Fifth Edition â€œBraun Flatgroundâ€? attracts top International Flatlanders and Breakdancers to Amsterdam
September 23 to 25 breakdancers and BMX flatlanders from all over the world will meet in Amsterdam for Braun Flatground. The international festival will be located in the nineteenth century industrial buildings of the Amsterdam Westergasfabriek cultural park, especially decorated by Dutch graffiti artist Zedz.
Workshops and contests with riders and dancers from countries as diverse as Japan, the USA and Brazil competing in sensational one-on-one battles, will be backed-up with music from Netherlands’ best hiphop DJs. Opening and after-show parties offer performances of Pete Philly & Perquisite (NL), C-Mon & Kypski (NL) and living hiphop legend Talib Kweli (USA).
Promoting flatland and breakdanceâ€œWith this event we aim to promote flatland and breakdance amongst a larger audience,â€? organizer Michiel Verberg explains. Five years ago the event was first held in a small Amsterdam gym. By now it has grown to an international festival with competitions in categories Pro, Under 18, Girl and Amateur, and a total of 25,000 euros of prize money (equally divided between breakdancers and flatlanders). Martti Kuoppa, triple winner of the American X-games: â€œRight now, Braun Flatground is the biggest, most spectacular and most professional event in the field of flatland BMX.â€?
Grafitti artist Zedz, who experiments with geometrical-abstract and three-dimensional forms, will decorate the event. â€œFlatland and breakdance, like graffiti art, are part of a culture of young people in which concentration, action, adrenalin and originality plan an important role. That is why the various forms can mutually reinforce each other,â€? Zedz explains.
Stimulating the scene
For professionals from the flatland and breakdance scenes Braun Flatground offers a unique arena to exchange tricks and to compete. As such the event contributes to the development of both disciplines.â€? French top rider Alex Jumelin: â€œIt is sharing your tricks at an event as this that motivates you as a rider to push yourself and improve all the time.â€?
Where sport and art meetThe combination of flatland and breakdance entails an inspiring encounter between two related disciplines. â€œBreak and flat have many things in common, the most striking one being the even surface artists of both forms move around on. But both disciplines’ sub-cultures are also comparable and most of all that what it is all about: creativity, originality and perseverance. Breakdancers as well as flatlanders operate on a level where sports and art meet,â€? says co-organizer Tyrone van der Meer. â€œAnd both forms break through all kinds of barriers. A guy from Amsterdam and a guy from Helsinki who bike or dance together will understand each other, even though they do not speak each other’s language.â€?
Profit from differences
There are also differences between the disciplines, though, but an event like Braun Flatground aims to profit from these. Tyrone van der Meer: â€œA competition with such high prize money is new for breakdancers. In general they are more concentrated on the show. In flatland contests on the other hand, we have tried to incorporate the entertainment element by having riders compete one on one.â€?