Since its creation in the 1970s, breaking, aka break dancing, has slowly stretched to every corner of the world, redefining entertainment with every performance.
Salt Lake Community College film students produced a breaking documentary that will hit the screen next Friday in the Center for Arts and Media. “The Breaks” follows two local dance crews, Body Roc and Flavanoids, throughout their everyday activities to help viewers understand the breaking culture and the influence that breaking has on a community.
The idea for the film came from director Jonathan Nelson, who is a part of the Body Roc crew.
“We all had to pitch ideas for the film,” said Nelson. “I’m already super immersed in the underground hip hop culture of breaking, so I just thought I would stick to something that I know and pitch something like that.”
The rest of the crew — Zach Powell, Kelan Read and Thomas Garbett — loved the idea so much that they agreed to the topic during a meeting in which Nelson was absent.
The two groups vary in mission and style.
Body Roc is all about the competition of the dance. They are classified as a battle crew; their main goal is to compete, and to win.
While Flavanoids also competes, its main goals are to have fun and relax. According to Zach Powell, the student in charge of sound and special effects, the Flavanoids crew is “about the art, for the sake of the art.”
Documenting the different mindsets of each group will help the viewer gain a better understanding of breaking and how it influences both the performers and those around them.
Nelson says the main the purpose of the film is to change the misconceptions that come with breaking.
“People think that [breaking] is head spins and spinning on our backs, but it’s a lot more than that,” he says. “It’s footwork, freezing, practice and even picking the right music; It’s not just to techno and dubstep. Breaking originated with dancing to funk and jazz.
“There’s a lot more that goes into breaking than people think, and that’s what we want to show.”
The passion and dedication the dance crews have for their craft is the same passion Kelan Read has for film.
As the lead editor on the project, he has spent roughly 60 to 80 hours a week on the documentary. Read says if he’s not eating, sleeping or in class, he’s at the college working on the film.
“Because it’s freaking awesome!” he proclaims. “I love doing this!”
Nelson, Powell, Read and Garbett will showcase “The Breaks” at the premiere screening April 29 in room 1-084 at South City Campus. The group has put a lot of effort into this film, and hope it gives them the break they need to get into the film industry.