Show me what you got

When it comes to hip hop, it all began in the Bronx in the 1970s. Djing, emceeing or rap, b-boying, and graffiti were the 4 hip hop elements. The boys and the girls who danced low on the floor during the “breaks” –the rhythmic breakdown parts of the songs that were played repeatedly by the dj– were called break boys and break girls or b-boys and b-girls.

In Greece, b-boying or break or break-dance was developed mainly since the ’00s, as a youthful, working class, mostly immigrant culture. B-boying has a dynamic presence, an active role within the hip hop community. It is a scene with its own –relatively independent– life next to the (dominant) rap scene.

Between 2014 and 2017 I photographed the hip hop dance community of Athens: mainly the b-boys, the b-girls and some poppers. I hanged out with them or went to places they use to train themselves, such as the Athens Conservatory. I spent time at Syntagma Square while they were cyphering, as well as in battles and street shows.

The pictures I have taken depict my impressions from these two-three years of hanging out and communicating with this community of break and hip hop dancers. In my images I tried to condense and get across the relationships, the people, the atmosphere of a lively situation as I experienced it.

“Show me what you got” is an expression that is used between b-boys and b-girls, mostly during battles. It means something like “show me your skills as a dancer, your experience, your talent, your personality”.