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What is the difference between breakdancing and Parkour? – History and Video Blog

The definitions:

Parkour: (French pronunciation: ​[paʁˈkuʁ]) (abbreviated PK) is a holistic training discipline using movement that developed from obstacle course training. Practitioners aim to quickly and efficiently overcome obstacles in their environment, using only their bodies and their surroundings to propel themselves; furthermore, they try to maintain as much momentum as is possible in a safe manner. Parkour can include running, climbing, swinging, vaultingjumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and the like, depending on what movement is deemed most suitable for the given situation. 
Parkour is non-competitive. It may be performed on an obstacle course, but is usually practiced in a creative, and sometimes playful, reinterpretation or subversion of urban spaces. Parkour involves seeing one’s environment in a new way, and imagining the potentialities for movement around it.
Developed in France primarily by Raymond BelleDavid Belle, and Sébastien Foucan, during the late 1980s, Parkour became popular in the late 1990s and 2000s through films, documentaries, and advertisements featuring these practitioners and others.
Parkour’s training methods have inspired a range of other activities, includingfreerunning and l’art du déplacement. Although their creators define them as separate activities, practitioners and non-practitioners alike often find it difficult to discern the differences between them.


B-boying or Breaking, also called Breakdancing: is a style of street dance that originated among Black and Puerto Rican youths in New York City during the early 1970s. The dance spread worldwide due to popularity in the media, especially in regions such as South Korea, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and Japan. While diverse in the amount of variation available in the dance, b-boying consists of four kinds of movement: toprockdownrockpower moves, and freezes. B-boying is typically danced to hip-hop and especially breakbeats, although modern trends allow for much wider varieties of music along certain ranges of tempo and beat patterns. 

A practitioner of this dance is called a b-boy, b-girl, or breaker. Although the term “breakdance” is frequently used to refer to the dance, “b-boying” and “breaking” are the original terms. These terms are preferred by the majority of the pioneers and most notable practitioners.

The History of Parkour

Trying to pinpoint the exact moment of the birth of Parkour is no easy task. In fact, it may actually prove to be an impossibility. Something as nebulous and indefinable as this thing we practice tends to defy classification. Already it boasts several names, in more than one language: Le Parkour, the Art of Movement, Freerunning, L’Art du Deplacement, to name but a few. And even if you do settle on a name, there is then the tricky little problem of what that name refers to – Is it a sport? Or an art? Or a philosophy perhaps? Or maybe it is better termed a discipline?


Truth is, there is no consensus on this. And – which really hefts a giant spanner into the works – you can’t just go and ask the founding father because this great movement is pretty damn far from being a nuclear family, 2.4 kids and all the rest. No. This child has had a whole host of surrogate step-parents influencing its development down through the years, the centuries, indeed even through the millennia. It has drawn on many sources, supped on inspiration from all over, and drunk from a hundred different cups as it has evolved – and by no means is this process over.
So where do we start in an attempt to get a grip on all this? Not at the beginning, because the gods only know where that was. Not at the end, because that isn’t even in sight. Seems the best we can do is to start somewhere in the middle, and give credit where it’s due to a certain little town in France.
The French Connection
To the south of Paris rest the sleepy, suburban towns of Evry, Sarcelles and Lisses, places no different from any other of the hundreds of satellites orbiting the French capital, save for one small fact: these places were home to a group of nine young men widely acknowledged as having crystallized a number of influences to create something then called l’Art du Deplacement, sometime in the 1980s. At the core of this group were Yann Hnautra and David Belle, who drove much of the early training and have since become known as the originators of the art. These childhood friends formed the group which called itself ‘Yamakasi’, a Lingala word meaning ‘Strong man, strong spirit’, and for over a decade they practised their discipline together and alone, reviled by the French authorities and seen as wildmen by the local public.
What style of dance is Parkour?
 
Parkour, as we have seen, is not something easily categorized. Perhaps inevitably however, as the community grew and numbers swelled, attempts to define and classify became commonplace. By nature an art that encourages freedom of movement and individual expression, it is difficult – if not impossible – to formalise a structured system that contains it whilst at the same time allowing for the subjective approaches of its practitioners. Matters were further complicated by the simple fact that David Belle – acknowledged as one of the gurus of Parkour – chose at first not to release any succinct and clear definition for others to refer to, and so the debates raged and schisms between the different perspectives ensued.
 
History of Breakdancing
 
Many elements of b-boying can be seen in other antecedent cultures prior to the 1970s. B-boy pioneers Richard “Crazy Legs” Colon and Kenneth “Ken Swift” Gabbert, both of Rock Steady Crew, cite James Brown and Kung-Fu films as influences to b-boying. Many of b-boying’s more acrobatic moves, such as the flare, show clear connections to gymnastics. An Arab street dancer performing acrobatic headspins was recorded by Thomas Edison in 1898. However, it was not until the 1970s that b-boying developed as a defined dance style.

