a space for kids in the hood to practice, learn and innovate on hip hop dance & culture.

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SlumGods at Tihar Jail

slumgods at tihar jail

SlumGods performed with Delhi’s the Ska Vengers for a packed house inside Tihar Jail, with surprise guest Sasha Perera of Jahcoozi. The performance was held in support of Tihar’s Music Program.

We were covered by The New York Times!!

SlumGods wins Crew-on-Crew battle at Crank Dat/ Delhi!

SlumGods won the Crew-on-Crew Battle at Crank Dat – The Heat | New Delhi on Sunday Apr 29 2012. Here’s a video of BBoy Milan in the One-on-One Semi Finals.

Life is Good wins Best Video

Life is Good, starring Tiny Drops BBoys Milan, Babu, Baba, Shiv, La-La & HeRa, just won Best Music Video in The International Songwriting Competition 2012!

Song – Life is good
Music – Jatin Puri
Director – Abhijeet Chhabra
DOP – Nishant Shukla
Production – Kartik Mahajan & Komal Singh Rawat
Editor – Sachin Sundareshan Pillai
Location – Hauz Khas Village, Flipside cafe, New Delhi

Tiny Drops/ Slum Gods at Tihar Jail Project Benefit, Blue Frog Delhi April 19, 2012

BBoys Ashu, Shiv & Lala with ZaN of 2-Shades & Sahiba, on the way to Blue Frog


BBoy Shiv & ZaN


MC Heam & ZaN


MC Heam, ZaN & DJ HeRa



Slumgods at Khirkee

Slumgods at Khirkee

tiny drops at bboy respect, amity university


tiny drops represented at the bboy respect circle, amity university, february 24, 2012.

photos by john monsang

bboy shiv

bboy rishi

dj HeRa

mc mandeep sethi



I Own the Street. I am a B-Boy ~ Indian Express

PriyankaPereira , Somya Lakhani
Sun Sep 04 2011, 02:25 hrs New Delhi
Indian Express
B-boy crew from Dharavi

B-boy crew from Dharavi

An American dance form gives underprivileged young boys in cities a reason to swagger.

The dead greyness of a Delhi afternoon hangs over the houses of C-block in Ambedkar Nagar. Rows of brick houses, clothes lines criss-crossing their grim, unpainted facades. The action, however, is at the park, where 23-year-old Deepak Karodia is teaching his 10-year-old neighbours the art of B-boying. There is no music, only the whir of bodies spinning, and breaking into back spins. Their shoes are worn out, while some wear chappals, but their enthusiasm is evident. They show off their stunts — legs in the air, head on the ground, attitude in their voice and moves. “Ab panje tight ho gaye hai isliye ab darr nahi lagta (My feet have grown firm. I’m not scared any more),” says 11-year-old Abhishek, as he pulls off a fish walk, slithers on the ground and gets up with a jerk.

Six months ago, Karodia had only three students. Now, his class has grown to 13 boys. “Initially, their parents didn’t want them to do learn. They called it a ‘circus’, and were scared that the children would hurt themselves or miss studies. But slowly things changed,” says Karodia, who teaches the dance at an institute in south Delhi, and who picked it up as a schoolchild from reality dance shows on television. For his own colony children, he doesn’t charge a fee, and takes classes every Saturday. The children practise every morning in the park, and, without exception, wish to audition for a dance reality show on TV some day.

The B-boys are on the streets. They burst onto sleepy parks, and swagger into subways, to strut their stuff — sometimes with nothing more than their nimble bodies, and a speakerphone that blares Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic. A big chunk of them come from the street, from Delhi’s lower-middle class colonies like Humayunpur and Khirkee Extension, from Pune’s SB Road to Mumbai’s Dharavi. Eighteen-year-old Akash meets us with his troupe at Sion Fort, Mumbai, on a rainy day. All of them live in Dharavi, study in nearby colleges or work part-time, and gather at the fort to practise their moves when they get time. “I used to go to college but never attended lectures. One day I saw a few other boys breaking (another name of B-boying) and I got interested,” says Akash, who was overweight at that time. “I couldn’t bend properly or stretch my hands and legs. But I made sure I practised a lot,” he says. “We are not very well off, so we cannot go to dance classes. But B-boying is something taught only by the passionate,” he says. He isn’t the only one, several children in Dharavi learn breaking to forget the stress of their lives.

B-boying traces its roots to the black neighbourhoods in the Bronx borough of New York. In the 1970s, a clutch of hip-hop DJs switched the emphasis of the music they played from the song to a “break” in the track. During the break, dancers known as B-boys jumped in, performing routines that were borrowed from the flying, confrontational moves of capoeira, a Brazilian martial arts form, and flamboyant styles like tap dancing and Lindy Hop. In 2007, one of India’s first B-boying crew, Underdog Kombats, was formed in Mumbai. It opened an academy in the city’s suburbs two years later. “We have students from all backgrounds — rich kids who want to flaunt their moves at a party and the poor ones, many of whom want to prove a point,” says Paritosh, one of the founders of the group.

