The Full Wiki

Breakdance: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

(Redirected to B-boying article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A b-boy performing in the UK.

B-boying or breaking, commonly referred to as breakdancing, is a style of dance that evolved as part of hip-hop culture among African American and Latino American youths in New York City.[1]:125, 141, 153 Breaking includes four primary moves: toprock, downrock, power moves and freezes/suicides. It is danced to both hip-hop and other genres of music that are often remixed to prolong the musical breaks. The musical selection for breaking is not restricted to hip-hop music, as long as the tempo and beat pattern conditions are met. One who practices this style of dance is called a b-boy, b-girl, or breaker. These dancers often participate in battles, formal or informal dance competitions between two individuals or two crews. Although "breakdance" is a common term, "b-boying" and "breaking" are preferred by the majority of the art form’s pioneers and most notable practitioners.[2][3]

Contents

Terminology

Though widespread, the term "breakdancing" is looked down upon by those immersed in hip-hop culture. "Breakdancer" may even be used disparagingly to refer to those who learned the dance for personal gain rather than commitment to hip-hop culture.[1]:61 The terms 'b-boys', 'b-girls', and 'breakers' are the preferred terms to use to describe the dancers. B-Boy London of New York City Breakers and filmmaker Michael Holman refer to these dancers as “breakers”.[2] Frosty Freeze of Rock Steady Crew says, “we were known as b-boys”, and hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa says, “b-boys, [are] what you call break boys… or b-girls, what you call break girls.”[2] In addition, Jo Jo and Mr. Freeze of Rock Steady Crew and hip-hop historian Fab 5 Freddy use the term “b-boy”,[2] as do rappers Big Daddy Kane[4] and Tech N9ne[5] when referring to the dancers.

The dance itself is properly called "breaking" according to rappers such as KRS-One, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, and Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC in the breaking documentary The Freshest Kids. Afrika Bambaataa, Fab 5 Freddy, Michael Holman, Frosty Freeze, and Santiago "Jo Jo" Torres (cofounder of Rock Steady Crew) use the original term "b-boying".[2] Purists consider "breakdancing" an ignorant term invented by the media[1]:58[2] that connotes exploitation of the art.[1]:60[2]

  • Crazy Legs; Rock Steady Crew: "When I first learned about the dance in ’77 it was called b-boying… by the time the media got a hold of it in like ’81, ’82, it became ‘break-dancing’ and I even got caught up calling it break-dancing too."[2]
  • Action; New York City Breakers: "You know what, that’s our fault kind of… we started dancing and going on tours and all that and people would say, oh you guys are breakdancers - we never corrected them."[2]
  • Jo Jo; Rock Steady Crew: "B-boy… that’s what it is, that’s why when the public changed it to ‘break-dancing’ they were just giving a professional name to it, but b-boy was the original name for it and whoever wants to keep it real would keep calling it b-boy."[2]
  • Boston Globe: "Lesson one: Don't call it breakdancing. Hip-hop's dance tradition, the kinetic counterpart to the sound scape of rap music and the visuals of graffiti art, is properly known as b-boying."[3]
  • Jorge "Popmaster Fabel" Pabon: "Break dancing is a term created by the media! Once hip-hop dancers gained the media’s attention, some journalists and reporters produced inaccurate terminology in an effort to present these urban dance forms to the masses. The term break dancing is a prime example of this misnomer. Most pioneers and architects of dance forms associated with hip-hop reject this term and hold fast to the original vernacular created in their places of origin. In the case of break dancing, it was initially called b-boying or b-girling."[6]

The term "breakdancing" is also problematic because it has become a diluted umbrella term that incorrectly includes popping, locking, and electric boogaloo.[1]:60 Popping, locking, and electric boogaloo are not styles of "breakdance". They are funk styles that were developed separate from breaking in California.[7]

Dance techniques

There are four primary elements that form breaking. These include toprock, downrock, power moves, and freezes/suicides.

A b-boy practicing downrock at a studio in Moscow.

Toprock generally refers to any string of steps performed from a standing position. It is usually the first and foremost opening display of style, though dancers often transition from other aspects of breaking to toprock and back. Toprock has a variety steps which can each be varied according to the dancer's expression (ie. aggressive, calm, excited). A great deal of freedom is allowed in the definition of toprock: as long as the dancer maintains cleanness, form and the b-boy attitude, theoretically anything can be toprock. Toprock can draw upon many other dance styles such as popping, locking, or house dance. Transitions from toprock to downrock and power moves are called drops.

Downrock (also known as "footwork" or "floorwork") is used to describe any movement on the floor with the hands supporting the dancer as much as the feet. Downrock includes moves such as the foundational 6-step, and its variants such as the 3-step or other small steps ("techs") that add style. The most basic of downrock is done entirely on feet and hands but more complex variations can involve the knees when threading limbs through each other.

Power Moves are acrobatic moves that require momentum and physical power to execute. The breaker is generally supported by his upper body, while the rest of his body creates circular momentum. Notable examples are the windmill, swipe, head spin, and flare. Some moves are borrowed from gymnastics (such as the flare) and martial arts (such as the butterfly kick).

Freezes are stylish poses, and the more difficult require the breaker to suspend himself or herself off the ground using upper body strength in poses such as the pike. They are used to emphasize strong beats in the music and often signal the end of a b-boy set. Freezes can be linked into chains or "freeze ladders" where breakers change positions to the music to display musicality and physical strength.

Suicides like freezes are used to emphasize a strong beat in the music and signal the end to a routine. In contrast to freezes, suicides draw attention to the motion of falling or losing control, while freezes draw attention to a controlled final position. Breakers will make it appear that they have lost control and fall onto their backs, stomachs, etc. The more painful the suicide appears, the more impressive it is, but breakers execute them in a way to minimize pain.

