B-boy dance is one of the factors which make Korean Wave. In Korea, and particularly in Jeonju, there are many B-boy crews sweeping prizes at a variety of B-boy dance contests at home and abroad. Their dances are renowned for their remarkable ability to express themes with theatrical factors. Let's look into the B-boy dancing which makes us excited this summer.
Origin of B-boys
There are three suppositions about the root of B-boys. However, the meaning of B-boy is same. The “B” in B-boy means “break.” It means the starting part of the DJing with drum beat sounds.
One theory is that when Kool Herc, who was a DJ, played the break in the club, he watched the people who started to dance on the stage. After Kool Herc watched the stage, when he stopped playing the break, people on the stage didn’t dance or move. Consequently, Kool Herc called the people B-boys and their dances were called B-Boying.
Secondly, people guess that B-boy dancing was started in New York in the 1960s or 70s. In those days, the atmosphere of New York was black and gloomy. Because of the dark atmosphere, the young wanted to express their stuffy feelings through motion. The feeling of repression was sublimated to the dance, so b-boy dance has a combatant feeling without fighting each other.
For a last theory, the break dance movement may have had its earliest beginning at the start of the 1970s in New York, the South Bronx. At that time, Africa-Americans took possession of New York’s backstreets. However, Hispanics were coming to this area, and there was a quarrel between them. Also, both groups were crazy about hip-hop that had strong beats. As a result, they promised that they would not attack or hit each other while dancing to hip-hop.
Famous B-Boy crews in Korea
In the B-boy world, the crews are classified by generation.
SPARK is the pioneer Korean B-Boy team. It was created in 1983 and called the first generation.
○GAMBLERZ CREW (2002)
GAMBLERZ CREW is the second generation of B-boy team in Korea. They won the Battle of the Year in a B-boy dance battle in Germany, the largest hip-hop dance event around the world, in 2004 and 2009. Only GAMBLERZ CREW and another foreign team won two times in this festival. Moreover, in the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics (2008), only GAMBLERZ CREW was invited to perform among many other famous B-boy crews all over the world. The members go into various fields such as TV dancing shows, musicals and even education.
○Last for One (2001)
As members of Last for One are consist of the people from Jeonju, this crew represents Jeonju. In the technical skill of B-Boying motion, Last for one is the best team among the famous teams in the world. They won 1st place in the 2005 Battle of the Year in Braunschweig, Germany, and took 2nd place at the 2006 Battle of the Year. They are both the greatest team in Korea and in the world.
Go into the B-Boy dance in summer
○ R16 Korea 2014 World Final
R16 is one of the most famous world B-boy festivals. In 2014, it is going to be held at Olympic Hall on July 5th and 6th. On the first day, the program is composed of solo battle, B-Boy dance, and popping and locking. On the second day, you can enjoy this festival and its market, which sells hip-hop goods such as snapbacks, T-shirts and diverse accessories. You can also participate in the hip-hop culture zone and after party.
○ The Ballerina Who Loves a B-boy
This is a well-known fusion performance with ballet and B-Boy dance. This performance shows dance with both elegance and powerful movement. It has played just in Korea since 2005. Nowadays it is being performed in many other countries. You can enjoy this performance at the Busan Citizen Theater on June 27th and 28th.
○ Jeonju B-BOY GRANDPRIX
Every year, the Jeonju B-BOY GRANDPRIX, a very popular conference of B-boy dance, is held at the CBNU Cultural Center. Unfortunately, it is not being held this year because of the ferry disaster. Since ‘Last for One’ won at the Battle of The Year in Germany, the B-BOY GRANDPRIX is held in Jeonju. ‘Last for One’ was made in Jeonju by people from Jeonju.
Rules For B-boy battle
Each member of each crew goes once by taking turns with time limits. After all of them show their freestyle moves, each crew performs a group routine of their prepared dance. This can be shown by part of the team or by the whole team. This is Round One. Generally, they go through three or four rounds. They can taunt their rivals and make them mad with gestures. However, no one can touch the enemy during the battle.
An Interview with Yun Nak-jung, the Leader of a B-boy Dance Crew in Jeonju, 'East Guinness'
1. Please give us a brief introduction about your crew
The name 'East Guinness' was made wishing to be remembered forever all over the east side. In fact, I created the name just for fun at first, but it has been our real name for 10 years. We have 20 members of all ages from 17 to 33. Although most of us are busy studying and working, we try to gather together to build teamwork continuously.
2. What performance was the most memorable?
In 2007, we were asked to dance with Korean traditional music which was very slow. Before we prepared the show, we had no idea how to dance with it, but we ended it in great success as a result of considerable practice. Also, I remembered the day when we performed at the beach in front of more than a thousand people in Seocheon. I can't forget the moment when we waved our hands to the spectators at the end of the show with beautiful scenery.
3. When do you realize your popularity?
When we are offered to appear on a TV show or on the radio, we really appreciate their interest. These chances highly encourage us to make better performances day by day and do our best to live up to their expectations.
Dance is not mere movement but a source of expressing one's emotion, thoughts, hope and self. For some, it might be the thing which can make them feel alive. Those many passionate B-boys in Korea have made the country be recognized as the best in B-boying. Our interest in it will bring out much more of their achievement and energize us more than before.