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Saving Montréal’s Breakdancing Culture

By Samantha Mateus
  • Spectators gather to watch local bboys performing at the Cineplex Odeon Forum Cinemas / Photo courtesy of AMC Family

Montréal’s Cineplex Odeon Forum Cinemas – previously known as the AMC Forum and for many years home of the city’s beloved Montréal Canadians hockey team – has served as a site for the city’s breakdancing community. Breakdancers flock to the Forum to showcase their back flips and head spins on the centre-ice portion of the old ice rink.

Recently officials banned breakdancers from practising at the Montréal Forum. Having recently bought the complex from AMC Theatres, Cineplex Odeon is trying to revamp the Forum’s image and the breakdancers’ urban street culture does not conform to their plans. In response, a group that identifies itself as AMC Family has drafted a petition to allow breakdancing to remain a defining element of the Forum’s activities. The petition is important for a number of reasons. Not only is the breakdancing entertaining for the public, but it helps raise awareness of the diversity of dance culture. Most importantly, it provides a venue to keep kids out of trouble by giving them an opportunity to focus their attention on something constructive.

“I’ve seen good urban dancers grow and expand on their craft by using the space of the Forum. This location is an important venue for the culture; a culture that sadly has scarce support,” said Handy Yacinthe, a Montréaler who has pledged her support by signing the petition.

All are welcome to sign the petition.

 

 

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