Advertisements

Power vs Style

Multiple stereotypes have emerged in the breaking community over the give-and-take relationship between technical footwork and physical prowess. Those who focus on dance steps and fundamental sharpness are labeled as "style-heads." Specialists of more gymnastics oriented technique and form—at the cost of charisma and coordinated footwork—are known as "power-heads." Such terms are used colloquially often to classify one's skill, however, the subject has been known to disrupt competitive events where judges tend to favor a certain technique over the other.

This debate however, is somewhat of a misnomer. The classification of dancing as "style" in b-boying is inaccurate because every b-boy or b-girl has their own unique style developed both consciously and subconsciously. Each b-boy or b-girl's style is the certain attitude or method in which they execute their movements. A breaker's unique style does not strictly refer to just toprock or downrock. It is a concept which encompasses how a move is executed rather than what move is done.

History

Elements of breaking may be seen in other antecedent cultures prior to the 1970s,[8] but it was not until the '70s that breaking evolved as a street dance style. Street corner DJs would take the rhythmic breakdown sections (or "breaks") of dance records and loop them one after the other. This provided a rhythmic base for improvising and mixing and it allowed dancers to display their skills during the break. In a turn-based showcase of dance routines the winning side was determined by the dancer(s) who could outperform the other by displaying a set of more complicated and innovative moves.

Shortly after the Rock Steady Crew came to Japan, breaking within Japan began to flourish. Each Sunday b-boys would perform breaking in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park.[9] One of the first and most influential Japanese breakers was Crazy-A, who is now the leader of the Tokyo chapter of Rock Steady Crew.[9] He also organizes the yearly B-Boy Park which draws upwards of 10,000 fans a year and attempts to expose a wider audience to the culture.[10]

Uprock

A related dance form which influenced breaking is Uprock also called Rocking or Brooklyn rock. Like toprock, uprock is also performed while standing. The difference is that uprock is a war dance that involves two dancers who mimic ways of fighting each other using mimed weaponry in rhythm with the music.[6] Uprock as a dance style of its own never gained the same widespread popularity as breaking, except for some very specific moves adopted by breakers who use it as a variation for their toprock.[11]:138 When used in a b-boy battle, opponents often respond by performing similar uprock moves, supposedly creating a short uprock battle. Some dancers argue that because uprock was originally a separate dance style it should never be mixed with breaking and that the uprock moves performed by breakers today are not the original moves but poor imitations that only show a small part of the original uprock style.

Battles

It has been stated that breaking replaced fighting between street gangs.[12] On the contrary, some believe it a misconception that b-boying ever played a part in mediating gang rivalry. Both viewpoints have some truth. Uprock has its roots in gangs.[11]:116, 138 Whenever there was an issue over turf the two warlords of the feuding gangs would uprock. Whoever won this preliminary battle would decide where the real fight would be.[13] This is where the battle mentality in breaking and hip-hop dance in general comes from.[14] "Sometimes a dance was enough to settle the beef, sometimes the dance set off more beef."[11]:116[6]

Crew versus crew battles are common in breaking. Battles are dance competitions between two individuals or two groups of dancers who try to out-dance each other. They can be either formal or informal but both types of battles are head to head confrontations. They can take the form of a cypher battle or an organized battle. A crew is a group of b-boys/b-girls who dance together. A few of the most well known crews are the Rock Steady Crew, Last For One, Super Cr3w, Gamblerz, Mortal Combat, Flying Steps, and Massive Monkeys. B-boy crews such as the Rock Steady Crew and the New York City Breakers changed breaking into a pop-culture phenomenon when they received a large amount of media attention by battling each other in public at the Lincoln Center in 1981.[15]

B-boy battle at Hip Hop Festival Serious Side II in Salamanca, Spain.

Informally b-boying began with the cypher, the name given to a circle of breakers (and casual onlookers) who take turns dancing in the center. There are no judges, concrete rules, or restrictions in the cypher, only unspoken traditions. Although participants usually freestyle (improvise) within a cypher, battling does take place. This was the origin of b-boy battles and it is often more confrontational and personal. Cypher dancing is more prevalent in communities with an emphasis on what is regarded as authentic and traditional hip-hop culture. Battling "in the cypher" is also a method of settling differences between individual dancers or crews.

Organized battles set a format for competition such as a time limit or a cap on the number of participants. Organized battles also have judges who are usually chosen based on their years of experience, level of cultural knowledge, contribution to the scene, and ability to judge in an unbiased manner. On occasion organizers invite judges from outside the breaking community and these events (jams) are sometimes met with disapproval from b-boys/b-girls. Organized battles are publicized to a much greater extent than informal events. They include famous international level championships such as Battle of the Year, UK B-Boy Championships, Red Bull BC One, Freestyle Session, and R16 Korea. However, the trend in recent years to place excessive emphasis on organized battles may detract from the spontaneous aspect of the culture that is emphasized in cypher dancing.[16]

Music

The musical selection for breaking is not restricted to hip-hop music as long as the tempo and beat pattern conditions are met. Breaking can be readily adapted to different music genres with the aid of remixing. The original songs that popularized the dance form borrow significantly from progressive genres of jazz, soul, funk, electro, and disco. The most common feature of b-boy music exists in musical breaks, or compilations formed from samples taken from different songs which are then looped and chained together by the DJ. The tempo generally ranges between 110 and 135 beats per minute with shuffled sixteenth and quarter beats in the percussive pattern. History credits DJ Kool Herc for the invention of this concept[11]:79 later termed the break beat.

Gender inequality

Like the other aspects of hip-hop culture, graffiti writing, MCing, and DJing, males are generally the predominant gender within breaking. However, this is being challenged by the rapidly increasing number of b-girls. Critics argue that it is unfair to make a sweeping generalization about these inequalities because women have begun to play a larger role in the breaking scene.[17][18]

Despite the increasing number of female breakers, another possible barrier is lack of promotion. As Firefly, a full-time b-girl, says "It's getting more popular. There are a lot more girls involved. The problem is that promoters are not putting on enough female-only battles."[19][20] More people are seeking to change the traditional image of females in hip-hop culture (and by extension, b-boy culture) to a more positive, empowered role in the modern hip-hop scene.[21][22][23] The lower exposure of female dancers is probably caused not by any conscious discrimination, but simply by there being fewer female breakers. Since there are no female divisions in breaking as there are in "official" sports, they have to compete with men on equal terms. In any "b-boy" battle, if it is a one-on-one competition or crew vs crew, b-girls attend the event as equals to the b-boys. They compete solo against other b-boys and as members of a crew alongside b-boys. All female b-girl crews battle against other breaking crews with no negative discrimination. When referencing women, the term "b-girling" is as acceptable as the term b-boying although not as widely used. Aside from the terminology, both males and females practice this art together.

