“Battle of the Year” is the Olympics of break dancing, a tournament held every year that attracts all the best teams from around the world, but the Americans haven’t won in fifteen years. Los Angeles Hip Hop mogul and former B-Boy Dante (Laz Alonso) wants to put the country that started the Sport back on top. He enlists his hard-luck friend Blake (Kosh Holloway), who was a championship basketball coach, to coach his team. Armed with the theory that the right coach can make any team champions, they assemble a Dream Team of all the best b-boys across the country. With only three months until Battle of the Year, Blake has to use every tactic he knows to get twelve talented individuals to come together as a team if they’re going to bring the Trophy back to America where it started. Inspired by the actual World championship held yearly in France.
Grammy®-winning recording artist Chris Brown plays Rooster, one of the most outstanding dancers on the Dream team. “I wasn’t really familiar with Chris Brown’s music, but I was completely blown away by his talent,” says director Benson Lee. “Chris is the consummate performer. He really respects the craft of b-boying. He trained rigorously and his natural swagger is perfect for Rooster. He owns this character and there’s no doubt that he’s one of the best dancers out there today, but he’s one of the boys on the set. He doesn’t play the diva card at all.”
Rooster becomes one of the group’s leaders, which the filmmakers say came naturally to Brown. “Chris brings so many things to this role like this,” according to producer Tripp Vinson. “It was a privilege to watch him work and he was a lot of fun to have on set.”
Brown has been interested in b-boying since he was a kid and his natural aptitude for dance helped him pick up the finer points relatively quickly. Still, he says this was the most difficult dancing he has ever done. “Nobody’s faking anything here,” says Brown. “Working with these guys was inspiring for me. They really pushed me to do my best because they were so serious. They were always willing to show me how to do a move and they were really encouraging. I learned a lot and I think I walked away from this movie with a lot of new friendships.”
Brown says he loves acting and is always open to an interesting part, but he was hesitant to accept a role in a film about dance, especially since he is already well-known for his musical performances. “The script was incredible, though,” he says. “The characters and the story made me want to be a part of it.”
Brown quickly learned that there’s a big difference between performing and battling. “When I go out on stage in front of 15,000 people, I know they came to see me,” he says. “Battling is ten times as hard because you face the judgment. If you mess up, they let you know.”
To be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide starting Nov. 6, “Battle of the Year” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.