Beginning with DJ Kool Herc, Bronx-based DJs would take the rhythmic breakdown sections (also known as the “breaks”) of dance records and prolong them by looping them successively. The breakbeat provided a rhythmic base that allowed dancers to display their improvisational skills during the duration of the break. This led to the first battles—turn-based dance competitions between two individuals or dance crews judged with respect to creativity, skill, and musicality. These battles occurred in cyphers—circles of people gathered around the breakers. Though at its inception the earliest b-boys were “close to 90 percent African-American”, dance crews such as “SalSoul” and “Rockwell Association” were populated almost entirely by Puerto Rican-Americans.

 
To most Americans, even to casual fans of hip hop, breakdancing was a fad whose moment passed before the end of the ’80s, tossed into the decade’s time capsule along with acid wash and decent John Hughes movies.

And in some sense, they’re right. Breakdancing burst onto the national scene in the early 1980s, fueled by a media obsession with hip hop, enjoyed a love affair with the spotlight that lasted a few years, and then fell out of the glare just as quickly as it had located it.
Breakdancing may have died, but the b-boy, one of four original elements of hip hop (also included: the MC, the DJ, and the graffiti artist) lives on. To those who knew it before it was tagged with the name breakdancing, to those still involved in the scene that they will always know as b-boying, the tradition is alive and, well, spinning.

Breakdancing seems so different from all other kinds of dancing that the first question people ask when they see it is: “Where did these kids learn to dance like that?” To many people, this dance seems to have come out of nowhere. But like everything else, Breakdance did come from somewhere, something and someone. In the case of Breakdancing, the someone is the great superstar, James Brown, and the something is the dance, the Good Foot. In 1969, when James Brown was getting down with his big hit “Get on the Good Foot” the Hustle was the big dance style of the day. If you’ve ever seen JamesBrown live in concert or on TV, then you know he can really get down. And when he preformed his hit, he did the kind of dance you’d expect James Brown to do. High Energy. This almost acrobatic dance was appropriately enough known as the lot of kids around New York City.

Compiled By: Josh Martin

Sources:

Wikipedia

Parkour Generations

NPR

Global Darkness

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Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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History of St. Patrick’s Day – Video Blog

St. Patrick’s Day in the United States:

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St. Patrick’s Day, although not a legal holiday anywhere in the United States, is nonetheless widely recognised and celebrated throughout the country. It is primarily observed as a celebration of Irish and Irish American culture; celebrations include prominent displays of the colour green, feasting, copious consumption of alcohol, religious observances, and numerous parades. The holiday has been celebrated on the North American continent since the late eighteenth century.

Saint Patrick Himself:

20130311-090303.jpg Little is known of Patrick’s early life, though it is known that he was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the Christian church. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken captive to Ireland as a slave. It is believed he was held somewhere on the west coast of Ireland, possibly Mayo, but the exact location is unknown. According to his Confession, he was told by God in a dream to flee from captivity to the coast, where he would board a ship and return to Britain. Upon returning, he quickly joined the Church in Auxerre in Gaul and studied to be a priest.

In 432, he again said that he was called back to Ireland, though as a bishop, to Christianise the Irish from their native polytheism. Irish folklore tells that one of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish people. After nearly thirty years of evangelism, he died on 17 March 461, and according to tradition, was buried at Downpatrick. Although there were other more successful missions to Ireland from Rome, Patrick endured as the principal champion of Irish Christianity and is held in esteem in the Irish church.

Wearing of the green:

denver-st-patricksOriginally, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick’s Day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick’s Day as early as the 17th century. Saint Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day. In the 1798 rebellion, to make a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching public attention. The phrase “the wearing of the green”, meaning to wear a shamrock on one’s clothing, derives from a song of the same name.

The first festival:

temp3The first Saint Patrick’s Festival was held on 17 March 1996. In 1997, it became a three-day event, and by 2000 it was a four-day event. By 2006, the festival was five days long; more than 675,000 people attended the 2009 parade. Overall 2009’s five-day festival saw close to 1 million visitors, who took part in festivities that included concerts, outdoor theatre performances, and fireworks. Skyfest forms the centrepiece of the festival.

The topic of the 2004 St. Patrick’s Symposium was “Talking Irish”, during which the nature of Irish identity, economic success, and the future were discussed. Since 1996, there has been a greater emphasis on celebrating and projecting a fluid and inclusive notion of “Irishness” rather than an identity based around traditional religious or ethnic allegiance. The week around Saint Patrick’s Day usually involves Irish language speakers using more Irish during Seachtain na Gaeilge (“Irish Language Week”).

As well as Dublin, many other cities, towns, and villages in Ireland hold their own parades and festivals, including Cork, Belfast, Derry, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, and Waterford.
The biggest celebrations outside Dublin are in Downpatrick, County Down, where Saint Patrick is rumoured to be buried. In 2004, according to Down District Council, the week-long St. Patrick’s Festival had more than 2,000 participants and 82 floats, bands, and performers and was watched by more than 30,000 people.

