Red Bull BC One 2016 World Finals

The biggest one-on-one breakdance competition came to Nagoya, the country’s third largest city as the 13th Red Bull BC One World Finals made its return to the land of the rising sun. Sixteen B-Boys from around the world, including former BC One champions Victor of the United States (2015), Hong10 of Korea (2013 & 2006), and Brazil’s Neguin (2010), came and rocked the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium. On December 3, 2016, some of the most ground-breaking dancing could be seen on the stage, in a one-on-one battle format that let the dancers show not only their mastery of the B-Boy essentials – toprock, downrock, power moves and freezes – but also their overall style and individual expression. With the level of competition rising every year, the dancers will seek new ways of movement to outdo their opponents and impress the five judges – Storm (GER), Freeze (SWE), Wicket (USA), Kousuke (JPN), and Mounir (FRA) – and get as many votes based on artistic skills, choreography, innovation, and character to move on to the next round. Nagoya, the country’s third largest city and a bustling hub for the hip-hop scene with its epicentre in central Japan, between temples and gambling halls, skyscrapers and karaoke bars, geishas and sumo wrestlers, this year’s Red Bull BC One ranks an event unmatched.

“I’m preparing extra hard for the Red Bull BC One World Final in Nagoya to be ready to defend my title as the world champion. The experience I get from this competition is very special to me. I will keep my mind clear just going on that stage and doing my best battle. I know all the boys are hungry for the title,” said Victor of the United States.

Portugal’s Bruce Almighty came to a close finish last year in Rome as he battled in the final round against Victor who ended up winning the most votes. Known as an unusual rival who’s focusing on the comedic side of breakdancing, Bruce will have a second attempt to grasp the championship belt. Representing 13 different countries, the world final line-up features two-time champion Hong10 of South Korea who claimed the Red Bull BC One belt twice at the World Final in São Paulo (2006) and Seoul (2013) and Neguin of Brazil who will look to repeat his triumph from Tokyo 2010 in front of the enthusiastic Japanese crowd. For the very first time, we will see a Finnish dancer – Focus – who is eager to see his hard training paying off. Pressure will definitely be on local hero Taisuke of Japan who will attempt to beat defending champion Victor in front of the home crowd.

The line-up also features Issei (JPN), Kleju (POL), Kid Colombia (NED), Cheerito (RUS), Sunni (UK), Soso (FRA), Lil Zoo (MAR), Ben Stacks (USA), and Kuzya (UKR), but there is one last open spot for a dancer to join them. Every year, thousands of dancers across the globe vie for a chance to represent at the World Final. This year, Red Bull BC One went back to its roots with an invitation-only format where 15 B-Boys earned the right to enter into the all-out battle based on past performances. Throughout the year, Cypher events – one-on-one qualifying battles – took place globally and on December 1, only two days before the World Final, all Red Bull BC One Cypher winners will meet in Nagoya in a global exchange that is the Last Chance Cypher, where they will battle for the last World Final open spot.

“If my energy is there and the crowd can feel it, it will be an amazing vibrant exchange with them all again! If the title is meant to belong to me, it will be done on the soil where I made history six years ago. The Red Bull BC One line-up is always impressive no matter what. Those 15 other warriors battling are there to give their 100% and represent well, and for me, to win the title, I just need to be myself and delivery what is within me,” said Neguin.

Red Bull BC One is a global celebration of Hip Hop, combining dance, music, style and art followed by millions on TV and online. Since its inception in 2004, it has become the premier competition in the world of breakdancing, consistently attracting the best individual breakers on the planet. Since the first event in Switzerland, the annual competition has moved from Germany to Brazil, South Africa, France, USA, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and Italy.

Red Bull BC One World Final Nagoya Line-up

Victor (USA), Taisuke (JPN), Issei (JPN), Kleju (POL), Kid Colombia (NED), Cheerito (RUS), Sunni (UK), Hong 10 (KOR) , Soso (FRA), Lil Zoo (MAR), Focus (FIN), Bruce Almighty (POR), Ben Stacks (USA), Neguin (BRA), Kuzya (UKR), and the Last Chance Cypher winner.

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Jeffrey Johnston is a Japan based event photographer and publisher/writer and has been fortunate enough to travel and see the world. Been exposed to the limitless possibilities of photography over 12 years ago, he was able to see things differently. He currently shoots in the areas of people, fashion, event & news photography in Japan. He maintains a Facebook page with samples of his work. He can also be found at about contract work or with questions or comments on his photography.


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