How a dance born in American ghettos has trickled down to India is a story in democratisation. Nikhil Kumar, a Class IX student of Sarvodya Co-ed Senior Secondary School, lives in Humayunpur, a congested south Delhi colony. His father is a driver, and his mother a housewife. A friend introduced him to B-boying and after watching a number of videos on YouTube, Nikhil realised he did not need a mentor. He formed a crew with his friends and called it B-boys Agnastik Crew. “Hum fees nahi de sakte hai lekin apne bal pe itna aage aaye hai (We can’t pay fees, but we’ve come so far on our own),” he says. Their English may not be polished, but they know the hip-hop numbers they dance to by heart. “James Brown, J Rock, Lil B and Black Eyed Peas are our favourites,” says Ranjan, the all-rounder of Agnastik, who excels at flares, a B-boying power move hard to master. The crew recently performed at India Habitat Centre and were paid Rs 50,000. They bought B-boying mats, phones for two members who couldn’t afford one earlier and divided the rest of the money. “We are no less talented and we want to prove this, especially to the foreigners,” says Nikhil.

The boys depend on the internet to watch their favourite crews and B-boys from across the world — Cloud, Cico, Last For 1 and Extreme Crew. A friend’s cyber cafe in Safdarjung Enclave is their music station —when not studying or dancing, they all go there and watch videos. A few months ago, they downloaded a Virtual DJ software to help them mix their own music.

While exposure to the internet, and dreams of performing in reality shows such as Dance India Dance draw them to B-boying, it is also a way to stay away from the streets. Netrapal Singh aka ‘He ra’, India’s most well-known B-boy, started Tiny Drops Hip Hop Centre in Dharavi three years ago and opened a branch in Delhi’s Khirkee Extension a year ago. “I’m not a dance teacher, I am their buddy and mentor. They are on the streets and meet all kinds of people. I try and steer them away. I make them choose between their passion and the bad influences outside,” he says.

Tiny Drops has been lent a room by the Khoj Art Foundation, a Delhi-based arts organisation, where the young men practise their dance every evening. Some just come and hang out, they dress the part but don’t dance. Others sit in a corner, bobbing their head to the music and do graffiti. They all have a story to share. Some don’t have a family apart from friends, others have abusive parents, while some are first-generation Delhi migrants. “It’s very democratic here. The children manage the finances. The Mumbai centre is now being handled by a student,” says He ra. He remembers the reaction of the children’s parents when he organised the first Park Jam with a DJ. “They couldn’t believe their children were the centre of attention and were amazed,” he says.

What draws India’s underprivileged youngsters to B-boying? “It requires minimum resources. You need an open space, music on your phones, cheap speakers and you are set,” says He ra. Bollywood choreographer Remo D’Souza has another answer. “It’s a very difficult dance form and many have the urge to prove that they can do it even when things are not in their favour. It gives them a sense of achievement.”

Watch Abhishek as he pulls off a tough back flip, adjusts the worn-out collar of his shirt, and walks out with a smile.

It’s not just the swagger, it’s also pride.

We’ll Break Your Streets – Tehelka

We’ll Break Your Streets

Street culture in urban India has been gripped by the hip-hop dance phenomenon of b-boying.
A photo essay by Garima Jain

Subway, Rajiv Chowk, New Delhi Babloo (centre), 17, is b-boy Bull. He lives in Karkardooma in Delhi. “I love the hip-hop look and the slang. I’ve just learnt to say ‘What’s up, bro?’ I first saw b-boying on Channel [V] and got hooked. I wanted to be like one of them.”

Khirki Village, New Delhi Shiv studies in Class VIII at a government school near his house here. “When the teacher is boring us, I like making graffiti art in my notebook,” he says. “I hope one day I can make money from it. I sometimes bunk school to do b-boying in the park.””

Central Park, New Delhi Every Sunday, b-boys from afar gather here to show their latest moves. Dinesh, 15, an auto driver’s son, points out the danger: “We attract too much attention and a crowd starts to form around us when we dance. The police don’t like it, so they chase us away. ”

Subway, Rajiv Chowk, New Delhi Babloo (centre), 17, is b-boy Bull. He lives in Karkardooma in Delhi. “I love the hip-hop look and the slang. I’ve just learnt to say ‘What’s up, bro?’ I first saw b-boying on Channel [V] and got hooked. I wanted to be like one of them.”


EVERY SUNDAY, Dinesh walks 7 km to battle with his buddies in Delhi’s Central Park. The 15-year-old son of an auto driver meets kids from Gurgaon, Rohini, Patel Nagar, Chawri Bazaar and Shahadra to do the acrobatic hip-hop dance called ‘b-boying’ (or ‘breaking’, short for break dancing of yesteryear). After DJs, MCs and graffiti artists, these b-boys (and some b-girls) are the latest iteration in a fast-growing hip-hop culture in India. Most kids are from bluecollar backgrounds, children of security guards, nurses, tailors, carpenters and labourers. At times, they dance with their upper-class counterparts too.