Media Exposure

Film and television

In the early 1980s several films depicted b-boying including Wild Style, Flashdance, Breakin', Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, Delivery Boys, Krush Groove, and Beat Street. The 1983 PBS documentary Style Wars chronicled New York graffiti artists, but also includes elements of breaking. "BreakBoy" (1985) is a view of the determination of one individual to become one of the best. The documentary film The Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy (2002) provides a comprehensive history of b-boying including its evolution and its place within hip-hop culture. The 2001 comedy film Zoolander depicts Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) performing b-boy moves on a catwalk. Planet B-Boy (2007) follows crews from around the world in their quest for a world championship at Battle of the Year 2005.

Break is a 2006 mini series from Korea about a breaking competition.[citation needed] Over the Rainbow (Drama series 2006) centers on different characters who are brought together by b-boying. The award-winning (SXSW Film Festival audience award) documentary "Inside the Circle"[24] (2007) goes into the personal stories of three b-boys (Omar Davila, Josh "Milky" Ayers and Romeo Navarro) and their struggle to keep dance at the center of their lives. The character Mugen on the anime TV series Samurai Champloo uses a fighting style based on breaking.[citation needed]

Pop culture

B-boys performing on San Francisco's Powell Street in 2008.
  • Breakdance was an 8-bit computer game by Epyx released in 1984, at the height of breaking's popularity.
  • B-boy (videogame) is a 2006 console game which aims at an unadulterated depiction of breaking.[25]
  • Bust A Groove is a video game franchise whose character "Heat" specializes in breaking.
  • Pump It Up is a Korean game that requires physical movement of the feet. The game involves breaking[citation needed] and many people have accomplished this feat by memorizing the steps and creating dance moves to hit the arrows on time.
  • In 1997, Kim Soo Yong began serialization of the first breaking themed comic,Hip Hop.[citation needed] The comic sold over 1.5 million books[citation needed] and it helped to introduce breaking and hip-hop culture to Korean youth.
  • The first breaking themed novel, Kid B, was published by Houghton Mifflin in 2006.[citation needed] The author, Linden Dalecki, was an amateur b-boy in high school and directed a short documentary film about Texas b-boy culture before writing the novel. The novel evolved from Dalecki's b-boy-themed short story The B-Boys of Beaumont, which won the 2004 Austin Chronicle short story contest.[citation needed]
  • In 2005, a Volkswagen Golf GTi commercial featured a partly CGI version of Gene Kelly breaking to a new version of "Singin' in the Rain", remixed by Mint Royale.[citation needed] The tagline was, "The original, updated."

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Schloss, Joseph (2009). Foundation: B-boys, B-girls, And Hip-Hop Culture In New York. Oxford University Press. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Isreal (director). (2002). The Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy. [DVD]. USA: QD3 Entertainment. 
  3. ^ a b Adam Mansbach (24 May 2009). "The ascent of hip-hop: A historical, cultural, and aesthetic study of b-boying (book review of Joseph Schloss' "Foundation")". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/ae/books/articles/2009/05/24/the_ascent_of_hip_hop/. 
  4. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 302.
  5. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 293.
  6. ^ a b c Jorge "Popmaster Fabel" Pabon (September 10, 2009). "25 Things You Should Know About Hip Hop". Dancer Universe. http://danceruniverse.com/stories/issues/200909/25_things_you_should_know_about_hip_hop/. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  7. ^ Freeman, Santiago (July 1, 2009). "Planet Funk". Dance Spirit Magazine. http://www.dancespirit.com/articles/2177. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  8. ^ (MPG) A Street Arab. [MPG]. Thomas A. Edison Inc.. 1898-04-21. http://memory.loc.gov/mbrs/lcmp002/m2a32868.mpg. Retrieved 2009-11-10. 
  9. ^ a b Condry, Ian. "Japanese Hip-Hop". mit.edu. MIT. http://web.mit.edu/condry/www/jhh/. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  10. ^ "Tokyo Rock Steady Crew". msu.edu. http://www.msu.edu/~okumurak/dancers/tokyorsc.html. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  11. ^ a b c d Chang, Jeff (2005). Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-30143-X. 
  12. ^ "Break-dancing, Present at the Creation". National Public Radio. 14 October 2002. http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/patc/break-dancing/. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  13. ^ Edwards, Bob (April 25, 2003). "Profile: Rerelease of the classic hip-hop documentary "Style Wars"". Morning Edition (NPR). 
  14. ^ Crane, Debra (January 23, 2006). "What dance needs: a hip-hop operation". The Times (UK). p. 17. 
  15. ^ "Hip-Hop Dance History". DanceHere.com. Broadway Dreams. July 7, 2008. http://www.dancehere.com/hip-hop-dance-history/. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  16. ^ "When You're In a BATTLE". BEBE (Ground Zero). Korean Roc. http://koreanroc.com/zboard/zboard.php?id=document&page=1&sn1=&divpage=1&sn=off&ss=on&sc=on&select_arrange=headnum&desc=asc&no=94. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  17. ^ La Rocco, Claudia (6 Aug 2006). "A Breaking Battle Women Hope to Win". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/06/arts/dance/06laro.html. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  18. ^ "Girl Power Dances to It's [sic Own Groove"]. Yuku.com. http://politicalpalace.yuku.com/forum/viewtopic/id/10152. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  19. ^ "Firefly aka female breaker". BBC Living section. http://www.bbc.co.uk/leeds/features/living/breakdance/firefly.shtml. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  20. ^ "Women Get the Breaks". The Independent: Independent News and Media. 18 March 2005. http://license.icopyright.net/user/viewFreeUse.act?fuid=MjEyOTQ2Mw%3D%3D. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  21. ^ "The Exploitation of Women in Hip-Hop Culture". MySistahs.org. http://www.mysistahs.org/features/hiphop.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  22. ^ Arce, Rose (4 March 2005). "Hip-Hop Portrayal of Women Protested". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/Music/03/03/hip.hop/index.html. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  23. ^ Shepherd, Julianne (1 June 2005). "Hip Hop's Lone Ladies Call for Backup: The B-Girl Be Summit preaches strength in numbers". http://www.citypages.com/content/printVersion/15970. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  24. ^ "SXSW Film Festival Jury and Audience Award Winners". sxsw.com. http://sxsw.com/film/film_awards/past_winners. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  25. ^ "B-boy article". psp411.com. http://www.psp411.com/show/product/1163/0/BBoy.html. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 

