Partners show the chemistry at mixed team breaking finals
Argentina is rightly famous for football, steak, red wine - and the tango. The seductive dance and its accompanying music shot to prominence in the capital in the late 19th century, and is still going strong. The younger generation, however, are more interested in breaking - quite literally - with tradition.
“Everyone thinks all Argentinians can dance the tango, but I can’t,” said B-Girl Vale (Iris Gonzales, ARG). “We are showing that Argentinians aren’t just about that. Older people in this country think breaking is wrong, and not good. They call it janky (not good quality), not Argentinian. But you can see how much the young people here in Buenos Aires love breaking. The atmosphere is incredible.”
She is not wrong. Parque Mujeres Argentinas was jumping as the mixed team breaking medals were contested on Thursday.
The format saw the top ranked B-Girl paired with the bottom ranked B-Boy, and so on down through the rankings, creating teams that danced off against each other. This meant different nationalities being thrown together - and then having a short period of time to work on elaborate routines, from jumping on shoulders, to flipping off the other’s back.
The chemistry, however, was as strong as in any ballroom. “We danced so well together, it was a bit of choreography, but it worked,” said B-Boy Broly (Mariano Matus, ARG), about his partner B-Girl Lexy (Alessandra Cortesia, ITA), after winning the silver medal.
“She created it. We got energy from each other. We were stronger together.”
The home crowds responded with particular enthusiasm to the local hero. “There was an amazing reaction,” Broly said. “It really brought the energy up. There was so much noise from the fans you could barely even hear the music. They were with us.”
B-Girl Ram (Ramu Kawai, JPN) and B-Boy B4 (Le Minh Hieu, VIE) won the gold medal, while B-Girl Ella (Anna Thurner, AUT), and B-Boy Bumblebee (Sergei Chernyshev, RUS) took the bronze.
Not everyone worked hard on co-ordination moves, however - and the language barrier did not always help.
“We didn’t have much time to work, because when I found out we’d been paired, I tried to get in touch, but he’d gone out for a walk,” said Vale of her partner B-Boy Axel (Piotr Winiarski, POL). “He wanted to explore Buenos Aires. So we didn’t practise much. We don’t speak each other’s language, so communication was very hard. The rest of the couples had better choreography.”
That aside, the group showed that when it comes to getting your heart racing, breaking is more than a match for any other genre.
“My tango is… not good,” said Broly. “I’ve never really done it. But we have shown that Argentinians can do another dance, too.”