Monday, September 22, 2008

Future Sound of Breaks: Return of the B-Boy

Posted by Erica Jackson on Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 2:21 PM

The art of break dancing and dance battles may be attributed to the early hip hop movement in the South Bronx, but from what I’ve seen, it has expanded exponentially over the past 30 years. At the Future Sound of Breaks tour that recently came to Charleston, young locals came and conquered the dance floor at the Music Farm. Nowadays, those who showcase the immense strength and stamina of the b-boy give props to their hip hop ancestors, but also get down to rave-like break beats, and new-school club music.

When I arrived at the steps of the Music Farm, there was a strong scent of spray paint in the air, and lined up across the railings outside were rows of wooden boards where live artists showed off their talents with graffiti. There was not much to see just yet, as the artists had just begun. The music was booming out of the venue, so much it could be heard over a block away. I thought this might be a lamer version of Kulture Klash, but it turned out to be a very different thing altogether. (Cont. after Joshua Curry's pic)


I was surprised to see that the crowd was small when I first arrived. The majority of the audience for the first stage of the dance battle were the dancers themselves, plus me and a few other friends videotaping. I was pretty ignorant to the fact that we have so many amazing dancers in Charleston, but the things I saw on the dance floor blew my mind. The dancers had rhythm like James Brown or Michael Jackson, with the athleticism of an Olympic gymnast. Each DJ offered different variations of dance music, and didn't just stick to hip hop. By the last round, the crowd had grown to maybe four times its original size, and the dancers were putting on their A-game.

I ended up leaving before the winners were announced, but I honestly didn’t want to know. I liked every crew. Every dancer had their own style that made them unique on the floor. As I walked out, the graffiti was finished. Within a few hours, the artists had created some of the coolest street art I have seen in a while. I would have bought some if it were on sale. This event was one-of-a-kind. To know that there are people in Charleston with that kind of passion and talent make me proud to live in this city. — Kelly Stroup

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