are £13