America has failed to win at the Battle of the Year International Championships for fifteen years despite having been the country to create the sport in the first place. The BOTY is a breakdancing competition that reaches out to the artistic talent of dancers across the globe from the States, to Korea, Japan, Russia and France; the b-boys (breakdancers) of the entire world gather together to compete in this prestigious tournament. A hip hop expert and ex-breakdancer Dante from LA is desperate to put the origin country of America back at the top where she belongs and so he hires his friend and former championship basketball coach Blake to whip his team into shape before the competition in three months' time. He's a tough talker and won't accept anything other than the best dancers and highest performances and so he and Dante put together the ultimate b-boy dream team in order to beat the world champions.
Wisely, Lee doesn't go into an examination of how hip-hop, DJ-ing, and break-dancing all came about in New York, particularly the Bronx, in the late 1970s and early '80s -- the topic has been well-covered elsewhere -- but paints the history of break-dancing in short strokes. A street phenomenon that exploded into the national consciousness after Flashdance featured it, it was quickly overexposed, riddled with ridicule, and left for dead as a cultural artifact explored only as a punchline on one of those snarky retro pop-culture shows on cable; no better than parachute pants or Vanilla Ice. Of no use to anybody, break-dancing found an unlikely home, as many orphaned American art forms do, in Europe: specifically, Germany. Blonde-haired aficionados were soon posing and doing head-spins all across the continent.
Continue reading: Planet B-Boy Review
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