Review: B-Boy Championships World Finals 2013 (@bboychamps)

Hos­ted by the legendary Crazy Legs (who didn’t fail to keep us enter­tained), The BBOY Cham­pi­on­ships were in full swing on the day of the finals with an action packed line up of pure skill and jaw drop­ping awe. The audi­ence were left in anti­cip­a­tion.

The event was broken down into vari­ous cat­egor­ies includ­ing solo Pop­pers, Break­ers, Hip Hop free­stylers and of course the ulti­mate finale; the B-Boy crew battle finale which saw the World Cham­pi­on title deservedly go to Morn­ing of Owl of Korea. A ded­ic­a­tion to cre­at­ive detail which left noth­ing to the ima­gin­a­tion, was evid­ent in the final battle. They cer­tainly saved the best till last. Check out the final battle here. (The win­ning routine by Morn­ing of Owl, which did it for me, starts from 12mins 45s.)

I man­aged to catch up with a few of the dan­cers back­stage.

Floori­orz crew of Japan who came a close second, show­cased the super tal­en­ted crew mem­ber Nonaka Taisuke in the solo B-Boy round who was just beaten by Men­no of Hol­land. Both of course giv­ing a fierce per­form­ance.

Catch­ing up with Nonaka he informed me that since Japan’s incep­tion of Hip Hop in the 1980’s (much later than most oth­er coun­tries) it has seen an evol­u­tion­ary upris­ing of tal­ent among­st young­er dan­cers. Start­ing from the age of 8 him­self, Nonaka con­fessed to work­ing extremely hard to reach his cur­rent pro­fes­sion­al stand­ard. And since Japan is an Island coun­try, it seemed more isol­ated, cre­at­ing its own defin­i­tion of Hip Hop in terms of its men­tal­ity and think­ing from the rest of the world.

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This got me think­ing about the import­ance of dif­fer­ence when it came to Hip Hop and being able to identi­fy with it on an indi­vidu­al basis, espe­cially when express­ing your art in a for­eign coun­try. With Break­ing being the first hip hop dance style to be main­tained and developed by the Puer­ta Ric­an com­munity in New York, its evol­u­tion since the 1970’s has seen world wide cov­er­age. And even though these dis­tinct iden­tit­ies are rooted in these his­tor­ic­al exper­i­ences, they have evolved to develop a pro­found impact with­in this under­ground scene. It appears that a rejec­tion and cri­ti­cism of main­stream media and com­mer­cial­ism is an import­ant aspect of the under­ground cul­ture, almost as not to tar­nish its repu­ta­tion. In a nutshell…you wouldn’t catch these cats audi­tion­ing for Britain’s Got Tal­ent. How­ever that rejec­tion and even that industry has played an import­ant role in devel­op­ing the authen­ti­city of Hip Hop as a cul­ture.

“With the utmost respect the way I see it: what we do here (under­ground) is we teach oth­ers to be them­selves, over there in the main­stream they teach you to be someone else…just to make money.”

Says Hip Hop free­style win­ner Para­dox, who has been dan­cing for 13 years and battled it out with run­ner up Shaad­ow. They both explained that the learn­ing, for them, nev­er ends. When asked what advice they would give to any­one want­ing to become a free­styler they said “to learn and mas­ter the abso­lute basics. Only then develop your own sense of style and unique moves.”  But more import­antly it seemed that research was the focal point when it came to learn­ing suc­cess­fully — Some­thing Shaad­ow exper­i­enced on his jour­ney to becom­ing a self taught Free­styler. Ori­gin­ally start­ing out in Turf­ing – a style which illus­trates storytelling through glides and mimes, ori­gin­at­ing in Cali­for­nia – he was forced to do his own research and even learnt moves by cre­at­ing his own spider map after being misled down the cho­reo­graphed path­way.

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The obvi­ous pat­tern, that the main­stream has such an impact on the masses, is unmis­tak­able in the authen­ti­city of Hip Hop cul­ture. Many are often left ignor­ant on top­ics, cul­tures and issues they know noth­ing about after cre­at­ing under­stand­ings and pre­ju­dices from pseudo revolu­tion­ary ideo­lo­gies, par­tic­u­larly in music videos.

Shaad­ow and Para­dox reas­sure new­comers by quot­ing the Hip Hop dic­tion­ary as a great resource tool to per­fect the craft and bring know­ledge.

Truly a day of tal­ent.

For fur­ther details about each win­ner – Find out more here.

 

Subika Anwar

About Subika Anwar

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