Breakin' Down the Bloc: Hip Hop Dance in Armenia

Serouj Aprahamian

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Very few people would have predicted that a former Soviet Republic, Armenia, would be the site of a burgeoning Hip Hop dance scene. Yet today, you can find a weekly class that teaches breaking, popping, or locking throughout the capital, Yerevan, as well as in outlying areas such as Abovyan and Charentsavan. Competitions take place regularly with guests who are visiting from throughout the former Soviet Union, Europe, and North America, and some dancers who make a living off teaching and performing Hip Hop dance styles. This chapter takes an in-depth look at the development of breaking within the country. Through qualitative interviews with practitioners and direct participant observation, it traces how—and more importantly, why—an artform from a region as far removed as the Bronx, New York, has been adopted by young people in Armenia. It argues that Hip Hop’s embodied practices have helped b-girls and b-boys challenge constrictions and forge new identities at a time of immense socioeconomic transformation, lending support to what dance scholar Halifu Osumare (2007) has identified as the “connective marginalities” developed through global Hip Hop culture.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Hip Hop Dance Studies
    EditorsMary Fogarty, Imani Kai Johnson
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9780190247874
    ISBN (Print)9780190247867
    StatePublished - Dec 2 2022

    Publication series

    NameOxford Handbooks


    • breaking
    • Armenia
    • dance
    • Hip Hop
    • b-girl
    • b-boy
    • breakin’

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Arts and Humanities


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