US cedes status as breakdancing capital to South Korea(Read article summary)
Bronx may still be the first place to come to mind, but Seoul is now the breakdancing capital.
Seoul, South Korea
• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.
If you’re looking for the world’s best break dancers you won’t find them in New York, even though break dancing – also known as B-boying – still brings to mind images of kids spinning on cardboard on Bronx sidewalks. The art form’s current epicenter is on the other side of the world in Seoul, South Korea.
B-boying was introduced here by American soldiers shortly after its genesis in the United States.
But it really took hold in the late 1990s when a Korean-American named John Jay Chon gave a break dancing video to some of Seoul’s urban dancers.
Korean B-boying’s breakthrough moment came in 2002 at the Battle of the Year. In the country’s second appearance at the event, a Korean crew won – an unheard-of accomplishment.
Break dancing’s popularity here has spread to the world of theater. A show called “Ballerina Who Loves B-Boy” will complete a two-year run in December, and SJ B-Boys Theater claims to be the world’s first theater devoted exclusively to break dancing.