How b-boys are getting their rightful place in the dance world

Michael Holman on giving his personal hip hop dance archives to the New York Public Library for Performing Arts.
The New York City Breakers was a hip hop dance group that Michael Holman promoted. (Martha Cooper)

B-boying is the "lost leader in hip hop culture," claims Michael Holman. 

The hip hop impresario, who has amassed a great archive of the genre and its beginnings in New York City, has been chronicling the scene and its culture for many years. And to him, the dance element of hip hop is what helped catapult it into the world. 

This is why it's a big deal that Holman's countless hours of video and audio recordings will mark the first time hip hop dance and culture will be showcased in the New York Public Library for Performing Arts. 

Hip hop pioneer Michael Holman recently donated countless hours of video and audio recording from his personal archives to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. (Rob Northway)

"I'm sure tap and ballet, modern dance, all of them had this period of gestation," Holman says, of what this momentous occasion means. "It takes time for anything to be really understood and seen for what it is." 

Of course, Holman didn't start building his archives knowing the genre would become as big as it is now — but he did have a feeling. 

"I did believe hip hop culture would become mainstream, would become huge, would become big, would become worldwide," he says. "I thought it had the same possible trajectory as rock 'n' roll or jazz, or any other movement that involved more than just music, that involved dance or art." 

WEB EXTRAS | Watch two videos from Holman's private collection that will be part of New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' archives.


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