External links


at MTV Street Festival, Thailand.]]

Break-dance, breaking, b-boying is a street dance style that evolved as part of the hip hop movement among African American and Puerto Rican youths in Manhattan and the South Bronx of New York City during the early 1970s. It is normally danced to electro or hip hop music, often remixed to prolong the breaks, and is a well-known hip hop dance style. Break-dancing involves the dance elements of toprock, downrock, freezes, and power moves. A break-dancer, breaker, b-boy or b-girl refers to a person who practices break-dancing.

However, referring to the terms "breakdancer" and "breakdancing," hip-hop scholar Joseph Schloss (in the book "Foundation: B-boys, B-girls, And Hip-Hop Culture In New York") states - "the term breakdancing connotes exploitation and disregard for the dance's roots in hip-hop culture"[1], "most feel that the term was part of a larger attempt by the mass media to recast their raw street dance as a nonthreatening form of musical acrobatics,"[2] "one of the first things that beginning b-boys or b-girls learn from their peers is not to refer to the practice as "breakdancing,"[3] and "those who are unfamiliar with the culture may be surprised at the vehemence of b-boys' feelings about the term: "I don't use the term 'breakdance'. It's an ignorant word"[4].

Schloss also states that, "the term is also problematic on a practical level... breakdancing is often used as an umbrella term that includes not only b-boying, but popping, locking, boogalooing, and other so-called funk-style dances that originated in California"[5], and says that the term "breakdancer" is often used disparagingly - "a breakdancer is someone who has learned the dance for mercenary reasons, while a b-boy has learned it through a commitment to the culture"[6].

B-boying may have begun as a building, productive, and a constructive youth culture alternative to the violence of urban street gangs.[7] Today, b-boying culture is a discipline somewhere between those of dancers and athletes. Since acceptance and involvement centers on dance abilities, b-boying culture is often free of the common race and gender boundaries of a subculture and has been accepted worldwide.

Contents

'B-boying' and 'breaking' vs. 'break-dancing'

What is popularly known as break-dancing is referred to as “b-boying” and “breaking” by the majority of the art form’s pioneers and most notable practitioners, as well as by many of Hip-Hop’s most prominent figures. [8]

“B-boying” and “breaking” are the terms used throughout QD3 Entertainment’s documentary The Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy. KRS-One, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, and DMC of Run-DMC refer to it as “breaking”, [8] Michael Holman and Fab 5 Freddy refer to it as “b-boying”, [8] and Jo Jo of Rock Steady Crew uses “breaking” and “b-boying”. [8] The terms 'b-boys' and 'breakers' are used to describe the actual dancers - B-Boy London of New York City Breakers and Michael Holman refer to “breakers”, [8] Frosty Freeze of Rock Steady Crew says, “we were known as b-boys”, [8] Afrika Bambaataa says, “b-boys, what you call break boys… or b-girls, what you call break girls”, [8] and Jo Jo and Mr. Freeze of Rock Steady Crew and Fab 5 Freddy use the term “b-boy”. [8]

The Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy explains how the term ‘break-dancing’ was a term coined by the media and is not the term used by the actual dancers. [8] Crazy Legs of Rock Steady Crew says, “when I first learned about the dance in ’77 it was called b-boying… by the time the media got a hold of it in like ’81, ’82, it became ‘break-dancing’ and I even got caught up calling it break-dancing too”, [8] and Action of New York City Breakers says, “you know what, that’s our fault kind of… we started dancing and going on tours and all that and people would say, oh you guys are breakdancers - we never corrected them”. [8] Jo Jo of Rock Steady Crew adds - “b-boy… that’s what it is, that’s why when the public changed it to ‘break-dancing’ they were just giving a professional name to it, but b-boy was the original name for it and whoever wants to keep it real would keep calling it b-boy”. [8]

The Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy presents two versions of why the ‘b’ stands for ‘break’. [8] The first is that it comes from the ‘breaks’ on the record - Mr. Freeze of Rock Steady Crew says, “the break of the record… ‘b’… break, we are the b-boys”, [8] and Mr. Wiggles of Rock Steady Crew and Electric Boogaloos says, “the DJs used to cut breaks, and the b-boys would break to what? The breaks. So you know, it’s just common sense”. [8] Alternatively, it is said to come from the street slang of the term break and breaking – Grand Mixer DXT says, “breaking boys - because people would be breaking at the party, starting trouble… when somebody would get mad - yo he’s breaking, stop breaking man, and when Kool Herc says it, it’s official”, [8] and DJ Kool Herc himself (billed as ‘The Father Of Hip-Hop’ in the documentary) says, “b-boy – boys that break, it didn’t come from breaks on the record, it comes from… this man he ‘broke’, he went to a point, a breaking point… we just used that exaggeration of that term to the dancing – the b-boys, break boys”. [8]

Origins: From street to dance

.]]

