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Culture

Shaking their BOTY in Braunschweig

Braunschweig is hardly the hip hop capital of the world, but last weekend it came alive as the world's best breakdancers. competed in the equivalent of the World Breakdance Championships.

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Thousands of keen hip hop fans stormed Braunschweiger for the Battle of the Year 2001 (BOTY) breakdance contest

The Volkswagen Community Hall in Braunschweig, Germany came alive this weekend as hip hop and R&B tunes came blaring out of giant speakers. Youths in oversized tracksuit pants and baggy t-shirts with peak caps turned the wrong way round, littered the stage and its halls, eager to show off their moves for the tenth BOTY Awards.

Teams from five continents and 14 countries met in the city for the international breakdance championships called "Battle of the Year" or BOTY. The atmosphere was electric as unbelievably agile movers and shakers spun on their heads and did unnatural things with their bodies.

Every year the organisers try to feature the best and most innovative B-Boy crews from all over the world. B-Boys? Breakdance teams. However, both first and second place winners this year had female dancers.

First place was awarded to Wanted, a French group that hail from Paris. They managed to impress the judges with their slick performance and unpredictable moves. The two gents and lady have been dancing together for ten years and managed to bring everything together, from choreography to artistic execution, in a show-stopping performance.

They were closely followed by a Japanese team of two eleven-year old boys and a girl. An American team out maneuvered Korea for third place. Festival-goers joined in the after party celebrations, relieved to join in the festivities and celebrate hip hop culture at its very best.

Sadly, the German-team Europe 41 wasn't placed. Explained the 17 year old team captain, "We rehearsed a new choreography for the show but only had three days in preparation. It simply wasn't enough."

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