Teo Castellanos's "Scratch & Burn" breaks into FlynnSpace

B-Boys blazed into Burlingtons FlynnSpace on Feb. 7. Driven by drums and Brimstone 127s fiery hip-hop, Teo Castellanoss five male breakdancers lit up the stage with their pantheistic Scratch & Burn war and peace ritual. Scratch & Burn begins with Mark 5:11-13s passage about demons entering into swine. A demonic bull (a cast member on all fours) is killed, carved, and devoured to begin a fiercely energetic evening of battle preparation, wartime engagement, and peaceful post-war cleansing (with bowls of water rather than a river because of FlynnSpaces obvious limitations). The program is based on New Zealand Maori war dance, Japanese Butoh, Yoruba chants, Tao Te Ching philosophy, and Zulu funeral ceremony. Although the show is a searing critique of war and violence, its beauty and power excite and enthrall. Breakdancing is at its core. Breakdancing is an element of hip-hop culture. According to the U.S. Department of State ( www.america.gov ), hip-hop originated about 30 years ago in the bleak South Bronx as an expression of urban black and Latino youth culture. Today, it is a $ 4 billion dollar music and fashion industry and is viewed as the most important contribution to the American cultural landscape since blues and jazz. It cuts across racial lines and is dominant in every youth culture in every country. Castellanoss performers have fallen firmly under breakdancings spell. One of his dancers, DAHS (David Camargo), says B-Boying has given me more than I could ever imagine. It has released the societal tensions, helped me find an art within myself, and given me a family and memories that will last a lifetime. Another artist, LETHAL (Gary Otis), is just as passionate about breaking but disarmingly adds that he also loves his Mom, chocolate, and donuts. Nearly all of Castellanoss crew talk proudly about the many B-Boy battles they have engaged in, thus emphasizing breakdancings role as a peaceful substitute for the violence that Castellanos abhors. Check out breakdancings freezes, floats, drops, downrocks, toprocks, and power moves at YouTube or watch the B-Boys perform on Church Street once the snow clears. Youll see why B-Boysand B-Girlsmay soon be breaking into the Olympics.

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