Written by, in my opinion, one of the foremost experts in the field and student of the art, Alien Ness. Ness has a deep history which I won’t go into here, but suffice to say, he knows the subject intimately. As someone who has been putting in work for many years he is living proof that you can keep contributing and staying active in the scene as long as you want.
A mixture between a pamphlet and a book, the Art of Battle (AOB) is filled with lots of information that, in this day and age of staged battles and tournaments, are extremely relevant and useful. Invaluable to both competitors and judges, it covers many of the main issues of battling and an insight into how battles may be viewed. Many people don’t understand the science of staged battles, how to approach them, how they are judged, how to increase the chances of winning etc. As an example many dancers don’t realise that almost all judges use a round per round system. Some still think that battles are judged as a ‘whole’. This is not so and hasn’t been for years. This book makes an attempt to look at all of this and find some type of resolution. Whether it succeeds or not I’ll leave for the buyer to decide, but trust me…you won’t be disappointed.
The book is divided into 4 main sections, but really it’s just one long structure. It’s written in a very free-flow/stream of consciousness manner as if he’s having a conversation with the reader or holding a seminar. For me, in a subject of this nature, it is the perfect approach. We are, after all, dealing with scientific art and artistic science. We are artists, but to enable judging to be consistent and make any sense we need to look at it scientifically. You can tell a lot of thought and work have gone into this book. It’s filled with so many tips we take for granted but often sleep on. ie “In a crew competition, maintain an orderly line that’s clear from the dance floor.” Seems obvious, right? Now take a look at as many battles on Youtube or dvd/video that u can find and see how many times this ‘rule’ is broken!! Another example: “Never steal rounds“.
Huh? Many crews do this. But as Ness states; no stolen runs are ever judged by any judge he has ever met. He can also add any I have met as well. It’s a waste of energy and a blatant waste of what could potentially be a good round. Either by spoiling the original run or ‘throwing away’ a good one. Imagine a situation where Cico steals a round and hits a nice 25 round 1990 that won’t be counted! Save that stuff for the cypher battles.
This information is all within the first few pages! Believe me, you’re on to a good one here.
Available directly from the OFFICIAL WEBSITE.
photo by: Vladimir Lorinc