A dance form that goes underappreciated by most, and misunderstood by many, is B-Boying.
The origins of B-Boying can be traced back to the late 1960s, in South Bronx, NYC. It was a turbulent time. Gangs running the streets and violence as common as day. As they say, the greatest art emerges from the darkest days. Hip-hop culture began to slowly take root in the alleys of the city. It served as a creative blanket. An outlet, for the disenfranchised and angry youth.
B-Boying- ‘Fighting with creativity, not with weapons’
B-Boying became popular among the youth. Gangs who would take up arms against each other started battling with steps, with Dance. Battles soon meant an explosion of creativity. Gang-members would come together to create art, rather than fight.
Kool DJ Herc -The Jamaican-American DJ was a master at the turntables, evidenced by his creation of ‘breakbeats’. He would play the most upbeat sections of songs on one record, and during its winding down, would play the same tune on the second record. Matching the tunes and beats effortlessly. These tunes grew to be known as breakbeats. Dancers who began to time their movements and steps according to the nuances of these intricate beats came to be known as B-Boys.
The B-Boying Style
Few other dance styles in the world derive influences from as wide a range as B-Boying. It is widely believed that the term B-Boying itself is a derivation of the Afrikaan word ‘Boioing’ – to hop, jump. Observe a crew, and the influences are evident. The dance is a gorgeous mixture of Eastern martial arts, the African-Brazilian ‘fighting dance’ called Capoeira, gymnastics, Native American dances, and the salsa. The art form has dance evolved with time. The early form, performed upright, is termed ‘top rocking’. It grew to incorporate ‘floor-work’- steps using swipes, Russian footwork inspired by martial arts, and floor-sweeps, and ‘freezes’- stances which would end a combination of steps.
B-Boying in India
Greatness can never be contained. B-Boying spread from the Bronx all through the world. Could India be far behind? Since the emergence of popular breakcrews like Flying Machine (Arif Chaudri) and UnderDog Combat in 2007, and ALL FOR ONE in 2008, the break-scene in India has only seen an upwards trajectory. Dancers and crews have started popping up from small cities, let alone metros. Most of them have studied dance and/or danced with various other crews in the past. These dancers are passionate. Many have opted out of the 9-5 grind for the much less rewarding 24/7 art grind. B-Boying in India has slowly begun to get more recognition than before. Fuelled by competitions like Red Bull’s world-renowned BC Cypher One, Cypherholic, and Respect B-Boy Circle.
Some of India’s loudest B-crews are Slumgods (Dharavi), Roc Fresh Crew (Navi Mumbai), Tiny Drops (Mumbai), ALL FOR ONE (Chennai), The Black Ice Crew (Bangalore), Rohan n Group (India’s first hip-hop dance crew), Beast Mode Crew, and Zango Boyz (Agartala).
Blame It on the Boogie
Competitions have been integral to the legacy of any art. One such event soon comes to Hyderabad! Blame It on the Boogie was started in 2013, by Proximity Crew, and has gained incredible support since then, attracting dancers from all over the country. It goes down on 26th August, 2017! Dance-enthusiasts, breakers on a break, active breakers, and just about anyone – get a move on.