Is B-boying finding a place in India's dance culture? Experts say the dance form has found an audience in the country, and has a huge potential to flourish. They also have a suggestion -- find your own 'desi' style to stand out.
It is famous on the foreign shores, and is making inroads into some parts of our country with championships like Red Bull BC One 2018 being held in India. B-Boy Flying Machine from Mumbai won the championship, and will now represent India at the Red Bull BC One World Finals in Zurich in September.
Ali Ramdani, better known by his stage name Lilou, feels B-boying is everywhere.
"If you look at the history, B-boying came from the Bronx from New York, straight to Europe then Asia, and now we're touring all around the world, meeting B-boys from everywhere -- from Pakistan, India, Amazonia; the smallest places have dancers and B-boys. Now you also see B-Boys in commercials for everything from cars to milk," Ramdani told IANS.
On the culture in India, he said: "My first time in India was 2008, and the level was low. There were a lot of dancers, but not as many B-boys. Now, that has increased a lot - the B-boys here have knowledge, they know the fundamentals and basics, and who is who, who comes from where and so on. As I said to the breakers I met here this time, in 5-10 years India will definitely be on the international map."
Ronnie Abaldonado, who has travellled around the world, battling and producing shows in Las Vegas, running a hip-hop cultural center and as a Red Bull BC One All Star, thinks social media has added to the popularity of the dance form.
"Everyone here is very hungry to want to learn and get better. They are soaking in all the Red Bull BC One All Star knowledge that they are getting. They seem very determined to want to grow and be better.
"It's not just the dance, but the misconception about hip-hop culture, as a lot of people look at it in a negative light. So, I think it's just spreading the knowledge of the hip-hop culture and letting people understand that breaking is part of the same culture and it has a positive message," Abaldonado added.
To this, Ramdani added: "Indians need to focus on who they are, where they come from and what their identity is. They shouldn't try to be like someone else - be yourself and learn the fundamentals and basics, then put your own identity in the move."
Hong 10, whose real name is Kim Hong-Yeol, says India has a lot of dancers, which means big potential to evolve fast.
"Plus the people in the country like music and dance. So I think that is how it has been evolving until now and will continue to," added the expert, who is a two-time Red Bull BC One World Champion.
B-boy Lil Zoo, whose given name is Foad Ambelej, thinks the dance form is "really growing in a beautiful way, with people supporting each other, but in others (countries) it's growing more as a battling ground between individuals".
"Three years ago, I hadn't even heard of any B-boys in India, so I was pleasantly surprised to see so many B-boys this year. They have a great respect for the dance form. I think it's going to continue to grow, and in three years, India will be right up there in the international scene," added Ambelej, who hails from Morocco.
Ambelej has an advice for the young people.
"I think it is in our hands as a community to popularise it. B-boys and B-girls must value themselves and understand their potential, and when we do that, it will become way bigger," he added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)