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As b-boys and krumping hit Sadler's Wells, Judith Mackrell presents her definitive glossary of hip-hop dance

Tuesday May 11, 2004

The Guardian

It started, some say, back in 1969 with James Brown releasing Get on the Good Foot. The physical panache with which Brown performed inspired fans to develop imitations. What started out as a street/club dance called The Good Foot rapidly spawned a whole genre called b-boy dance, aka break-boy, aka breakdance.

Dancers, initially in the Bronx ghettos of New York, organised rival gangs or crews to compete in dance combats. The early phase of b-boy was dominated by kung-fu style kicks, punches and lunges, mixed with rocking shifts of balance between hands and feet. More adventurous dancers perfected aerodynamic spins balanced on their heads or shoulders. During the 1970s, the craze spread to the west coast where it developed funkier variations. Today's rich stylistic mix tends to be lumped under the term hip-hop, having evolved alongside rap, DJing and graffiti art.

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