B-boying, which was developed as part of the hip-hop culture among African-Americans and Latino youths, has been gaining traction among a few groups in the city, predominantly youngsters in their early 20s. Proximity is one such popular gang who in just a year-and-a-half have received an offer from Tollywood to choreograph a music video for some of our tinsel town stars.
Proximtity, the first-of-its-kind Breaking and Popping crew in Hyderabad, was founded in October 2008 by Swapnil Kumar, a student of Loyola Academy and also an instructor at Step-Up, a city-based dance institute.
“I have always wanted to start a B-Boying dance crew in the city as B-Boying and other forms of the breaking dance style do not have that big a following. People know the dance form but the technicalities are something everybody miss on,” he says.
However, he points out, “there has been a new trend of conducting B-Boying and hip-hop dance competitions in almost all college fests. So, we thought why not create a place, where people could walk in and get to know the dance form much better.”
Apart from Swapnil, Proximity comprises six others, both students and working employees, who have also christened themselves with an exclusive B-Boy name. Along with Swapnil Kumar as EX-T, Jerome Xavier as ShadowX and Arun Aloysius as D2A, also a part of the group are Ivan Lendl, an employee of HSBC as I-1, Royce Mathew as Joker, a Google employee and Gollamandala Nirmesh, RD01 and Suhas Bharatwaj - Fair Game, both instructors at Step-Up.
“The whole idea behind naming our group as Proximity, is because all the members feel we started the dance group to be close to each other as dancers and as brothers to propagate the culture of this dance form in the city, but not to earn money and give it a materialistic meaning,” says Ivan Lendl. Agreeing with him, Swapnil chips in, “The name of our crew symbolises what we want in the crew, and love what we do. It is a learning process everyday. We aren’t the best as yet, but with “Proximity” one day we will be.”
Like every art form has a source of inspiration, Proximity found inspiration in the dancing legend Michael Jackson and the group also idolises a few B-boying dancers like Roxrite, Crazylegs, Storm, among others. Explaining the feel of B-Boying, Arun says, “B-Boying is nothing but a part of Hip-Hop. This dance form originated by blending different art forms like Salsa, Breaking, Popping, Locking and even a few typical Bollywood movie steps. This dance form is fun, energetic and also unique in its own way.”
The crew, which mainly performed Krumping and free styling, have now zeroed in on B-Boying, Breaking and Popping. Their aim, however is to battle with the international crews. A few of their achievements include the dance championship at BITS-2009, Freeze, Battle of the year (BOTY) and the Indian B-boying Championship IBC.