Breakdancers in India can now showcase their talent on an international platform with the country’s first BOTY competition. RACHEL ANUSHA J.
Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul’s weather to all who can read it. Martha Graham
The mercury may be rising but the passion for dancing is still alive! For those who thought the “Step Up” series was super cool and the dance sequences exhilarating, let me tell you that break-dancing is definitely all that and more!
Break dancing or B-Boying is one of the components of hip-hop, the others being emceeing (rapping), DJ-ing, and Graffiti. It began on the streets of Brooklyn in the 1970s and has four elements to it beginning with top rock moving on to footwork, power moves such as head spins, air-flares and windmills and ending with a freeze posture. Creativity is the keyword as a routine depends on how well one is able to mix the different elements together.
“B-Boying has been gaining popularity in the last five-six years in India,” says Bharat (B-Boy B.R) of the Delhi crew Tandavaa. “It’s about time this style caught the media’s eye,” he adds with delight.
The glue that holds the crew members together is their passion for dancing. “Regular practice is ABSOLUTELY essential,” says B-boy Bala who owns the dance company Fifth Element.
Crews practise for a minimum of three hours a day on the streets, pavements, studios, the beach or even a crew members’ terrace to learn and upgrade routines.
The crews move to the beats of funk, jazz, 1970s soul music or anything challenging and perform at clubs and cultural shows. “B-Boying does involve some risk,” says Phanikumar, who owns Catalyst Dance Company and a B-boy for the past four years, “but so does sports; does that mean one stops participating?”
B-Boying is definitely not a boy thing as there are a number of B-Girls too who feel that the city should be more broad-minded when it comes to women and dance.
Some well known Chennai crews are Fifth Element, Break Guruz and All for One, each with its own style.
Children can start learning basic moves as early as three years, feels Bala. Dedication, physical fitness and, the cherry on top, passion is a perfect recipe. Spontaneity, coordination, technique, good presence of mind and energy are ingredients that can make B-Boying fun.
While there are a number of online tutorials, one can also learn from videos of routines posted by crews across the world. It is also necessary to keep in touch with B-boys/ girls in the neighbourhood. (Psst… most of them are on social networking sites with names beginning with Bboy X/Bgirl Y). Keep an ear open for workshops and lectures in the city!
You Got Served
BOTY-fication of Chennai
It is finally here! Battle of the Year (BOTY) is an international B-Boying series, where crews compete against each other.
“It’s not just about winning, but coming together in good spirit to showcase talent and learn,” says Phanikumar who convinced BOTY International to include India as a participant nation and obtained the license to organise BOTY, India!
The finals will be hosted by Chennai on July 29, 30 and 31, at Express Avenue mall.
“There is very little awareness of this style and we are extremely happy to support BOTY India in hosting the finals,” says R. Tiwari, of Events, EA Mall.
The winners of BOTY will get to represent India at BOTY South Asia, a step away from BOTY, International, to be held in France. There are more than 50 crews in India and this competition will definitely be an eye-opener.
Registrations open May 15
Audition details and rules on www.botyindia.com
To get in touch with organisers and crew members, log on to: www.facebook/botyindia.com
Rachel is a II Year M.Sc. Clinical Psychology student at Christ University, Bangalore.
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