Boys will B-Boys

Jun 25, 2012, 11:52 IST | Ruchika Kher

B-Boying icon Richard Col n, popularly known as Crazy Legs, is all set to visit India to train Indians in the form of dance he has been popularising for over three decades. Ruchika Kher chats with the 46-year-old about the impending trip and getting into his groove

Why did you feel the need to plan a trip to India?
I have a friend here, who told me about loads of opportunities in India to do great things. Besides, who wouldn’t want to go to India? I’ll be conducting workshops in Mumbai and Delhi. In Mumbai, I will also visit Dharavi to meet a few  B-Boys from the area. There are few other things planned as well.

What will the workshops involve?
The workshops aim to strengthen the understanding of how valuable a solid foundation is. By foundation, i.e. the basics of footwork, from top rock to freezes, workshops teach that strengthening of your foundation is key, because as you advance, a strong foundation nurtures your fluidity, enabling you to truly react to how the music makes you feel; ultimately becoming an expression of your character. You have to have a sincere relationship with the music; a sincere relationship with music is what brings out your style and flavour.

Have you watched any Indian dancers? What do you think about their B-Boying skills?
I saw a few videos of B-Boys in India, but the music was laid over it, so I would have to see how they dance to the music as it’s being played; as opposed to dancing and having it dubbed over. This will show me if they can really rock to the beat.

How do you feel when you look back at your early days?
When I started dancing as a kid on the streets of Bronx, it was not about power moves or crazy freezes, it was a big party. I did not realise that it would become such a huge part of me. I have performed at prestigious venues including the Lincoln Centre and Kennedy Centre and also for various political figures and royalty as well. So, it feels good.

What is the future of this dance form?
I hope people get into Breakin’ in the future, for the love of the art as opposed to just wanting to be in the industry. When I was younger, I looked up to the founder of Rock Steady (a B-Boying and Hip-Hop group), Jimmy D. Once, he told me to “keep it alive”. His words stay in my head. Today, as president of the Rock Steady Crew, I take the foundation he laid and use it to build bridges between myself and the younger generation who will come up after me. You have to give youth the chance to stand in the forefront, give them the chance to shine so that one day, they too can become seasoned

Could you let us into your future plans?
I hope to take many trips to India. I have battles coming up in July, and it’s my 35th anniversary as a B-Boy. I have my show, Lunch Breaks, and I stay focused on keeping my audience entertained. Someday, I’d like to get a movie done, a timepiece on my life, but in the meantime I’m loving watching members of the Rock Steady Crew, like Bonita and Ynot, help develop the youth.

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