Tough Guys Can Dance
Lords And Ladies Of The Dance

Rocking to the hip-hop beats, Mohit falls to the gro – und, and with his left arm as pivot spins 360 °. From here, he builds a dazzling rout – ine — half art, half sport — comprising back flips, head stands and body spins. Similar scenes are proliferating across India. At Chennai’s Marina Beach, kids from fishing settlements battle their upper-class fri e nds. The bboy crew in Mumbai’s Dharavi calls itself the Slumgods. Several classes are conducted by groups like Fre ak N Stylz, Underdog Kombat and Rock Fresh. Energy drink major Red Bull invited international b-boys like Roxrite to cities like Hyderabad for workshops. They feature in mu sic videos, Bollywood dance sequences and Indian ads of Sony, Yamaha and Samsung.

The crews are thriving in cities like Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Aizwal and Jalandhar, but Mumbai and Delhi are the main hubs. The international b-boying event BOTY (Battle of The Year) held its first Indian edition this year. Come September, the winning crew will head to Bangkok for the South Asia qualifications. Another popular event is Cyperholics. Held every three months, it attracts close to 300 dancers.

B-boy street dancing developed in the ’70s New York among African-American and Hispanic youth. After spreading across the world and raging in countries like South Korea, it has arrived in India via the opposite classes — the hip-hop that DJs introduced in our nightclubs a decade ago has trickled down to the streets. Many between the age group of 10 and 25 watch b-boy videos on TV shows like Footloose, Dance India Dance, Just Dance and India’s Got Talent and, of course, on YouTube. They share them on their cheap Chinese cell phones and meet up to try it out. The cell phone provides the music as they practise daily for two to three hours, often in public spaces, and network on Facebook. Some also invent alternate personas to match their moves — Raju, 14, is b-boy Trax, Milan, 13, is b-boy Mady. Most wear caps backwards and baggy jeans. Unlike DJing or graffiti, it doesn’t cost anything.

At Chennai’s Marina Beach, kids from fishing settlements dance with their upper-class friends. In Dharavi, the b-boy crew calls itself the Slumgods

“I don’t tell my parents when I go for practice. They think I’ll break my bones,” says Mahinder, 16. There’s also a fear of police harassment. So why do it? It’s cool, it satisfies their need to be competitive, it’s affirmative to be inducted into a peer group, it’s thrilling to master difficult moves. Says Pran jal, 18, “It’s an ad re naline rush to hit a move or see someone do it.” Above all, you dance because it’s just fun.

Garima Jain is a Photo Correspondent with Tehelka.
[email protected]

Tiny Drops / Slumgods – 1st community park b-boy battle/showcase

Tiny Drops / Slumgods – 1st community park b-boy battle/showcase

Tiny Drops Khirkee Park Jam videos

Tiny Drops Khirkee Park Jam 5/15/2011

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Tiny Drops / Slumgods – 1st community park b-boy battle/showcase…

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… as the night rolls in, some more “experimental” pop lockin’ to block rockin beats by Praxis!

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(thanks Suhrid).

B-boys India photos by Alexandre Dupeyron

Thank you Alexandre Dupeyron for taking great pictures for us and holding a ‘light graffiti’ workshop with us.

Mumbai Bgirl Ambarin in Jugaad Urbanism Film Series, NYC

Mumbai Bgirl Ambarin in Jugaad Urbanism Film Series, NYC

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/18787747]

A film by Saurabh Monga & Netarpal Singh
Based in Mumbai, a city teeming and breathing off the sounds and movements produced by Bollywood, Ambarin chronicles the journey of a young, independent Indian girl trying to define herself and a generation, by looking to sounds and inspirations beyond Bollywood and Indian borders, through a medium of dance that was born in the slums of New York. Ambarin, a soft-spoken, 21-year-old Mumbaikar, is the first B-girl (female ‘breaker’) in India. Breaking, or BBoying/Bgirling, is a dance of both grace and aggression, predominately led by males, and is an ‘underground’ subculture for youth across the globe. For Ambarin to adopt this dance as a passion, and to want to make it a career, positions her against her family and—as a Muslim—makes her explore what is accepted of her based on her religion, only to push beyond obstacles and do what she feels is true in her heart.

Discussion and Q&A to follow with Nisha Mistry.

Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities

Set in the radically uneven urban landscapes of Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Pune, India, Jugaad Urbanism explores how the energy of citizens “making-do” is translated by architects, urban planners, and governmental and nongovernmental entities into efficient and inventive strategies for sustainable urban growth. From energy generating spinning wheels to the extensive skywalks of Mumbai – the exhibition highlights how “jugaad” interventions (a term in Hindi used to describe an innovative, resourceful approach) are challenging traditional spatial hierarchies and mechanistic planning principles.

The work of Indian artists, including Raqs Media Collective, will also be included in the exhibition, offering insights into the complex and oft cited “messy” urbanism of India.