Open Art Surgery Call Out

Open Art Surgery

Image credit Brian Hartley: featuring Pontus Linder

Breakin’ Convention and Dance Base Scotland are delighted to be partnering together to offer 4 Scotland-based hip-hop dance artists with the opportunity to take part in Breakin’ Convention’s unique Open Art Surgery!

Running from Sunday 30 October – Friday 4 November, Open Art Surgery will provide a week-long professional development project for hip-hop theatre performers and makers to develop and experiment with new ideas, and receive hands on support from experienced hip hop theatre mentors Jonzi D and Jane Sekonya to inspire and advise.

The residency will take place at Dance Base in Edinburgh and provide a supportive space for artists to take creative risks, try something different and test ideas.

At the end of the week on Friday 4 November the artists will be invited to take part in a live performance in the Dance Base theatre, hosted by Dance Base Artistic Director Tony Mills, to showcase what they have been developing and discuss it with the audience.

Open Art Surgery is about breaking down the fourth wall and showcasing raw talent and new work so bring your art, bring your creative side and create something new! Previous pieces that have been developed during Open Art Surgery have gone on to feature in Resolution, Just Jam, Edinburgh Fringe and Breakin' Convention's international tours. 

If you are reading this and wondering if it is for you please do read on - and if you have any questions or need some assistance with your application our 1-2-1 Producing Surgeries are here to help!


Taking part in Open Art Surgery is a unique opportunity to:

  • Access 1st class mentoring advise and workshops from established and award-winning hip-hop dancers Jonzi D and Jane Sekonya
  • Test new ideas in a supportive environment – you are here to grow and we are here to help!
  • Connect with other hip-hop dancers and the wider hip-hop community and networks


What the Open Art Surgery will provide:

We are seeking proposals from independent dance/movement artists and choreographers based in Scotland who work in hip-hop dance styles. Applications can be made for solo artists and duets, and a total of 4 artists can be supported.

The selected artist(s) will receive:

  • A total artist fee of £750 (based on £600 for the residency week and £150 for the performance day) This fee is being provided through the Dance Base programme of support for professional artists.
  • A week-long residency at Dance Base, Edinburgh from the Sunday 30 October – Thursday 3 November, with shared studio access from 09:00 – 17:00 each day. Residency space will also be available on Friday 4 November, and artists will share space between Dance Base and The Hub, Edinburgh.
  • Participation in a live performance held on the evening of Friday 4 November at Dance Base to present the work that has been developed alongside the other Open Art Surgery artists
  • Mentoring and support from the Breakin’ Convention team to develop your work for the stage
  • Technical support from a theatre technician during the day on Friday 4 November to incorporate sound and lighting into your live work
  • Full documentation of the performance (photos/film)
  • Travel and accommodation expenses if based outside of Edinburgh
  • An additional budget to cover any access requirements as required to support your engagement in the week, including childcare costs. *


Who Open Art Surgery is for:

The Open Art Surgery is for artists who:

  • See their work as based in hip-hop dance styles including, but not limited to, Breakin’, Street, Locking, Popping, Krump, Free Style and House
  • See themselves as working at a professional level and are at any stage of their career
  • Are prepared to present a live public performance at the end of the residency and receive feedback following the performance
  • Are predominantly based in Scotland


Access Budget:

Dance Base are committed to ensuring that all artists can access the Open Art Surgery programme, regardless of their access requirements. To enable this, additional funds are available to support any access requirements for artists and their collaborators, including childcare costs.

We will endeavour to provide the support required and this will be agreed in conversation between the Artist and Dance Base once the opportunity is offered.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further please contact Ondine Oberlin, Professional Programme Coordinator, on

Accessibility information on Dance Base can be found here:


How to apply:

To apply applicants are invited to complete and submit the following items:

An Application Form: The online application can be completed in a written or video/audio recording format and the form details word count and recording duration. Visual quality, camera and editing skills will not be taken into consideration for filmed submissions and spelling and grammar will not form part of the consideration of written applications. Please also provide a link to more information about your practice - this could be a CV, personal statement or a link to your website. You will receive a copy of your application once you have submitted and edits can be made up until the deadline.

