Red Bull BC One paid tribute to the higher powers of dance over the weekend in the renovated church space of the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, a historical venue that serves the Latino community in Boston.
Motivated by host Crazy Freddy and musically inspired by DJ Lean, 16 b-boys from the Northeast gathered to celebrate b-boy culture, challenge their friends and themselves, and compete for the chance to advance to Chicago for the regional qualifier.
Red Bull BC One is the only One of its kind. Sixteen b-boys are paired up for one-on-one battles, judged by three b-boy vets. From those eight battles, the winners go on to face each other in four new battles, and so forth, until it comes down to two finalists.
At the Villa Victoria Center, it came down to long-time friends and rivals Toyz aRe Us and Bebo. Bebo and his crew used to travel Maryland to battle, and challenged any b-boy they could find -- including Toyz (pictured below). Going into yesterday’s competition, Toyz said that he had been thinking about Bebo and “had a feeling that it would come down to them.”
After the judges ruled in Bebo’s favor, he brought Toyz in for a hug and then held the trophy high above his head. Though he was nervous and thought about going to Chicago while he was breaking, Bebo said that he didn’t just do it for himself.
“It’s a family thing,” he said. “I do it for myself and for the people who support me throughout.” He then pointed to the tattoo on his left hand: “ImAgInE IT.”
Bebo will now go on to represent his crew in Chicago, keeping his eye on the ultimate prize: the Red Bull BC One World Championship held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
For b-boys, breaking is more than dance. According to audience member “B-Boy Naga,” whose mentor is Benny Ben from the Rivers Crew, breaking is “more about diversity where no one cares about looks.” On the floor, race, socioeconomic status and other identifiers are inconsequential because all that matters is dance.
“B-boying is like an equalizer, a bridge to talk to other people,” Naga said.
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