R16 Korea 2013

Hey, guys! Boy, it’s hot out there (“Hot summer, hot, hot summer ~”). Trying to stay cool, but this humidity is killer.

Anyway bringing you an update from the past weekend. Thanks to the Korean Tourism Organization via their program K-Supporters, I had the opportunity to go to R16 Korea. Oh man, it was something to see. I’ve been dancing for years, though never bboy, so I was really happy to get to see all these talented folks.

R16 Korea is an annual bboy tournament featuring the best crews from around the world. There are solo bboy, popping, and locking battles as well as the crew battles. Everyone brought their A-game this year.

I went Saturday to check out the solo battles. First, I just wanna say how great the MCs were. MC GO and MC Sniper were fun and witty. They brought a good energy to the event. I’d say between bboy, popping, and locking battles that the bboy ones were my favorite. Nothing against popping and locking. Just not really my thing. Still, I got to see styles I never really saw before. Issei from Body Carnival (Japan) ended up taking it all in the bboy category though unfortunately I didn’t get to see his victory as I had to leave early. Too bad!

Oh and I managed to spy Jay Park watching the battles early on. I guess the people in front of me either didn’t see him or didn’t know him. I was tempted to go up and ask for photo, but it seemed better just to let him watch and enjoy too.

Sunday before the big event I had the chance to have a mini bboy lesson with Jinjo Crew. KTO loaded some of us in a bus and we headed over. The studio is in an unassuming location, so you’d never guess these very talented guys were inside. They were all nice and took us through some basic steps and moves. I’m okay moving around doing steps, but I don’t really have the strength for locking/holding moves. There’s a lot of upper body and core strength involved. Still I had fun and I’d be interested to learn more. They also showed us around and showed off their awards which were pretty numerous. Thanks, Jinjo Crew!

Sunday was when we really saw a larger crowd. Unfortunately we got dumped on too before the doors opened, but that didn’t seem to dampen (pun unintended :P) anyone’s spirits. The crews were super energized. First, we got to see all the groups do their crew performances. Korea’s Morning of Owl had the most creative for sure. It was very much in the style of modern dance which was a big surprise. Usually crews get the crowd all riled up, but it was almost calm watching them perform.

Next came the battles. Gotta say I don’t know how they can keep their energy up for so long. Hitting the floor, jumping up, spinning, dancing — it’s a lot! Gotta say my favorites were the top 2 crews – Morning of Owl and Body Carnival. I wasn’t all that sad to see U.S.A. and Russia go. Didn’t like their attitudes all that much. But anyway it was so close between the top 2 in my opinion. Japan was consistently good, but Korea would randomly pull out these moves and you can’t help but be in awe. Morning of Owl ended up taking the Crew Battle category though Body Carnival won the Performance category.

You guys can check out some of my photos below (and on my Flickr). I’ll try to piece together some video footage too, but for now you can check out my video of the Blue Whale Brothers – Poppin J & Crazy Kyo – performing between battles.