Breaking became popular in the Western world when street corner disc jockeys DJ KOOL HERC, would take the rhythmic breakdown sections (or "breaks") of dance records and string them together with many elements of the melody. This provided a raw rhythmic base for improvising and further mixing, and it allowed dancers to display their skills during the break.

Break-dancing, in its organized fashion seen today, may have begun as a method for rival gangs of the ghetto to mediate and settle territorial disputes.[7] In a turn-based showcase of dance routines, the winning side was determined by the dancer(s) who could outperform the other by displaying a set of more complicated and innovative moves.

Michael Jackson's televised performance of the robot dance in 1974 displayed elements of the breakdance subculture to a wide audience and helped spark its popularity. Meanwhile, dance teams such as the Rock Steady Crew and the New York City Breakers, changed the dance into a pop-culture phenomenon receiving a large amount of media attention. In the 1980s, parties, disco clubs, talent shows, and other public events became typical locations for breakdancers. Though its intense popularity eventually faded in the mid-1980s, in the following decades break-dancing became an accepted dance style portrayed in commercials, movies, and the media. Instruction in break-dancing techniques is even available at dance studios where hip-hop dancing is taught. Some large annual break-dancing competitions of the 2000s include the Battle of the Year or the Red Bull BC One.

Shortly after groups such as the Rock Steady Crew came to Japan, break-dancing within Japan began to flourish. Each Sunday performers would breakdance in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park. One of the first and most influential Japanese breakdancers was Crazy-A, who is now the leader of the Tokyo Rock Steady Crew.[9] He also organizes the yearly B-Boy Park which draws upwards of 10,000 fans a year and attempts to expose a wider audience to the culture.[10]

Dance techniques

.]]

There are four basic elements that form the foundation of breakdance. These are toprock, downrock (also known as footwork), power moves, and freezes.

Toprock refers to any string of steps performed from a standing position, relying upon a mixture of coordination, flexibility, style, and rhythm. It is usually the first and foremost opening display of style, and it serves as a warm-up for transitions into more acrobatic maneuvers. Perhaps the most basic toprock is the Indian Step, but toprock is very eclectic and can draw upon many other dance styles. Though commonly associated with popping and locking (two elements of the funk styles that evolved independently in California during the late 1960s) break-dancing is often considered distinct from popping and locking, as its moves require a greater sense of athleticism, as opposed to the contortion of limbs seen in pop-and-lock. Breakdancers who wish to widen their expressive range, however, may dabble in all types of hip hop dance.

In contrast, downrock includes all footwork performed on the floor as in the 6-steps. Downrock is normally performed with the hands and feet on the floor. In downrock, the breakdancer displays his or her proficiency with foot speed and control by performing footwork combinations. These combinations usually transition into more athletic moves known as power moves.

Power moves are actions that require momentum and physical power to execute. In power moves, the breakdancer relies more on upper body strength to dance, and is usually on his or her hands during moves. Power moves include the windmill, swipe, and flare. Power moves are very physically demanding and a great display of upper body strength and stamina. Several moves are borrowed from gymnastics, such as the flare, and martial arts, with impressive acrobatics such as the butterfly kick.

.]] Breakdance sets usually end with freezes that halt all motion in a stylish pose. The more difficult freezes require the breakdancer to suspend himself or herself off the ground using upper body strength, in poses such as the handstand or pike. Alternatively, suicides can also signal the end to a routine. Breakers will make it appear that they have lost control and fall onto their backs, stomachs, etc. The more painful the suicide appears, the more impressive it is, but breakdancers execute them in a way to minimize pain. In contrast to freezes, suicides draw attention to the motion of falling or losing control, while freezes draw attention to the final position.

Music

As the clichéd quote "break to the beat" points out, rhythmic music is an essential ingredient for break-dancing. The original songs that popularized the dance form borrow significantly from progressive genres of jazz, soul, funk, electro, disco, and R&B.[11] The most common feature of breakdance music exists in breaks, or compilations formed from samples taken from different songs which are then looped and chained together by the DJ. The tempo generally ranges between 110 and 135 beats per minute with shuffled sixteenth and quarter beats in the percussive pattern.[11] History credits Kool Dj Herc for the invention of this concept, later termed breakbeat.

The musical selection is not restricted to hip-hop as long as the tempo and beat pattern conditions are met. It can be readily adapted to different music genres (often with the aid of remixing). World competitions have seen the unexpected progressions and applications of heavily European electronica, and even opera. Some b-boys, such as Pierre, even extend it to rock music.

Fashion

.]]

For most breakdancers, fashion is a defining aspect of identity. The breakdancers of the 1980s typically sported flat-soled Adidas, Puma, or Fila shoes with thick, elaborately patterned laces.[citation needed] Some break-dancing crews matched their hats, shirts, and shoes to show uniformity, and were perceived as a threat to the competitor by their apparent strength in numbers. B-boys also wore nylon tracksuits which were functional as well as fashionable. The slick, low-friction material allowed the breakdancer to slide on the floor much more readily than with cotton or most other materials.

Hooded nylon jackets allowed dancers to perform head spins and windmills with greater ease.[citation needed] Additionally, the popular image of the original breakdancer always involved a public performance on the street, accompanied by the essential boombox and oversized sheet of cardboard, which serves as a dance floor.

