Red Bull BC One Cypher India Celebrated the Best of the Country’s Breaking Talent
The fifth edition of the global breakdancing competition saw Indian B-Girls join the contest for the first time
Once the playground for the Portuguese and then the British, Mumbai’s Bandra Fort found itself embroiled in another battle earlier this month. This time around, the weapons used weren’t ships, cannonballs, swords and guns but muscle, bone, sweat and some good old energy drink powered enthusiasm. The earthen amphitheater of the Bandra Fort bore witness to history as the Red Bull BC One Cypher India returned for its fifth edition on April 13th. The 2019 Cypher was monumental as it was the first time that B-Girls too competed in what has been hailed as the Olympics of break dancing.
We arrive early and see the dancers warming up and breaking in the discoid stage. They battle against gravity and for moments at a time, they are rhythm in the air, their movements lithe, acrobatic, and yogic even. If this is what their warm-up is, the competition promises to be a hell of a spectacular evening. The competing breakers, who qualified through the city and regional cyphers to reach the India Championship, are contending to earn their positions at the Red Bull BC One Last Chance Cypher (World Finals) to be held in Mumbai this November.
Judged by star breakers, B-Girl Narumi, B-Boy Luigi and Red Bull BC One All Star Ronnie, the B-Boys and B-Girls progressed through knockout battles to the semi-finals and ultimately, to the final round. Spinmaster and veteran DJ Uri provided the beats for the evening while seasoned rapper and MC Bob Omulo aka Bobkat (from reggae/rock band Bombay Bassment) hosted the battle.
B-Boy Tornado from Mumbai and B-Girl Jo from Bengaluru emerged victorious at the end of the evening, earning the titles of Red Bull BC One 2019 India Champions. The final round saw both the champions put their best foot forward in what was a worthy dance-off between two opponents. Jo contested with B-Girl Flowraw who served up impressive freeze transitions. Her adeptness and range of movement were remarkable. B-Girl Jo’s performance was powerful with progressions from the double leg swipe to the chair and turtle freeze, mixed in with interesting and fluid bridge transitions. Their match was one where the audience sat at the edge of their seats. Tornado went up against B-Boy Wildchild, proving his agility as he entered the arena with a head slide and flaunted moves such as the windmill, L kick, air flare and a marvelous 2000. Wildchild’s headspin and baby freeze transitions were noteworthy too, making the dance-off a close contest.
Hip-hop duo Seedhe Maut closed the night with a powerful set featuring their tracks “Kranti,” “Kyu” and “Shaktimaan.” Encore ABJ and Calm fed off the audience’s excitement who sang their lyrics as the duo performed. The Red Bull BC One Cypher India saw breakers from all across India come together and celebrate dance and hip-hop, with all the competitors delivering dynamic presentations. The contest only gets better with each passing year and with the talent witnessed at the Cypher, the future of breaking in India is not only tangible but also one to keep a steady eye on.