It's been a while since I wanted to shoot break-dancing performances - it's particularly challenging to me as you don't have much control of the angles (these events being so crowded, it is sometimes hard to be located at the best spot to shoot), you can't predict the quick dance moves they will be doing; Also, there are so much going on a one or two minute battle that it is sometimes difficult to capture the key moments. The event was held outside at Taipei’s National Palace Museum, one of the world’s top museum. It started in late afternoon so the natural light continuously changed, which added additional changes on the camera settings as I was on manual mode.
About Red Bull BC One
Red Bull BC One was created in Switzerland (2004). For the ones who don't know much about break dance and hip hop battles, It's an annual international B-Boy competition (one to one) organized by Red Bull. This year Red Bull BC One will travel to Paris again for the Red Bull BC One France World Final 2014.
Red Bull BC One cycles through three seasons each year: Cypher, Finals and World Final. Cyphers are national, preliminary events where 16 B-Boys compete for a spot in one of six Finals around the world. The winners of the Finals qualify to battle in the Red Bull BC One World Final.
B-Boy Blond - the Winner of Red Bull BC One Asia Pacific Final
B-Boy were from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan.
B-Boy Blond is the winner of this final. Originally from Busan Korea but now lives in Australia.
This was the first time Blond competed at a Red Bull BC One Final. “I feel I represent Australia this time since there was a cypher there, and I’ve been living there for nearly five years now,” Blond said after his victory. “Everyone was cheering for me from there, which means a lot to me. I’m Korean on the inside though, so I feel I have both flags on my shoulder.”
About the local Scene
Street dance appeared in Taiwan in 1985. Early crews, such as Gestapo Crew and L.A. Boyz, became famous thanks to the widespread popularity a television talent show called Five Lights Award, along with commercials. At the time, the local level spanned moves such the backspin, bronco, windmill and headspin, which were considered extraordinary in the early years of Taiwanese breaking.
Taiwan historically had little division between the different types of street dance. Every breaker had to learn different styles, yet breaking was always a high priority as it was revered for its dynamic, powerful and athletic technique. It quite simply looked amazing and was easily recognized, as few people were familiar with B-Boying. But as the dance took hold in Taiwan, more crews emerged. Some of the most important, early crews were Occult Army（靈異兵團）, Superb Brothers（霹靂夥伴), Superb Guardians（霹靂神兵) and Kuroshio Current（黑潮). Crews kept Chinese names back in the day. Today, they mainly keep English names. From late 80s on, most Taipei B-Boys gathered together to practice at The National Theater & Concert Hall.
A few B-Boys from this seminal era still stand as legends in the Taiwanese street dance scene today, including Alun, who formed the Hip Hop group The Party in the 90s, as well as the award-winning documentary, “Hip-Hop Storm,” which tells the story of his life and career. Another legendary Taiwanese B-Boy is A-JOE, aka Mr. Pop Pop Joe, who not only served as a breaking pioneer in the local scene but also remains quite active today. B-Boy Gino has also stood as a prominent figure in the Taiwanese scene for 20 years strong, first learning his tricks from Japanese legend Chino (Rock Steady Crew).
Taipei City owns Taiwan’s most vibrant Hip Hop scene. From DJing and street dance, to graffiti art and MCing, the urban hub has the population density and artistic talent strong enough to foster all elements of Hip Hop culture. There are even spaces Taipei that combine disciplines, for instance where B-Boys dance alongside graffiti artist. In this way, Taiwanese Hip Hop culture is one of integration, yet the scene is ripe for bigger, more wide-scaled events. Taiwan brings with it an impressive reputation, and with its long-standing respect to peace and love in Hip Hop culture, it aims to continue making its place in the global scene.