The b-boys today dress differently from the b-boys in the 80s, but one constant remains: dressing "fresh".[citation needed] Due to the spread of break-dancing from the inner cities into the suburbs and other social groups, different perceptions of "fresh" have arisen. Generally the rule that one's gear needs to match has remained from the 80s, along with a certain playfulness. Kangols are still worn by some, and track pants and nylon clothes still have their place combined with modern sneakers and hats. Trucker hats were reintroduced to the scene in the late 1990s, well before the mainstream pop culture began wearing them again in numbers.[citation needed]

.]] Function is heavily intertwined with b-boy fashion. Due to the demands on the feet in b-boying, b-boys look for shoes with low weight, good grip, and durability in the sole as well as elsewhere.[citation needed] Headwear can facilitate the movement of the head on the ground, especially in headspins. Bandannas underneath headwear can protect against the discomfort of fabric pulling on hair. Wristbands placed along the arm can also lower friction in particular places, as well as provide some protection. Today's break-dancing styles, which emphasize fast-paced, fluid floor moves and freezes, differ from that of two decades ago, requiring more freedom of movement in the upper body.[citation needed] Therefore, less baggy upperwear is more common today (though pants remain baggy).[citation needed]

Some dancers and crews have begun to dress in a style similar to "goth" or punk rockers in order to stand out from the more traditional toned-down b-boy appearance. Certain clothing brands have been associated with breaking, for instance, Tribal. Puma is also well known in the breaking community. Both brands sponsor many b-boy events.[citation needed]

But aside from these generalities, many b-boys choose not to try too hard to dress for breaking, because one would want to be able to break anytime, anywhere, whatever the circumstances.[citation needed] This is part of the reason why many breakdancers would rather learn headspins without a helmet even though helmets allow them to learn the technique more easily. B-girls in the present, have hard times learning the hard techniques. Usually one would attempt a move, but would leak a lot of undergarment. Some b-girls have found it humiliating or embarrassing, so they've chose to wear thongs as part of they're break routine. The thong itself, allows them so stretch out and provides them with flexibility. But panties, are regular to a beginner b-girl.

Other breakdancers style their pants by cutting off or rolling up one pant leg. Bucket hats are also popular.

Stage shows

In a number of countries, most notably South Korea, stage companies and individual break-dancing crews have created musicals and stage shows that are either based on, or focus on break-dancing. Among the most notable is A Ballerina Who Loved A B-Boy, a musical telling the story of a ballerina who falls in love with the power of break-dancing.

These theatrical productions have been performed by professional breakdance crews, including Extreme Crew, Maximum Crew, and Able Crew. Another break-dancing musical is Marionette performed, created and choreographed by Korean break-dancing crew "Expression Crew". Many entertainers have incorporated breakdance moves into their stage performances, ranging from professional wrestler Booker T to Korean singer Se7en.

Media exposure

, next to a stereotypical boombox.]] In the 1980s, with the help of pop culture and MTV, break-dancing made its way from America to the rest of the world as a new cultural phenomenon. Musicians such as Michael Jackson popularized some of the break-dancing styles in music videos, and movies such as Flashdance, Wild Style, Beat Street, Breakin' and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo also contributed to the growing appeal of break-dancing.[citation needed] Today, many b-boys and former breakers are disappointed by the media hype that has changed the focus of break-dancing to money and overuse of power moves.

Breaking and hip hop culture have also been the subject of documentaries such as The Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy and Style Wars.

Gender inequality

As in its musical counterpart, rap music, males are generally seen as the predominant gender within b-boying. However, this belief is being challenged by the rapidly increasing number of b-girls in the world today. Like most aspects of hip hop, including the three other major components graffiti, emceeing and turntabalism, women are overall seen as having less influence than men. Relatively speaking the women are seen as outsiders to the groups. It is interesting to note that if there is a group with a majority of males and a minority of females, the crew will still be referred to as b-boys. However, if there is a majority of females and a minority of males, the group will normally not be known as a crew of b-girls. This simple concept of naming certain groups, feminists argue, is proof of the gender inequalities within the break dancing world.[12]

Critics argue that it is unfair to make a sweeping generalization about these inequalities because women have begun to play a larger role in the break-dancing scene[13][14][15]. Despite the increasing number of female break dancers, another possible barrier is lack of promotion. As Andrea Parker a.k.a. Firefly, a full-time break dancer, says, "'It's getting more popular. There are a lot more girls involved. The problem is that promoters are not putting on enough female-only battles.'"[16]

Issues such as these have been addressed more and more in recent years by such groups as We-B-Girls, who seek to "influence and inspire leadership to change the perceptions and roles of women in hip-hop for current and future generations."[17] As well, more people are seeking to change the traditional image of females in hip-hop culture (and by extension, break-dancing culture) to a more positive, empowered role in the modern hip hop scene.[18][19][20]

However, this argument is deemed nonsensical by its detractors[who?]; is it stated that "the floor does not discriminate against anyone"[citation needed]. The lower exposure of female dancers is probably caused not by any conscious discrimination, but simply by there being fewer female break dancers. Since there are no women division as in "official" sports, they have to compete with men on equal terms. In any "Bboy" Battles, if it is a one-on-one competition or maybe a battle between crews, B-girls attend the event as equals to the B-Boys. They compete against the B-boys and as members of crews alongside B-boys, and all female B-girl crews battle against other crews with no negative discrimination. The term "B-girling" is as acceptable as the term B-boying and the only reason the masculine form is used more often is simply because of a lack of a gender-even term. Other than the terminology, both males and femles practice this art together.[original research?]

Battles

Battles are an integral part of the b-boying culture. They can take the form of a cypher battle and an organized battle. Both types of battles are head to head confrontations between individuals or groups of dancers who try to out-dance each other.

The cypher (or the circle) is the name given to a circle of b-boys and/or b-girls who take turns dancing in the center. There are no judges (other than the participants of the cypher itself), concrete rules or restrictions in the cypher, only unsaid traditions. Although people aren't always battling each other in the cypher, there are many times when battles do take place. B-boying began in the cypher and only later did organized competition develop. This type of battle is how b-boying was originally and it is often more confrontational and more personal. The battle goes on until it ends for one of many possible reasons, such as one dancer admitting defeat. Cypher culture is more present in communities with a stronger emphasis and understanding of original, true hip hop culture. Battling in the cypher is also a common way for dancers to settle issues between each other whether it be individuals or crews.

