We are quickly winding up the third season of MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew" and I have been consistently blown away each week. I finally got to see Episode Seven today after returning from my DC trip. Incredibly, it's boiled down from nine crews down to just two: an all-female breaking crew (Beat Freaks) against and all-male breaking crew (Quest). The contrast between the two highlights two longstanding debates within the breaking community:
- The place of b-girls in the breaking scene
- and what is loosely called "Style" versus "Power"
As these two crews face off for their final battle this Thursday March 4, I'm dying to see what these outstanding dancers bring to the floor. Whoever wins, ABDC is a testament to the vitality of the b-boy movement in America.
My breakdown of Quest and Beat Freaks last performances after the jump…
The challenge for the week was for each crew to incorporate into a long routine these five elements of hip-hop dance:
Each of those elements are difficult on their own, so having the crew have to do all five is kind of ridiculous. Frankly none of the other seven crews in the competition this season would be able to successfully nail all of these styles.
Overall: A very strong showing. Not their best, but definitely showed
their versatility and tightness as a crew. They have that old skool flavor down tight. You can see that they do very few "power moves" (air flairs, windmills, freeze combos, etc.) and more "style moves" (uprocks, floor spins, coffee-grinders, floor poses, etc.) And what they have, they showcase well.
Oh and I have a big crush
on Rino, the Asian one. She's so styling and cute (and married, grrr).
- Waving : Really strong, I knew they would nail this.
- House: I kind of hate this dance form, but they really made it look good and smooth.
- Threading: Not great, frankly. I was expecting better since this is not a
physically demanding breaker move. Mostly relies a lot on flexibility
and just selling it.
- Tutting: Nicely done, but not surprising.
- Krumping: Meh. I saw some smiling in there, which doesn't really fit the aesthetic.
Overall: I love how the whole piece weaves together seamlessly and
flawlessly. And how several of the members of the crew got profiled at
different points in the piece. One of their best ones yet, for sure. You can see how much power the crew brings, from Dominick's airflairs to Ryan's hand hops to handsprings, backflips, and one-handed freezes. Each of them has show-stopping tricks that few other crews can match.
- Waving: Beautifully done, as expected.
Housing: Really flowy and sweet.
Threading: Ryan's one-handed handhops while threading are ridiculous!
Tutting: Hok is the freakin man when it comes to tutting. My favorite
bit in the whole piece, from the creative formations, to Hok's really
neat finger tuts, which I've never seen before.
Krumping: Really strong and aggressively done. Dominick's airflairs just keep getting better.
For the final episode next week, I'm hoping for a free-style battle between the two crews, which is really appropriate since both are breaking crews. In the b-boy/b-girl world, all the choreography and fancy moves don't count for much if you can't bring it in a free-for-all cypher. I don't know if MTV is ballsy enough to do this, since this is a live show and anything can happen in a battle. But this would be the true-est test of a crew and the individual dancers.
I'm voting for Beat Freaks to win, since I'm a "style-head" and old skooler. And it's just inspiring seeing an all-girl crew (some of whom are old enough to be moms) just bringing it against all odds.
You can vote for your favorite here.