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Killa Kolya: the past, present and future of break dance

On November 9, India hosted the best breakers from all over the world, who clashed in the battle for the world title at Red Bull BC One . This is one of the most atmospheric and prestigious competitions in the world of break, which takes place every year for 16 years.

Nikolai Chernikov , better known in the dance community as Killa Kolya , this season I took part in the bright finals for the third time. Nikolay, unlike other invited dancers, had to qualify for the Last Chance Cypher battle, which took place two days before the world championship. We managed to meet with Killa Kolya right in the epicenter of India - the city of Mumbai - and talk about women's and men's breakdancing, attitudes towards style in different countries and the development of the direction.

World-class breaking: about the difference in styles

- Kolya, tell us why you chose Last Chance to advance to the final? Did you participate in any qualifiers before?

- This was not my first selection. Let's start with the fact that I have already represented Kazakhstan in the world final in 2015 in Italy. To get there again, I had to qualify again. At first it was not possible at all. I was in Amsterdam, the next year in Zurich. And this year, it turns out - Mumbai. This is my third Last Chance: I managed to pass it well to get back to the main battle.

Killa Kolya: the past, present and future of break dance

Photo: redbullcontentpool.com

- Wasn't it scary to go so far? It's one thing to go somewhere to Zurich, and another is to fly to Mumbai.

- I love India very much and this is not the first time I come here. Third Last Chance - third time in India. So many signs (laughs). You know, it so happened that this is my place.

- Moving a little from your personal history, I would like to ask why so many Japanese have been shot in recent years? If you look at the last five finals, there are many more of these guys, especially in the women's break dance.

- Firstly, I think it depends on their mentality. The Japanese are very hardworking and take breaking seriously. They treat training like work, it is a great responsibility for them. This we can sometimes think Ay, I want - I do not want. And they go and plow in the hall. Due to this, they make their way.

- In your opinion, how different are the Slavic (CIS countries), European and Asian styles of breaking?

- Our CIS -style is more about originality. We have a lot of extraordinary and interesting characters. And the other guys seem to work much more than ours. If we always have a little break on freestyle, in a get-together, then Europeans and Asians clearly have a different approach. As Robin said about Koreans - Korean special forces: everything is scheduled and planned by the minute. For us, and maybe even for Europeans, break is about style, punk and soul. And for the Japanese and Koreans, this is serious, rigorous training.

Killa Kolya: the past, present and future of break dance

Red Bull BC One: Broadcast of the World Breakdancing Championship

For the first time in the final, three participants from Russia. Inclusion from Mumbai.

Male and female: about aggression and emotions

- Do you notice that there is a lot of aggression from the Asian participants? For example, on the same Last Chance, especially on girls' battles, it was very noticeable.

- I saw only one female battle, and, in fact, did not notice aggression. For B-Boys - this is a matter of course, it's even more interesting, because emotions make the show. If aggression is mutual, then an energetic fight is obtained. The main thing is that after it the understanding remains that it was just a moment. Both participants exchanged energy and should remain in respect with each other.

- But if it looks normal in a b-boy battle, then the girls look on the edge ...

- We have a street style, and aggression must be present. Perhaps, sometimes girls overdo it, they need to present it in a different form. If you, for example, show some kind of gesture, then it should come from a girl, not from a guy. The difference should be visible. But it all depends on the dancer. If you are experienced enough and know a competent approach, you will be able to present any information well - it will not be perceived too rudely.

Killa Kolya: the past, present and future of break dance

Photo: redbullcontentpool.com

- Is there such a tendency that women's breaks differ in style from men's? And in general, should the women's break separate or should girls compete with the guys?

- It seems to me that everyone chooses their own path. Girls are also different, like boys. There are guys who are feminine, and they dance in a feminine style. And there are girls with a boyish attitude. Everyone finds himself in something and expresses himself.

Of course, the guys are more severe. And the girls, it seems to me, in the break should show a certain femininity. There must be some distinctive features that will give beauty and grace to the dance. Many b-girls do this, but there are also those who go out and chop like men. Also, a lot depends on the character, internal state, well-being. How you feel - so you will present yourself in the dance. The character is expressed through the body.

