Arts, Culture & Media

Global hit

Dance crazes come and go. Just think back to the macarena -- here today -- gone tomorrow. Many expected break-dancing to follow that familiar pattern.

Player utilities

Instead, break-dancing -- or B-boying -- has become an enduring GLOBAL phenomenon. There are even competitions where "b-boys" AND "b-girls" from all over the world can go head-to-head.

One of the biggest competitions takes place in Germany. It's sort of like the Olympics in the hip-hop world. The event is called "Battle of the Year." And it's the subject of a new documentary called "Planet B-Boy: Breakdancing has Evolved."

Here's a clip from the film. It describes how the dancers wind up feeling like cultural ambassadors for their countries.

FILM CLIP: Once these rival crews stop dancing then they will find out it wasn't about competing, it was about being in one place.

The success in hip-hop world wide is that no matter what language you speak you can speak in hip-hop culture. It's a serious way to unify youth. The admiration they have for each other is the admiration for the dance itself and that is the biggest key.

The director and producer of "Planet B-Boy" is Benson Lee. He says he knew before making the documentary that "b-boying" was popular around the globe. But he says he was unaware how deep its roots really were.

LEE: B-boying was global. It was all around the world. I had no idea there was a whole history in Europe, in Asia. And I think that's a testament to this dance because there's really no money in it, but these people love to dance. They love hip-hop and they gravitate to the dance element of it. And it's an absolute form of expression for them.

WERMAN: Right, you point form of expression. Here's on of the old-school b-boys from the Bronx, Track 2.

"For me the art of B-boying is individuality. It's how they take the music and adapt to it. The music is basically the blood pumping through your veins."

WERMAN: And that individuality comes through in your film and it culminates with a massive throw down of b-boys from all over the world in Germany. Tell us about Battle of the Year.

LEE: Battle of the Year is one of the biggest international events in the world. It involves 20 countries and the story line in our film is covering the Battle of the Year. We follow teams who were representing their countries and they were all going to meet at this event.

LEE: The battle is vicious without any physical contact. The only physical contact that comes out of it is a handshake or a hug. And honestly, I don't want to sound cheesy or anything, but it would be great if our leaders could learn b-boying and battle it out at a battle, you know, with some music.

Comments