May 24, 2016

No One Speaks the Same Language: Breakn'

Sometimes language isn't so much spoken as it is expressed through dance.

The movie: A young jazz dancer teams up with two break-dancers and together they become a dance sensation.

The language barrier problems: The different dance backgrounds of stars Michael Chambers and Adolfo Quinones, and Lucinda Dickey gave way to some tensions on set. Dickey was raised by a dance instructor and had a heavy jazz background, and Chambers and Quinones started out self taught and developed a less ridged, but more physically intense, style. While trying to teach Dickey how to move like they did (which is the basic plot of the movie) they butted heads constantly, from all counts. Dickey in interviews now even says that they had so little time to prep for the movie that she only got confidant in the technique while they were promoting the film, and even then she admitted, she wasn't all that great at it. Chambers and Quinones on the other hand were masters at their craft and were chosen for the rolls for that reason.

The sequel: Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo had language problems all it's own. By the actors recollection, tensions between them had died off, but that could have been because they had a common enemy: the script. The story for the sequel was so slapped together it's laugh-ability is legendary. The first movie was gritty and featured many actual street dancers, the sequel was basically a Busby Berkely movie set in the 80s. The hokey sterile Electric Boogaloo lacked everything heartfelt and human that made the first film a success.

Random thing I learned researching this: Adolfo Quinones was supposed to have the Lorenzo Lallams role in Body Rock, which would have likely made that movie more watchable.

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