Christian leaders in Ireland have expressed concern about the secularisation of St Patrick’s Day. In The Word magazine’s March 2007 issue, Fr. Vincent Twomey wrote, “It is time to reclaim St Patrick’s Day as a church festival.” He questioned the need for “mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry” and concluded that “it is time to bring the piety and the fun together.”
United States

Source: Wikipedia
Compiled By: Josh Martin

 

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Colorado Rejects Googles Driverless Car Proposal – Video Blog

Video Produced By: ABC News

**Update**

DENVER – Automated cars won’t be allowed in Colorado this year after a state Senate committee rejected a bill to allow driverless vehicles.

The Senate Transportation Committee decided against the bill to make Colorado at least the fifth state where automatic cars are legal. The cars are under development and are touted as safer than human-operated vehicles.

The bill would have stated that automated cars must still contain licensed drivers, and that the cars would have to have an override switch so they can be driven manually if needed.

Source: The Associated Press
automated car
DENVER – Cars without drivers could be possible on Colorado roads – but first lawmakers have to change state law to make them legal.

The state Legislature is poised to do just that under a bill up for its first debate in a Colorado Senate committee this week. The Transportation Committee will consider whether Colorado should become at least the fifth state to change the law to specifically allow automated cars.

The driver-less cars are developed in California by Google. Colorado’s proposal would state that automated cars must still contain licensed drivers, and the cars must contain an “override switch” so they can be driven manually if needed. The “drivers” in automated cars would be allowed to text or type.

Source: The Associated Press

 

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MAZDASPEED Daytona Recap


Video Produced By: Mazda of Lakewood

January 26th, 2012

(Daytona, Florida) Endurance racing is a cruel sport at times.  Months of preparations and thousands of hours of labor can be swept away in moments of simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The four Mazda RX-8 Grand-AM GT race cars were fast, their rotary engines powerful and reliable, yet the final result was a single top-ten finish.  After the race, car owners Sylvain Tremblay, Jon Mirachi, Joe Foster, and Patrick Dempsey had nothing but praise and appreciation for their crews and drivers, for all went above and beyond the call of duty.

T70-at-daytona-02eam Recaps

Team: SpeedSource #70

Car: Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8
Drivers: Sylvain Tremblay, Nick Ham, David Haskell, Jonathan Bomarito
2009 Result: Started first, finished 19th
Notes:  Led the first 20 minutes of the race until a hard bump to the curbing damaged the fuel cell.  The replacement of the fuel cell took over an hour, losing over 40 laps in the process, dropping the team to dead last after 90 minutes.  During the night, the team driving was superb – The #70 car the fast car on the track.  The combination of Tremblay, Ham, Haskell, and Bomarito made up six laps on the leader and it looked like a top-ten finish was still possible until a broken exhaust and half shaft further delayed the team.

69-at-daytona-02

Team: SpeedSource #69

Car: FXDD Mazda RX-8
Drivers: Emil Assentato, Nick Longhi, Matt Plumb, Jeff Segal
2009 Result: Started fourth, finished ninth.
Notes: The FXDD car was well prepared to uphold the SpeedSource honor until an on-track incident with a slower car caused extensive front end damage.  The team spent almost an hour behind the pit wall replacing the front clip and the left front suspension.  The team carried on to score valuable points with a solid ninth-place finish.

30-at-daytona-01Team: Racers Edge #30

Car: 3-Dimensional Services Group/ Idemitsu Mazda RX-8
Drivers:  Doug Peterson, Dane Cameron, Bryan Sellers, Dion von Moltke
2009 Result: Started 17th, finished 13th
Notes:  The team ran very strong with Dane Cameron setting the second fastest lap of the race – especially impressive as it was set in the night.  The team was delayed by difficult to diagnose electrical problems for the first half of the race.  The team left Florida knowing they had a car and team capable of finishing on the podium, but confident for the races to come.

40-at-daytona-02Team: Dempsey Racing #40

Car: Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Mazda RX-8
Drivers: Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster, Charles Espenlaub, Tim Lewis Jr., Jep Thornton
2009 Result: Started 28th, finished 22nd
Notes:  Needless to say, Patrick Dempsey was the star of pre-race activities.  The team partnership with the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer generated a great deal of favorable attention from beyond the motorsports press.  The team was on-track for a strong finish until Jep Thornton crashed the car in the evening.  The team rebuilt the front of the car only to have Jep involved in a second accident in the middle of the night.  This was the first ever DNF for Dempsey Racing/Hypersport in the Rolex Grand-Am series.

Source: Mazda Speed Development
Compiled By: Josh Martin

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in Automotive, sports, travel, Video Blog

 

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