Boy, that was good!

Break Dance

Boy, that was good!

Hands Off: Local B-boys sharpen their technique at the workshop. DH Photos by Shivakumar B H

Loud whistles were only surpassed by even louder applause. Nyx’s was packed. A mob of people formed a circle.

At the centre of it was a clearing with a 12-foot radius which was the performance area called the Cypher.

There, in the middle, were four boys taking turns performing a dance that is in most parts largely alien to popular Indian culture. They were four of the best B-boys in the world.

Benny, Lilou, Pelezinho and Roxrite did a range of moves that combined various dance forms like break-dancing and hip-hop. They even incorporated the Brazilian martial art Capoeira.

Standing there, in that moment, you wondered if the laws of physics were in fact inviolable. The world tumbled around. Benny spun around like a top. Lilou balanced his entire body on one hand, Pelezinho and Roxrite almost defied gravity. Every beat of the thumping music was an opportunity to show off another seemingly impossible dance move. Each move was a testimony to grace, stamina and sheer strength. Even in this no-holds-barred setting, the members seem to have an unwritten code of conduct quietly agreed on. Each B-boy got his turn, others watched, waiting their turn. Sometimes they joined in with complementary moves but ensured they weren’t crowding the other performer in the Cypher.

Benny, Lilou, Pelezinho and Roxrite invited local B-boys on to the Cypher. Naser Alazzeh, a B-boy from Bangalore who had learnt how to B-boy from watching YouTube said: “It shows you what’s inside you. Watching these guys perform has inspired me to get as good as they are.”

A large part of a street culture such as B-boying is the stress on community and Benny, Lilou, Pelezinho and Roxrite were in the City in that spirit. They conducted a four-day workshop here which was open to all. Asked why they had travelled to the City given how relatively unknown their art is here, Yalda Ghods, a rep for Benny, Lilou, Pelezinho and Roxrite said: “We wanted to make the B-boying scene a little bit bigger. We also wanted to get to know the hip-hop culture here.”

Talking about the local talent Benny said, “They are good. They have talent. They have the basics in place but they need to get stronger and practice more.”

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