Thursday, October 18, 2012

Time and Place: Break (your face) dancing

Posted By on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 11:40 AM

  • Taken at 4:04 p.m., October 13, 2012, 695 North Ave.

This photo was taken during a break-dancing competition at the hip-hop festival that came to town last weekend at the Masquerade. I've seen break-dancing before, but had never seen a true competition. This one consisted of 22 crews of two people each. The break-dancing was incredible. I can't fathom how people learn to move their bodies like that, but what was even more entertaining were the theatrics between the opposing crews, who competed for a $1,000 grand prize.

Each showdown consists of one or two rounds of dances from each dancer, so four or eight in all. When you're not the one dancing, you're not just watching. Some dancers would mock the dancer's moves with a weak version of the same move, or yell things like, "We've already seen that move five times!" The dancer's role isn't just to dance, but it's to dance aggressively and offensively at the other crew. These theatrics were an unexpected but thrilling element of the battles.

When I shot the dancers I tried to capture them at the absolute peak of their moves. But when I was editing my images I was more struck by the in between moments like the one used for this week's Time and Place. I love how the dancer appears like he'd smashed his face on the ground.

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