In the application you will be asked to answer the following questions:

  • What idea are you interested to explore as part of Open Art Surgery? Tell us a little about the theme or inquiry, why it interests you and how you might approach it.
  • Why would you like to undertake this opportunity and show your work at Dance Base?
  • Aside from the live public performance, how else might you engage with audiences during this residency?

An Equality, Diversity and Inclusion monitoring form: This is anonymous and will be used to capture who we are reaching with our call outs.



Deadline: Thursday 8 September, 11.00am

Panel meet: Wednesday 14 September

Artists Informed: Monday 19 September

Residency: Mon 31 October – Friday 4 November

Performance: Friday 4 November


Judging Criteria:

The selection panel will be comprised of Tony Mills (Dance Base Scotland), members from the Breakin’ Convention team and members of the Dance Base Artist Advisory Group.

The panel will base their decision on:

  • The information provided in the expression of interest, and how the questions are answered
  • Whether the scope of the proposal is realistic and manageable in the time frame and resources available
  • The diversity of voices represented through Dance Base’s residencies
  • The distribution of opportunities across the sector

If you would like to have a conversation about the application process, require this information in an alternative format, or have access requirements we need to support you in making an application please contact: Ondine Oberlin, Professional Programme Coordinator, on


Mentor Biographies:

Jane Sekonya-John

Born and Bred in Katlehong, Johannesburg, Jane's first dance was traditional Sotho and Pedi, followed closely by renditions of early street dance, Hip Hop and Pantsula with her local township crew Bixties Body Rock Club.

Her training includes Johannesburg Dance foundation and Ballet Rambert in London. Jane has performed and toured with Disney's The Lion King, Jonzi D's Aeroplane Man, has worked extensively with traditional South African dance and music group Shikisha, to name few…

Jane is among a rare breed of performing artists. She fuses popular cultures, by experimenting with the variables of dance in the genres of Ballet, Contemporary, Kwaito(house dance), Gumboot Dance, Krumpin’, Traditional African, Hip Hop/Street Funk and Afro-Caribbean Dance styles, to bring her unique craft to the cutting edge of audience, dancers and dance theatres around the world. The unparalleled ability of 'subtle exploding dynamite' is descriptive of Jane's “AFROFUZE”.

As a result of her varied experience, Jane delivers various educational programmes, whereby dancers and non-dancers are taught various aspects of choreography and further the development of their artistic vocabulary and skills.


Jonzi D

An MC, dancer, spoken word artist and director, he is the foremost advocate for hip hop who has changed the profile and influenced the development of the UK British hip hop dance and theatre scene over the last two decades.

Since founding Breakin’ Convention in 2004 Jonzi has triumphed in raising the profile and giving a platform to hip hop disciplines, which has gained worldwide recognition as being at the vanguard of the development of the art form. Through professional development projects Open Art Surgery and Back to the Lab, Jonzi has supported hundreds of hip hop dance and rap/poetry artists on their journey to creating theatre.

His critically acclaimed works include 1995‘s Lyrikal Fearta, 1999’s Aeroplane Man, 2006’s TAG… Just Writing My Name, 2009’s Markus the Sadist and 2013’s The Letter: To Be Or To MBE? about his choice to decline an MBE from the Queen. Jonzi’s has been featured in HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, had his short films Silence da Bitchin’ & Aeroplane Man screened on Channel 4, toured his work extensively all over the world and delivered his own TED Talk about the influence and evolution of hip hop culture.

In 2020 Jonzi directed Our Bodies Back which won ‘Best Artistic Film’ as part of the Detroit Black film festival, followed up by the sequel, AUTOCORRECT in 2022. He also wrote Here/Not Here, a short film directed by Bim Ajadi which won the ‘Best Film’ category in Deaffest 2022.

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