Laura CliffordIs break dancing a dead art form? Not if you are one of the multitudes around the world who have rediscovered the dance phenomenon introduced to the world through such films as “Flashdance” and Breakin’” back in the 80’s. Now, it is back with an international vengeance as dancers compete to be the best on “Planet B-Boy.”
Last year, there was a documentary about an international air guitar competition called “Air Guitar Nation.” That film expressed the joy of play by the competitors and the fervent dedication of its fan in an oft funny and always entertaining way. Documentary filmmaker Benson Lee attempts something similar with “Planet B-Boy” but with more earnestness and less fun.
B-boying was the moniker used back in the 1970’s for the dance phenomenon that grew to national prominence with the help of the aforementioned flicks. Unbeknownst to old duffers like me, the art of break dancing has made an international resurgence and permeates the youth cultures in not just the good old USA but also Germany, France, Japan and, in most recent years, South Korea.
Helmer Lee focuses on the energy and artistry of the fledgling, but top-rated, South Korean team as they prepare for the big dance off against those of the other participating countries’ teams – the Battle of the Year. The other four top playes are not given the same shrift but enough time is spent on them to give us the flavor of the dance and the competition. It is a well-balance work that captures the often jaw dropping performances by the dancers. I give it a B.
Laura gives "Planet B-Boy" a B.
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