The talent on display at the Peacock at the moment is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Korean B-boy scene. Korean breakdancing is getting almost to be mainstream – to the extent that corporate suits hire B-boys to provide some glitz and glamour to a new product launch; and they make a brief appearance in the latest Korea, Sparkling promotional video.
Apart from the breakdancers at the Peacock right now, last month saw the top Korean breakdancing group Last4One conducting a UK tour, including a performance of “Spin Odyssey” at the Riverside Studio in Hammersmith (which I’m afraid I only found out about after the event as I don’t really move in hip-hop circles) and a masterclass at the Roundhouse in North London. According to KBS:
South Korean B-boys have recently been making a name for themselves at the international level, by winning first place at some of the most prestigious competitions, such as Germany’s annual “Battle of the Year,” Britain’s “B-Boy Championship,” the U.S. “Free Style Session,” and the traveling “Red Ball BC One.” As of 2006, approximately 3,000 B-boys were active in Korea, of which more than 10 teams, comprised of 100 people, were recognized as the world’s best. Tapes of Korean B-boys’ performances are used as textbooks for B-boys worldwide. In December 2006, the world’s first-ever theater exclusively for B-boy performances opened in Seoul.
Browse some of the links at the bottom of this post and you’ll find the best breakdancers have a celebrity status in the international b-boy network. If you’re London based, there’s an international breakdancing gathering Breakin’ Convention at Sadler’s Wells over the bank holiday weekend at the beginning of May including the top French group Vagabond Crew, but no Koreans.