- Share your experience: how not to have a crush before going to the site? It happens when you are soft at heart, but because of the heat you go out with a different message.

- Personally, I always try to keep myself in hand. Sometimes emotions start to overwhelm, thoughts wind up too much. In this case, you need to stop yourself in time so that it does not affect the outcome of the battle. If the heat occurs right on the court, it may not bring your opponent out, but he can bring you out. And if he succeeds, then you have already lost: immediately you start to get distracted and it is corny to be not here.

Killa Kolya: the past, present and future of break dance

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Individuality in dance: on subjective judging

- Breaking itself is very subjective. And yet, are there certain criteria that are important to judges in dance?

- Usually the judges have a purely personal opinion, because each of them has his own specific style and criteria, which he prefers. Also, when two dancers perform, the jury looks at and also judges different styles. I think that everything develops according to the situation. Sometimes judges make unexpected decisions, after which you start thinking and digging why he did this. At any time you can ask the opinion of the jury: a worthy judge will always explain his decision.

- Do you think that the judging of five judges, as in the current final, is more objective?

- Of course! The more experienced people, the more objective the decision. When one person is, of course, purely his opinion. You can't rate it even if you won.

Killa Kolya: the past, present and future of break dance

Photo: redbullcontentpool.com

- How do you feel about the appearance of breaking in the program of the Olympic Games?

- I think that it is deserved, because breaking develops with great force and speed and becomes even more interesting, than other sports. Although it cannot be fully attributed to sports, because it is creativity. It will not be possible to drive it into the framework, like some other discipline. But reaching the Olympic level is great, it gives us good prospects and opportunities.

Many dancers say that the Olympics do not have the most positive reputation now, and not only in our country. There are enough questions about the objectivity of refereeing, doping tests, political games.

- Don't you worry that if breaking is involved in all this, it will cease to be so emotional?

- I think it will not stop. Breaking is underground. As long as there are people who understand its essence, they will promote it and develop the correct perception. There will also be parties that have always been. And break dance as a sport is already, as for me, a separate direction.

- Do you have any idea what the criteria for evaluating breaking at the Olympics will be? Still, at competitions of this scale there are clear points and rules.

- I think that for the Olympics they will come up with a single, most adequate assessment system. But it will not be complete, as it is in our circles. Many people draw a parallel with snowboarding, which quite organically fit into the program of the Olympic Games. Snowboarding has existed as a discipline for many years, although in essence it is a soul bunch. But there you evaluate the specific number of performed tricks, technique.

Break is very individual, it is more difficult to judge than any other street style or sport. Because every person is uncoveringIt has its own capabilities and develops independently, starting only from itself. If you find yourself, you can be very different from others. You can be flexible, strong, technical, or fast. Everyone has different movements and energy. But not everyone is able to express themselves fully.

Killa Kolya: the past, present and future of break dance

Photo: redbullcontentpool.com

- When you judge battles yourself, what do you pay attention to? Can you name the top 5 personal criteria?

- I believe that the main criteria are musicality, originality, dynamics, energy output. It is also important how you conduct a battle, a game, a dialogue with an opponent. Now they pay attention not to who did the coolest, but to who made the least mistakes. Breaking has changed: everyone dances cool and clean. Therefore, sometimes you really have to look for flaws.

Hype or author's style: about a new generation of dancers

- You have already mentioned that this is not the first time in India. Have you already felt how the breaking culture is developing here?

- Everything is just beginning here. They, you can say, have only one b-boy who managed to enter the big stage. And, I think, there will still be a huge number of worthy people. It takes time for the guys to practice, train, gain experience and be able to come to the correct understanding. Because in those places where breaking is just beginning, dancers watch and just repeat after others. That is, there is no individuality. Take China as well. They, too, have recently begun to develop a break, inexperience is visible. Lots of dancers, but they all look like one. They dance in fashion and cannot distinguish themselves from others.

