Performance: R-16 B-boy show (Olympic Park, Seoul)

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Author’s note: it was very hard narrowing this down to 20 photos for this post – for even more, check out this Facebook photo album.

Watch out for spinning feet, headstands, and battles – the B-boys have come to town. Combined with a street market and several walls worth of graffiti contests, this was an all-day venture for some. Now in it’s fifth year – and it’s largest venue.

For Kiwi and I, it was a long walk through Olympic Park, followed by a crowd milling about the outside of Olympic Hall (our fault, since we entered on the opposite side of the park. After picking up some tickets and a press pass, we were off to the 1st floor, central area reserved for the press.

I swear this guy had a flat head – spinning on your head for longer than most could spin on one foot is just crazy.

The first part of the show gave every invited team the chance to take the floor – including the teams from Kazakhstan, China, France, and Japan – sans battle.

Time to go exploring – a few people with press passes planted themselves right next to the stage, just behind one of the main speakers.

Final poses make taking sharp photos a lot easier – as would some lights that didn’t rotate around the rainbow.

Even while out, I loved the focus and the intensity on his face.


You’ve gotta love the poses some of these guys get into.

Not much color in black hats and white shirts – and it’s nice to have some variety every now and then.

Time for the battles to start. The quarter-final round:

Still starting out with the contest; both teams stayed back a pretty far distance from the center. A contest, perhaps, but a ‘rivalry’ or a ‘battle’, not so much.

Love the serene look on his face.


Michael Jackson called – he wants his footwork back.

That’s a well-balanced duo – with a third jumping through.

With the semi-final round done, the final round was set: Jinjo Crew (from Korea) and the Vagabonds (from France). But first, it’s time for something a little different:

K-hip-hop, anyone? Drunken Tiger worked the stage with Yoon MiRae.

Wow – maybe Roscoe Umali’s look is still cool here in Korea.

Loving the eye contact.

The French crew pulling a pyramid, flattening out and coming back up, going up against the Jinjo Crew of Korea. This was the only battle that actually looked and felt like a battle – with Jinjo Crew dominating the floor and giving Vagabonds few chances to shine.

Winner? Jinjo Crew, by a score of 3-2.

As a whole, the show was well run, security reasonably tight but mostly invisible, the crowd ruly (or rather, not unruly), and plenty of commentary in both English and Korean. Every b-boy team brought something new to the floor, and the team performances were wonderful.

Trying to explain the point system was a lost cause, however – it wasn’t overly complicated, but the crowd seemed to ignore the screens showing the points as they were tabulated. The talented orchestra was woefully underused, and was essentially used as filler music to introduce a handful of sections. That they were asked to play common movie themes was borderline pointless – what does the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ or the ‘Star Wars’ theme have to do with b-boying or hip-hop?

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe – 2011
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

This post was originally published on my blog, Chris in South Korea. If you are reading this on another website and there is no linkback or credit given, you are reading an UNAUTHORIZED FEED.



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