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  Breaklanta 2002
by Lei Vishnu
Photos by Ku'ulei Diamond

Venue: Atrium
Date: February 2, 2002

WOW!! 3 Dot Production gets an A+ for offering a change of pace and a move in a positive direction with Breaklanta. The event was slated as a B-Boy and Turntablist competition with a **rave** to end the night.

Onlookers at the Break Atlanta competition I arrived early at 9:30ish and the place was already packed!! The turntablist competition was underway in the main room offering up some sick talent that had the crowd going wild. It was obvious that each of the competitors had amazing talent, knowledge and respect for the music. Experience and attitude were what set the winner apart from the rest. When DJ Mista Lord went from old skool hip-hop to drum and bass and then back to hip-hop it was clear that he should prevail as the winner. His technical ability to scratch was perfectly combined with the attitude and expressions that made his set a performance. If you have not seen DJ Mista Lord play out, you should definitely try to see him in action. The turntable competition ended with a surprise performance by DJ Klever, two-time champion of the DMC US competition and second place winner of the world competition. He had not planned on throwing out anything that night but put something together at the last minute. He had me, along with the rest of the crowd, in awe the entire time with skills that would not quit and attitude to boot.

Break Dancer While the turntable competition was taking place, the backroom offered a place for people to dance and socialize. Even with $1 drinks before midnight it did not seem like anyone was drinking-all people needed was good music and dancing to keep them happy for the night!! By the time the breaking competition was about to start, the backroom had turned into 3 break circles-all showcasing amazing talent. Some of the people throwing out their stuff inside these backroom circles could have given the winners of the actual competition a run for their money. As I looked around from one circle to the next I was just overwhelmed with the diverse crowd-different nationalities, different styles ( hip-hop, raver, preppy), the dancer and the observer-all with huge smiles on their faces. Break Dancer

Then the break dancing competition part of the night started bringing the energy level up one more notch. There were crews representing from all over the states that made this a nationally recognized event in B-boy culture. The competition had two crews compete head-to-head in single elimination rounds that narrowed it down to the semifinals and then to the finalist. The competition was intense, but it was great, as always, to see the two crews give respect to each other at the end.

Break Dancer Each crew brought with them a unique style mixed in with the breaking essentials. Many times throughout the night I caught myself thinking, "Are our bodies supposed to move that way?" The teamwork and comradery among the crews helped to enhance the astounding athleticism and creativity of the individual members. At one point, two crews were deep within a battle when all of a sudden all members of both teams starting battle rocking at the same time. The sheer force and energy that each member was exerting was breathtaking as they all rocked to the same beat. In that moment, everyone involved-the dancers, the judges and the crowd-were unified through the music and the dance. Break Dancer

Both crews in the finals, Burn Unit from Atlanta and Mind 180 from Orlando, had mad style and pulled out a slew of power moves making the judges decision difficult. In the end, Mind 180 pulled through with more flavor and innovative moves-reminding the crowd that break dancing is as much about perfecting "standard" moves as it is about creating new moves. Mind 180 left the crowd wondering, "How did they do that?" at least once and probably inspired old skool, as well as new skool dancers, to be creative with their routines. After they were declared the winner, they said a few words that kept with the positive vibe. Their message was clear-"With God anything is possible!" -a message spoken with such soul that even the atheist in the crowd cracked a smile.

Break Dancer The competition part of the night ended with the "Pop-N-Lock" contest, which turned out to be more of a freestyle contest with contestants doing everything from traditional Popping to Liquid. It was nice to see people with all different styles working it out on the dance floor, but in the end it was narrowed down to two finalists-Breaks and Skill Master. Skill Master had more traditional skills and style, but Breaks won with his crowd-pleasing antics and smooth style. It was a reminder that B-Boying is an art, and the audience does matter.

The night culminated with Doc Roc throwing down some funky break beats giving the crowd a chance to work it out and maybe try some new moves. However, because the competition had run longer than expected by this time the crowd soon started to thin out. The happy tracks that Doc Roc was laying down provided a perfect backdrop to a night that surely left everyone in attendance with a smile on their face and a bounce in their step.

Related links


Official UK International Breakdance Championship (1999) from Official UK International Breakdance Championship (1999)
This video captures some of the essense of B-Boy culture. It contains
highlights from the 1998 competition. Dance crews from Japan, the U.S.,
Germany and Denmark take the floor at London's Brixton Academy and battle
it out for the title of UK B-Boy Champions.

Features Crazy Legs, Kurtis Blow, Afrika Islam, Malcom McLaren and the Buffalo Gals

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