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David Russell

Residency: Swan Break

This residency will support research and development for Swan Break, a new outdoor multidisciplinary Hip-Hop dance theatre show, transporting Tchaikovsky’s classic Swan Lake into a modern context, offering a framework to explore urgent issues of social justice. Presented through vignettes and designed to transform public spaces, Swan Break will feature Breaking, Waacking, Popping and Locking, alongside various street styles, plus acclaimed graffiti artists designing a dynamic, changing backdrop and DJs and beatboxers remixing the famous soundtrack. 
Swan Break will celebrate the complex diversity of Hip-Hop culture, while countering Hip-Hop’s issues with representation – the core creative team includes female, LGBTQ+, neurodiverse and global majority representation, and the work itself will feature nongendered and queer-led Hip-Hop styles. 


More About David Russell

David “Footloose” Russell is Co-Director, with Michael “Silence” Glasgow, of Break Mission – founders and co-directors of B-Side, UK’s largest festival of Hip Hop culture, which presents a free programme of national and international breaking battles, DJs and VJs, graffiti, talks, workshops and digital arts. 
Break Mission are an Associate Company of Birmingham Hippodrome and a research and delivery partner of Birmingham City University. David and Michael have also recently become Directors of UK Breakin, one of the new national governing bodies covering breaking as a competitive sport. 
In 2022 Break Mission co-produced Queer-side project with founder Eric Scutaro, an innovative LGBTQ+  event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Challenging the hostile environment Queer Hip-Hop artists can experience, Break Mission utilised this high-profile moment to present emerging and established LGBTQ+ Hip-Hop artists. 

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