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B-boys from around the globe descended on the World Financial Center Plaza for a live performance and a free outdoor screening of Benson Lee’s Planet B-Boy on Saturday night. The event drew thousands of people downtown on a cool April evening, presented as part of the popular Tribeca Drive-In series hosted by Tribeca Film Festival.
With wheels of steel spinning, b-boys put on a breathtaking display of high-energy hip-hop style as the crowd waited for the sun to go down. Fab 5 Freddy (Wild Style) hosted an incredible array of live performances from dozens of b-boys from around the globe, including world-champion crews from South Korea like Last for One and Drifters and U.S. champions Kuncklehead Zoo.
The evening also offered a tribute to James Brown, with a musical performance by The Persuaders and a breakdance tribute to the Godfather of Soul by Ken Swift & Crew. The acrobatics weren’t limited to the dancers, however, as the Beatbox Orchestra wowed the crowd with an astonishing range of vocal effects. Ken Swift & Crew returned later in the evening to offer a breakdown of b-boying in a dance lesson. The live show culminated in a “battle on the plaza” as b-boys from the audience competed for the chance to win Delta tickets to Miami.
After an introduction by director Benson Lee, the evening concluded with a screening of Planet B-Boy, a powerful documentary about the vibrant global resurgence of breakdancing. The film, which had it’s world premiere at the TFF 2007, follows crews from South Korea, Japan, France and the U.S. as they prepare for the annual Battle of the Year in Germany: a head-to-head battle in a one-time shot to be crowned the best on Planet B-Boy.