One of the highlights of the documentary "Planet B-Boy" is an incredible group performance by the legendary Japanese b-boy crew Ichigeki. I've watched that routine roughly 100 times. Finally, the routine has been put (legally) on YouTube. Watch it below, and I've got a few comments after:
There's so much that makes this outstanding as a performance:
- The framing of the piece as a DJ spinning records, and the dancers as the music is so creative and clever. I can't think of a better way to show the connection between the b-boy and the beat.
- The music selection includes lots of classic b-boy jams and more modern music, perfectly mixed.
- The dancing is on-beat and precise in a way that few other crews at the time were able to achieve. Now it's more common to see and entire crew really synched up in their movement. But in 2005 most were not so clean.
- More importantly, the dancing is emotional. There's a personal and an artistic quality to their movement. Watch starting at 3:30 and 5:08 for the best examples.
You can watch more about Ichigeki crew, particularly members Prince and Katsu, as well as profiles of several other amazing breaking crews from around the world in the documentary "Planet B-boy." Available streaming on Amazon and lots of other places.
Sadly, Ichigeki is reported to have disbanded shortly after this competition, but you can see individual members in other crews and individually still dancing.