Organized battles, however, set a format for the battle, such as a time limit, or specify a limit for the number of dancers that can represent each side. Organized battles also have judges, who are usually chosen based on years of experience, level of deeper cultural knowledge, contribution to the scene and general ability to judge in an unbiased manner. There are however, times when non b-boys or non b-girls are chosen to judge by some organizers, and these type of events (jams) are often looked down upon by the b-boying community. Organized battles are far more publicized and known to the mainstream community, and include famous international-level competitions such as Battle of the Year, UK B-Boy Championships Redbull BC One, Freestyle Session and R16 Korea. It should be noted however that a view exists that a trend in recent years has been to place an over-emphasis on organized battles, which takes away from a more originality-based aspect of the culture that is often more emphasized in cypher culture.[21]

Crews

A crew is a group of two or more b-boys or b-girls who choose to dance together for whatever purpose, either simultaneously or separately. Crew vs Crew battles are common in break-dancing. Many B-boys and B-Girls are part of a crew, which makes many feel more dedicated to break-dancing. A few of the most well known crews are the New York City Breakers, Rock Steady Crew, Style Elements Crew, LA Breakers, Last For One, Super Cr3w, Gamblerz, Mortal Combat, Flying Steps, and Quest Crew.

Many b-girl crews often find themselves competing or trying to prove their legitimacy and passion for this specific type of dancing. Anonamiss is an all female b-girl crew, based in Christchurch, New Zealand, known for incorporating b-girling moves with Samoa siva dance inspired moves.[22]

Controversy

Though recreational, the dance is not without its heated debates. Some practitioners state the original terms b-boying or breaking are better names for the dance as breakdance was supposedly created by the media as a marketing device[who?]. As such, the term breakdance is said to lack the depth and history of the older terms and are today looked down by some who consider its use as an evidence of ignorance and disrespect to the history of the dance style itself.[weasel words]

Multiple stereotypes have emerged in the break-dancing community over the give-and-take relationship between technical footwork and physical prowess. Those who focus on dance steps and fundamental sharpness—but lack upper-body brawn, form, discipline, etc.—are labeled as "style-heads" and specialists of more gymnastics-oriented technique and form—at the cost of charisma and coordinated footwork—are known as "power-heads." Such terms are used colloquially often to classify one's skill, however, the subject has been known to disrupt competitive events where judges tend to favor a certain array of techniques. It has often been stated that break-dancing replaced fighting between street gangs, though some believe it a misconception that b-boying ever played a part in mediating gang rivalry. These gang roots made break-dancing itself seem controversial in its early history.

Uprocking as a dance style of its own never gained the same widespread popularity as breakdance, except for some very specific moves adopted by breakers who use it as a variation for their toprock. When used in a breakdance battle, opponents often respond by performing similar uprock moves, supposedly creating a short uprock battle. Some dancers argue that because uprocking was originally a separate dance style it should never be mixed with break-dancing, and that the uprock moves performed by breakers today are not the original moves but poor imitations that only shows a small part of the original uprock style.

Pop-culture references

Music videos

Buffalo Gals (Malcolm McLaren music video. 1982): The first break-dancing video on MTV, that brought hip hop to the mainstream, most noticeably in Europe. It's like That by Run DMC (Music Video. 1997): Quite possibly the dance video responsible for the return of break-dancing to mainstream culture. The recording, though seemingly unrelated to the harsh themes of the song, features a comical battle between two talented respectively all-female and male crews.

Canon in D Korean video clip (2006) features a famous DJ (DJ Chang Eue), beatboxer (Eun Jun), and two members, Bboy Joe and Bboy Zero-Nine of the 2005 BOTY champions, Last For One in two different versions. South Korea vs North Korea Break-dancing video clip (2005) depicts the separation of these two nations and the will for reunification through bboying. This video clip includes world famous breakdancers Bboy Ducky (Drifterz). Bboy Trickx (Drifterz), Bboy Physicx (Rivers), and Hong10 (Drifterz). Korean crews including Gambler Crew, Rivers Crew, Extreme (Obowang) Crew, Drifterz Crew and more have participated in creating break-dancing tutorial clips shown on television and online to help instruct the new generation of aspiring b-boys.

Korean singers have been known for incorporating break-dancing moves into their choreographies, music videos and performances, including Se7en, Big Bang, BoA, Rain, and Minwoo. In 2004, the Pro-Test video by Skinny Puppy depicted B-Boys break-dancing on a sidewalk in Los Angeles, who ridicule a group of goths, which leads to a dispute.

Films and television shows

In 2007-2008 MTV created America's Best Dance Crew featuring street dance crews from the United States. Super Cr3w (Season 2), and Quest Crew (Season 3) were declared winners and have all won the $100,000 (USD) prize during their respective season. In the early 1980s, several films depicted breakdancers, including Wild Style! (1982) and Flashdance (1983), which showed the Rock Steady Crew. The 1983 PBS documentary Style Wars by Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant tracks the rise and fall of subway graffiti in New York in the late 1970s and early 1980s. At the peak of its popularity, graffiti was as much a part of B-boy culture as rapping, scratching, and breaking. Several 1984 movies focused on the dance, including Breakin'; Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo; Delivery Boys, a comedy about a gang of boys under the Brooklyn Bridge who are united by their common interest in break-dancing; Kruch Groove and Beat Street. In the 1994 Australian documentary Sprayed Conflict, by Robert Moller, Australian graffiti artist and future Melbourne Extreme Games breakdance winner Duel performed break-dancing.

The 2001 comedy film Zoolander depicts Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) performing break-dancing moves on a catwalk. The acclaimed documentary film The Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy (2002) provides a comprehensive history of b-boying, its evolution and its place within hip-hop culture and beyond. Break is a 2006 mini series from Korea about a break-dancing competition. Over the Rainbow (Drama series 2006) centers on a different characters who are brought together by break-dancing. The character Mugen on the anime TV series Samurai Champloo uses a fighting style that is based on break-dancing. The 2007 film Transformers includes a robot character named Jazz who performs a "1990" (breakdance move) as it transform into its robotic form. Planet B-Boy (2007) brings contemporary b-boying alive as it follows crews from around the world in their quest for a world championship at Battle of the Year 2005. The award-winning documentary Inside the Circle (2007) goes deep into the personal stories of three talented b-boys (Omar Davila, Josh "Milky" Ayers and Romeo Navarro) and their struggle to keep dance at the center of their lives.

