Korea, selain dikenal karena K-drama dan K-popnya. Masih ada yang membanggakan dari mereka, yaitu break dance. Dan kebetulan gw suka juga ma B-Boy’s asal negeri ginseng tersebut, gerakan mereka lebih lincah dan juga extreem.
Yang gw mo bahas kali ini adalah B-boys crew asal Jeonju, Korea Selatan, Last For One. Yang menurut Zero-nine aka Shin Young-suk personil mereka ada 18 orang dan terbentuk tahun 1997.
from korean times:
By Kim Sue-young
Under a bridge, on back streets or even in opulent skyscrapers, anywhere is a good stage for the country’s b-boys.
Last for one, the nation’s No. 1 breakdance crew, performed July 31 in one special place: the disputed Dokdo islets in the East Sea.
When broadcast network MBC asked the group to promote the islets, crew leader Cho Sung-kuk aka B-boy Joe told The Korea Times that he wondered if his team could do it.
“It was physically challenging. The program was scheduled for July 30 but we couldn’t reach the islets due to a heavy swell,” he said.
As high waves hindered the ferry they were riding from docking, they barely arrived on the islets after transferring from small rubber boats a day later.
Joe, who began b-boying in 1996, recalled that he and 10 other members felt proud after the performance.
“Many people have toured the place but we were the first b-boys to perform there,” he said. “We were so proud of being the first.”
To meet the purpose of the project, Last for one prepared something Korean: a combination of breakdancing and gayageum, the 12-stringed Korean harp.
The b-boys showed a range of movements such as head spins in accordance with a canon variation played by gayageum players from Sookmyung Women’s University.
The collaboration of the American subculture and traditional Korean music was a hit when first shown on a TV commercial in January 2006, which raised the profile of b-boys.
Last for One burst onto the spotlight in 2005 after it won Battle of the Year, the annual international b-boying contest, in Germany.
They were also recognized as contributors to hallyu, or the Korean cultural wave.
Though having performed at many events and festivals, the crew said the performance on Dokdo was pretty burdensome.
“While performing on the floor, (former champion swimmer) Cho Oh-ryun was swimming around us as part of the show,” B-boy Joe said. “I thought we should try harder.”
Cho, who won the 400-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle golds at the 1974 Asian Games, swam around the islets 33 times to promote Korean sovereignty over Dokdo.
But Last for one downplayed the significance of their performance, saying “We just danced on our national territory for the first time as b-boys.”
Nowadays, the group is keen on preparing the performance “One Dream” on the history of breakdance and depict how its members followed breakdance movements.
“If we were ahead of the times through collaboration with Korean classical music, I think now should be the time to look back to the oldies, easy but basic ones,” B-boy Joe said. “People watch breakdance but are not aware of how the moves evolved.”
“To help the audience understand what breakdance is, we would like to excavate and adapt old school moves.”
The show will open in December.
Following consecutive championships in international competitions, the team debuted the non-verbal performance “Spin Odyssey” last year, in which b-boys turning to ancient Greek heroes search for “spin,” the essence of life.
B-boy Joe recollected that his crew could learn a lot including facial expressions and working with the audience that they might not get by performing on the streets.
The show has also won favorable reviews from foreign media including the New York Times.
Injuries and financial difficulty
Despite relatively smooth sailing, Last for one is still haunted by chronic injuries, financial burden and an uncertain future.
“For me, an injury is the most scary. I cannot stand it when I cannot do what I like,” B-boy Joe said. “I get excited over my team’s performance even when I am out of it. It’s regrettable that I just have to watch it.”
He has neither practiced nor performed for almost three weeks due to pain in his waist.
B-boy crews also have no source of regular income, even the most famous ones. Given that, Last for one, he said, is lucky because its agency Soulgang Bricklane is devoted to earning constant profits and helping members prepare for getting on with their lives.
B-boy Joe said it’s great he can focus on dancing, adding breakdance is not a job but just a source of amusement in Europe or the United States.
“The reality is that even the best b-boys cannot make money,” he said. “I think it’ll take time to change this but the situation in Korea is way better than those in foreign countries.”
On the future course of action, he said he has yet to think about that.
Some b-boys lecture at universities or start new careers as choreographers, but many have difficulty earning a living after retiring from the b-boy world at an early age.
Yet, B-boy Joe said he believes he can find a way if he does his utmost in the present.
“I had no idea that I’d become like this. I just love dancing and the ways just opened by accident,” he said.
Last for one is one of the most favored b-boy teams for advertisers and government agencies.
The group is a special envoy to promote Seoul abroad, and its 20 members encourage people, especially youths, to stop smoking.
The crew has appeared in a range of TV commercials for sneakers and even apartments, and performed at President Lee Myung-bak’s inauguration in February.
Hoping to spread breakdance
Though breakdance is widely known in South Korea, people still hesitate to freely enjoy the art, B-boy Joe said.
“There is nothing good or bad in breakdance. I don’t want people to feel it’s difficult or something,” he said. “With an open mindset, I hope they can enjoy it.”
Citing a cypher in which b-boys, b-girls and even the audience can join breakdance in a circle with no judges and strict rules, Joe said he hopes this culture will catch on here.
He also said correct understanding of breakdance is necessary.
“Some people think that power moves or tumbling are what breakdance is about, but if they want to see gymnastic movements only, they should go to a circus,” he said. “It’s a kind of dance, not acrobatics.”
Considering himself somewhere in between an artist and expert, B-boy Joe always says until the day street dancing is recognized as a true art, he wants to spread breakdance to the world.
For youngsters who dream of being the next great b-boys, he said learning the basics is important.
“In basketball, players cannot jump or dunk in the beginning. Likewise, a lot of practice is needed to become a major b-boy team,” he said. “They should start with a correct cognition of the dance and music.”
Last For One gallery <– Klik
Yang paling berkesan sampe sekarang itu dimata gw pas mereka perform koreografi untuk lagu Canon in D kayageum version.
CredYT@Arirang – Heart 2 Heart interview with Shin Young-suk.
Dan yang ini 3 b-boys crew yang gw suka. Drifterz, Rivers, dan Last For one di UK Bboy Chanpionships 2009 Korea. Tentu aja gw punya jagoan dari masing-masing crew…Physicx dari Rivers Crew, Hong10 dari Drifterz Crew dan tentunya Zero-Nine dari Last For One.
So, let’s jiggy wiggy!!
This one could blow your mind like mine…Tip Crew vs K-Tigers [Taekwondo], what a great collaboration.
note: posting banyak sebelum hiatus 😦