This weekend the 13th edition of the international breaking championship HIP OPsession sets off in Nantes, France. World's best dancers battle for the win and a spot in the impressive hall of fame. One of the successful competitors is Russia's B-Boy Bootuz, member of Predatorz Crew and former Red Bull BC One World Finalist. Back in Nantes as a judge, we caught up with Bootuz to reminisce about why he enjoys heading to HIP OPsession.
You have a long history with HIP OPsession, what do you remember from your previous presences?
Indeed, my first trip to this event was in 2008. After winning the final battle at a big Russian competition called Maya battle together with brother and crewmember Fast Foot we got the invite for HIP OPsession. We took the final battle against Lilou and Moncef and I have great memories and experiences on that battle. The year after I made it to the final from the solo battle and had to battle Kleju from Poland and Niek from the Netherlands.
It was my 4th international battle I competed in after my appearance at the Red Bull BC One World Final in 2006 and 2007 and HIP OPsession in 2008. 10 years ago we were travelling much less frequently lol. So I was really excited to battle with these guys in 2009 as I got invited once more. As I remember my goal was to do more in one round, but anyway I still think that I deserved to win, because I did two different style rounds and blow ups with my original slow motion Airflares (inspired by B-Boy Crumbs after watching Freestyle Session 7).
After competing several times you were invited as a judge, what makes HIP OPsession special for you in relation to other events?
Since my first time I went to Nantes I felt a positive difference in the level of the organization and the cultural mood of HIP OPsession. For me this event has always been and remains one of the most underground events of the year. In that way, you can say it's like my second home as I've been there 7 times already! 2014 was a great moment as I won the 10th anniversary of HIP OPsession with my crew Predatorz. After that I came back to film my project called Break Advice (Online Breaking Tutorial) in which we just released season 9. Main organizer Nico helped me with the set up in Nantes and with this I want to show my gratitude towards him and the team for supporting the culture.
This weekend you will take the judges seat. What are your expectations?
Two years ago I said to Nico that I will come back to judge and it was great news that I got invited and I'm excited to be back this year. I can't wait to be there and share the dance floor with my friends from all over the world and see how they're going to represent themselves. I saw the line up and it's fire!! From my judges perspective I would like to see creativity, musicality and energy from all B-Boys and B-Girls. Of course there is much more criteria, but it's all about "the moment of the get down" and do what you love to do – dance.
Watch B-Boy Bootuz and the final battles of HIP OPsession live at https://www.youtube.com/user/Pickupprod1 on February 18 at 7PM CET.