Fri, Jul 11, 2003 - Page 18 News List

We're breakin' baby, yeahh!

STAFF WRITER

Vacuum Space is breakin' all the rules of clubbing. The same venue that introduced a Saturday night Fight Club, where patrons pummel each other for prizes, is now bustin' a move with a Wednesday night Breakin' Battle.

Never mind that break dancing lost its popularity about the same time as Michael Jackson, the kids that are filling the floor of Vacuum Space have plenty of moves to show.

The competition is broken up into 10-minute rounds, with two teams each taking a corner of the same "ring" used for Saturday night's boxing matches. Team members take turns spinnin', poppin', lockin' and taunting members of the other team while DJs lay down hip-hop vinyl you're not likely to hear anywhere else in town.

The scene is reminiscent of something you might have seen on the streets of New York in the late 1980s, where break dancing was born on the tops of cut-up cardboard boxes laid out on the sidewalk. But this is no pale imitation, these kids are good -- really good.

"Ghost" was one of Wednesday night's competitors. He has a move where he does a series of 360-degree spins on his back, chest and shoulders before popping into a handstand -- a one-handed handstand -- and then bouncing around 360 degrees again in time with the music. It's one of those rare dance moves that compulsively brings every butt in the house out of its seat.

The judging criteria consisted of style, originality, execution and attitude and the grand prize of NT$30,000 -- after tallying each of the judges' score sheets -- went to 22-year-old Pan Chang-hsieh (潘昶劦), who possessed an uncanny ability to balance on his hands and elbows and spin on his head.

Breakin' Battle happens every Wednesday night at around 11pm at Vacuum Space, B1, 208 Fuhsing South Rd, Sec 2, Taipei (北市復興南路 二段208B1).

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