Naturally, it's also a matter of mentality: here it is far from hip-hop. It is not easy to decide and go to break. It is already worthy that someone saw himself in him and will develop in this direction. Moreover, for the guys from India, this is a chance to get out of the slums, travel, see the world and the opportunity to achieve some heights.

Killa Kolya: the past, present and future of break dance

Photo : redbullcontentpool.com

- Do you think the problem that people in emerging countries dance as one is due to the fact that now a huge amount of information can be found freely on the Internet? For example, when the guys started dancing in the 2000s, there was not much information. There were records that were broadcast on cassettes, master classes. And you cultivated your style, even listening to music more than looking at something.

- Of course, these days there is an excess of information, so a lot of b-boys just repeat what fashionable. Now hype is in vogue: something has happened and everyone wants to do the same. And you must be different! Those who merge in the general mass then remain there. We must strive not to fall under the influence of the masses and see the zest, as it was in our time. Then there was an understanding that you need to be interesting, to stand out. It's elementary: if you want to be noticed, tYou should not be like everyone else, be different. And most young people don't really understand this. They just make fashionable moves.

- What influenced you in your personal development in breaking and the desire to come to this culture?

- In general, I danced with childhood. From the age of seven I listened to Michael Jackson, was fond of his style, dancing. At first I liked the music, then I saw how he moved and just got sick with it. I listened to songs, taught him movements, danced day and night. And then, in his youth, my brother went to a break and called me with him. But I refused, because I have Michael Jackson, I'm already dancing!

After training, my brother came home, repeated the movements, tumbling. And it became interesting to me. I started to follow him, then I also went to the break. I saw that with the help of it you can be realized, see the world, show yourself to others. This opens up tremendous opportunities. And breaking itself is an interesting branch of creativity or sport, I don't know (laughs). But I am more for creativity, with which you can express yourself and do absolutely everything.

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The beginning of a career: about parental support

- Was parental support important to you?

- Of course. Mom has always been for any of my undertakings. Whatever I did, she said: Well done, son !. But my father was skeptical about breaking. He was not against, but he was not for either. He said that now you will dance, and then you will go to work anyway. He didn't believe. For people of the old school, dancing is when they went to discos (laughs). They have no understanding at what level such creativity is now. But I showed my parents that I live by this, and that I am doing well. Now they take my passion and are proud of my accomplishments.

Killa Kolya: the past, present and future of break dance

Photo: redbullcontentpool.com

- Can you remember any point where Dad's skepticism started to subside? It could have been an important achievement or competition, after which they began to perceive everything a little more calmly.

- Father, I think, understood everything when I finished my studies. I immediately left for another city to develop, earn money and live off dancing. He realized that I was unlikely to work in my specialty as a metallurgist. Now I teach, perform, go to championships, give master classes, judge.

- What would you like to see your further development? Maybe I would like to compete at the Olympic Games?

- Of course, I would like to win more famous championships, make myself a career in the future. And I want to take part in the Olympics. I already participated in ROXY last year and came in third place. Then in the Asian Championship - he got silver. Only the conquered gold remainsvat (laughs). I think I'll have another shot.

Help from the federation: on the development of breaking in Kazakhstan

- How is breaking in Kazakhstan generally developing in the official status?

- Everything is very conditional here. Since this is just the beginning, no one can figure out how to deal with it. But slowly, breaking is moving in the right direction. Processions, trial battles are held, our guys are sent to championships. For example, Kazakhstan will be represented at competitions in the USA. I am glad that at least such a development is taking place. It takes time for the movement to formally solidify and to understand what to do and where to move.

Killa Kolya: the past, present and future of break dance

Photo: redbullcontentpool.com

- Does the federation help to close the financial issue of going to competitions when a person goes to represent Kazakhstan? After all, not every b-boy can afford a trip to the USA, for example.

- Yes, they provide such an opportunity. Of course, not everything is arranged the way it should be, but for some guys this is enough. I am not a member of our federation, I have my own reasons. And the young guys use the chance. Many visited Europe for the first time. We made our own way and did everything for our own money. And now young people have this great opportunity. They disappeared for hours in the hall and can now travel for free.

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