Video games

Breakdance was an 8-bit computer game by Epyx released in 1984, at the height of break-dancing's popularity.

Bust A Groove (Video game franchise. 1998): The two games series by 989 Studios which spanned comprises a rhythm based gameplay that featured characters with distinctly unique dance styles. The fictional main character, "Heat," former F-1 racer, specializes in break-dancing, while other selectable characters, punk Gas-O and alien twins Capoeira use respectively house and (obviously) Capoeira martial arts.

B-boy (videogame) (2006) is a console game which aims at an unadulterated depiction of break-dancing.[23] Pump It Up is a Korean game that requires physical movement of the feet. The game is open for break-dancing and many people have accomplished this feat by memorizing the steps and creating dance moves to hit the arrows on time. See World Pump Freestyle (WPF) videos.

Developed by Freestyle Games, B-Boy allows you to battle through authentic Hip-Hop break-dancing culture, challenging the world's best B-Boys on the world's greatest B-Boy stages - and hopefully take home an in-game adidas sponsorship along the way.

Some characters in the Tekken series, notably Eddy Gordo and Christie Monteiro, specialize in capoeira, resulting in a fighting style similar to break-dancing.

Other media

In 1997, Korea, Kim Soo Yong began serialization of the first break-dancing themed comic, Hip Hop. The comic sold over 1.5 million books and it helped to introduce hip-hop and break-dancing culture to Korean youth. The first break-dancing-themed novel, Kid B, was published by Houghton Mifflin in 2006. The author, Linden Dalecki, was an amateur b-boy in high school and directed a short documentary film about Texas b-boy culture before writing the novel. The novel evolved from Dalecki's b-boy-themed short story The B-Boys of Beaumont, which won the 2004 Austin Chronicle short story contest.

In 2005, a Volkswagen Golf GTi commercial featured a partly CGI version of Kelly break-dancing to a new version of "Singin' in the Rain", remixed by Mint Royale. The tagline was, "The original, updated."

Notes

  1. ^ Schloss, Joseph, 2009, Foundation: B-boys, B-girls, And Hip-Hop Culture In New York, Oxford University Press, p. 60.
  2. ^ Schloss, Joseph, 2009, Foundation: B-boys, B-girls, And Hip-Hop Culture In New York, Oxford University Press, p. 58.
  3. ^ Schloss, Joseph, 2009, Foundation: B-boys, B-girls, And Hip-Hop Culture In New York, Oxford University Press, p. 58.
  4. ^ Schloss, Joseph, 2009, Foundation: B-boys, B-girls, And Hip-Hop Culture In New York, Oxford University Press, p. 58.
  5. ^ Schloss, Joseph, 2009, Foundation: B-boys, B-girls, And Hip-Hop Culture In New York, Oxford University Press, p. 60.
  6. ^ Schloss, Joseph, 2009, Foundation: B-boys, B-girls, And Hip-Hop Culture In New York, Oxford University Press, p. 61.
  7. ^ a b National Public Radio. Break-dancing, Present at the Creation. 14 October 2002. [1]
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Israel (director), 2002, The Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy, QD3 Entertainment.
  9. ^ Japanese Hip-Hop, by Ian Condry (MIT)
  10. ^ Tokyo Rock Steady Crew
  11. ^ a b Break-dancing Ninja - History and origins.
  12. ^ Briggs, Jimmie. Ladies Love Hip-Hop. The New York Amsterdam News. September 1, 2004. http://web.ebscohost.com.resources.library.brandeis.edu/ehost/pdf?vid=8&hid=106&sid=1e6d27cd-d990-4765-8b5f-24da74fb74a2%40sessionmgr108.
  13. ^ http://www.citypaper.net/articles/2006-02-09/list_cap.shtml?print=1
  14. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/06/arts/dance/06laro.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print
  15. ^ http://politicalpalace.yuku.com/forum/viewtopic/id/10152
  16. ^ http://license.icopyright.net/user/viewFreeUse.act?fuid=MjEyOTQ2Mw%3D%3D
  17. ^ http://www.intermediaarts.org/bgb/bgb_2007/whatisbgb.html
  18. ^ http://www.mysistahs.org/features/hiphop.htm
  19. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/Music/03/03/hip.hop/index.html
  20. ^ http://www.citypages.com/content/printVersion/15970
  21. ^ http://koreanroc.com/zboard/zboard.php?id=document&page=1&sn1=&divpage=1&sn=off&ss=on&sc=on&select_arrange=headnum&desc=asc&no=94 "When You're In a BATTLE" - BEBE (Ground Zero)
  22. ^ Henderson, April K. "Dancing Between Islands: Hip Hop and the Samoan Diaspora." In The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture, ed. by Dipannita Basu and Sidney J. Lemelle, 180-199. London; Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press, 2000
  23. ^ B-boy article at psp411.com

References

  • David Toop (1991). Rap Attack 2: African Rap To Global Hip Hop, p. 113-115. New York. New York: Serpent's Tail. ISBN 1-85242-243-2.
  • The Freshest Kids: A History of the B-Boy (DVD) 2002 by Image Entertainment.

step up 2



Simple English

[[File:|thumb|250px|right|A breakdancer]] Breakdance (also called breaking, b-boying or b-girling) is a type of dance that is done by people who are part of the hip hop culture. Breakdancing was invented in the early 1970s in African-American and Puerto Rican communities in South Bronx in New York City. The dance style evolved during the 70s and 80s in big cities of the United States.

Breakdancing uses different body movements, spins, arm movements, leg movements, all of which are done to the rhythm of hip hop music. Breakdancing was most popular in the 1980s but continues to be common today.

Young people usually breakdance, and it is seen upon as cool.

There are categories in breakdances. They are power moves, toprock, ground rock, foot work, and freezes. Many of moves come from gymnastics and kung-fu, and once or twice have support actions that are almost balletic.


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message