Top b-boys have flocked to the Russian capital to show off their moves in the international breakdance contest.
Breakdance street culture, which swept the US in the 1980s, was not exactly welcomed into the Soviet Union.
In modern Russia, however, b-boys are all the rage. As the Red Bull BC 1 B-boy Championship took off in Moscow, 2,000 spectators bought out the tickets in 40 minutes. People drove five and six hours from Nizhny Novgorod, while others made it from Ukraine.
“In Ukraine we have the TV show ‘Everybody Dance’,” Andrey Potikha told RT. “Our family watched the first season, then we noticed our son Timofey dancing. We realized we needed to promote him somehow, I mean help him to develop his talent.”
The show attracted not only Russians and CIS citizens, but also breakdance lovers from abroad.
Despite living in Moscow for 17 years, Isaac Correa has got New York breakdancing written all over him.
“I grew up breakdancing, it was different at that time,” Isaac Correa told RT. “I remember the beginning of breakdancing where I am from in Manhattan, in Brooklyn. And it’s always been something close to me, something in the roots. Being a Hispanic from the lower East side, that’s what we did, we danced and had fun.”
This time, Correa brought in his son to the Moscow championship.
“I started when I was young, I always liked to dance,” Correa Junior told RT. “And now, once you grow up, you see like different styles of dancing. I like this more, because you have to have a lot of power and you should be really like active. And you really need to work those moves to really show them out on the floor.”
The Red Bull BC 1 B-boy Championship united 16 young men from ten nations judged by a jury of five internationally revered B-boys. The battle featured Russia’s renowned Yan the Shrimp, Holland’s Niek the Flying Dutchman, Venezuela’s Lil-G, and America’s Rox Rite.
BC One Champion Rox Rite told RT it was his third trip to Russia where he comes to teach, judge, and dance.
“The urban dance movement – not just b-boying, but all the different styles – is growing in Russia,” Rox Rite, BC One Champion, told RT. “They have top-level b-boys winning world championship tournaments and crew battles. There is a crew winning a lot of international tournaments around the world. So the level is high.”
Tensions may have run high, but at the end of the day these are not brawlers but still b-boys. They are more likely battle each other with killer raps and dance moves than to fight.