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The Throwdown Vol. 1: B-Boy Pogo

  • Pogo: The Stats
    Twice a month, The NH7 Throwdown will introduce you to the country's best b-boys and b-girls, from young'uns to the veterans, the powerheads and the style maniacs. This week, we had a chat with B-boy Pogo from Mumbai.

    18 year old Vishtasp Kothavala is better known around the circuit as B-boy Pogo. He was introduced to b-boying quite by accident, and has been training for the last three years, first under the guidance of the Freak N Stylz crew, and now with his own crew, Style In Work. His sets show a serious focus on style and individuality, and watching him battle, one sees that while he just likes to have fun on the floor, he also really wants to win.
    Photo credit: Shalaka Pai
  • "How did you get into b-boying?"
    "I was trying to download Rush Hour 3 on Limewire, back in the Limewire days, and it turned out I'd downloaded this dance movie called You Got Served by mistake. So that's where I first saw the dance form, but I didn't know what it was called. I learnt it was called breakdancing when I saw an advert poster for a dance class somewhere with a guy doing a handstand, labeled breakdancing. I YouTubed 'breakdancing' and that's how I learnt more. I was also into freestyle football, and the Red Bull Street Style website had a link to the Red Bull BC One tournament on the side, and that's where I learnt a lot of basic freezes. I thought I was one of the first people here who was doing this properly, but then I found Gautam Jeewan (B-Boy ET) on Facebook, and found out about other b-boys and crews. I started dancing properly when I was 16."
    Photo credit: Shalaka Pai
  • "What does b-boying mean to you?"
    "Everyone wants to break because it looks cool, but there's a difference between doing it and living a lifestyle. B-boying is a way of life. B-boying brought out a lot of confidence in me. If you have a lot of raw energy, you can channel it into the art form, you can express a lot of feelings that way. It's not easy when you start, but when you get better there's a lot you can do with b-boying. I love it because I felt different when I started b-boying."
    Photo credit: Shalaka Pai
  • "What are your favourite moves?"
    "I don't have a personal favourite move, but there are moves that I like. I like tricks. If you're a raw power move guy, I'd rather see creative power, like Lil G. Adding style to power is really hard to do, you're adding more to it than just the simple thing. It takes a long time to learn something like a flare, and adding your own style to it on the fly is even harder. You need to know when to use what when you're battling. You need to plan fast.

    I like power, I like rhythm b-boying, where you move with the beat, because in the end, you're dancing, you need to know the music. People doing power moves to music is on another level altogether."
    Photo credit: Shalaka Pai
  • "Top five breakbeats right now"
    I like DJ Foureyez' remix of 'Hometown Glory'. I also like James Brown's songs a lot, you can hit a lot of beats and express yourself a lot with his music. Then there's 'The Mexican', every b-boy knows that one. I think if you're dancing everyday you need to listen to it at least once to make the b-boy in you come out. I really like DJ Bles One, his music is different from what others play. DJ Lean Rock too. Their music has a hip-hop feel as well as the beats that a b-boy needs.
    Photo credit: Shalaka Pai
  • "Who are your b-boy idols?"
    "The thing is, if you start looking up to one b-boy, there are two ways to look at it. If you're just blindly following them, that's wrong because you don't let your inner style come out. But, if I had to look up to someone, it'd be B-boy Thesis, and B-boy Blond for his power moves. My all-time favourite is B-boy Roxrite. B-boy Neguin has an explosive style, but is also quite subtle. There's also B-boy Casper, who never comes out into big competitions but smokes other b-boys really well. My favourite crew right now is Jinjo Crew from Korea. They don't need power moves to win a competition, they do it with great footwork and style."
    Photo credit: Shalaka Pai
  • "Who's the one b-boy in India you'd love to battle?"
    "I'd battle anyone who comes my way, but if I want to enjoy it... I'd really want to battle Gautam Jeewan, because he's my teacher. I also want to battle B-Boy Abdul again, because we battled thrice, and I lost twice, so I'd want to get my respect by battling him. But yeah, battling Gautam would be a lot of fun, because it'd be a teacher-student thing. I'd also love to battle Venky (B-boy Young Soul) because I've seen him on the floor just once, I'd love to see him battle again."

    Pictured: Pogo started with some footwork (extreme right), then moved into a freeze, did a flare, and ended his set with a boomerang flip.
    Photo credit: Shalaka Pai


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