Friday, March 28, 2008

Planet B-Boy

In a brief scene in 1983's "Flashdance," the Rock Steady Crew, with its backspins, windmills and freezes, almost diverted attention from Jennifer Beals.

It was a defining moment as the trio — Normski, Mr. Freeze and Frosty Freeze — introduced the world to b-boying on a piece of cardboard.

Flash forward to the 2005 International Battle of the Year in Europe. Breakdancing became a global phenomenon, drawing thousands to see crews from dozens of countries compete. Independent filmmaker Benson Lee explores the progression in his new documentary, "Planet B-Boy."

In the late 1990s, many people thought the dance form was "cheesy or passe" after fading from the spotlight in the United States. But Lee didn't.

"I was watching 'Flashdance' and saw that scene and was like, 'What happened to breakdancing?'" he said at the New York premiere of his film. "I got online and Googled it and discovered this whole world and that this event — called Battle of the Year — had been around since 1990."

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