Niels “STORM” Robitzky from Germany has been working with the Red Bull BC One since 2005. This year, will be the fifth time he judges the finals. He is highly respected in the B-Boy community worldwide and is stated an inspiration by most of the B-Boys. STORM’s little brother B-Boy Speedy was one of the judges in 2007 in South Africa.
STORM has been representing Hip Hop and Funk styles since 1983 and is one of the leading artists and pioneers in this field. Popping, Locking and B-Boying, made him world famous. In the nineties, he won almost every competition in his field. STORM built the infrastructure for many dance events happening today. He teaches workshops with a unique didactic concept all over the world and is at home in theatres, establishing urban arts.
When he was a little boy, STORM loved to dance. “I was interested in dance ever since I learned how to walk, but I seriously got into it at age 14, when I first saw Electric Boogaloo and B-Boying in 1983. Without any knowledge of the different styles or its vocabulary we tried to imitate robots and creatures out of some animated movies or tried to spin on our backs and heads. Then I saw the preview of Flashdance on TV and videos like Buffalo Gals. From that moment on, I was hooked and it changed my life completely.
By 1984 the big media hype started and STORM’s group gained reputation. They got signed by an agency, which toured them in northern Germany in association with the biggest German pop magazine called Bravo on the Bravo Breakdance Sensation Tour.
Soon after that, the “breakdance“ hype died down. Only a few persistent enthusiasts who wanted to develop B-Boying further continued and started searching for other remaining dancers. Storm was one of them. He made contact with other B-Boys who were still active and stayed creative and productive throughout the time when breaking was out of fashion. He undoubtedly was one of the driving forces that kept B-Boying alive!
By 1991, STORM’s crew Battle Squad was one of the leading B-Boy crews worldwide, one of the few helping to keep the dance alive. In 1991 and 1992, Battle Squad won the International Battle of the Year: Because of the difficulties STORM experienced in the days when B-Boying was considered obsolete, he decided to establish Hip Hop culture in the theatre world.
From 1992 on, he danced with a New York dance company called “GhettOriginal.“ He performed in shows at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and Lincoln Center in New York City. While living in New York, he retrieved his feeling for funk by practicing with Mr Wiggles and Adesola and started to work a lot more on his popping and locking skills. At the same time, he hosted the Hip Hop Magazine “Freestyle“ on the German TV channel, VIVA. After quitting this job in early 1996, he formed a dance company called the “STORM and Jazzy Project“ in his hometown, Berlin. With two different choreographed pieces, they toured many different theatres around the world.
When STORM wasn’t dancing, he was working on a book “From Swipe to STORM“ which was published in January 2000 and tells the story of breaking in Germany.
In 2000, STORM choreographed a solo dance named “Solo for Two and staged it all over the world in more than 40 countries and 160 cities. In 2004, he conceptualized The Art of Urban Dance and choreographed an informative, didactic piece with ten other dancers from Europe. This show also toured around the world with generous support from the Goethe Institute in the Middle East and Asia. In 2004, STORM also starred in the German Hip Hop movie Status Yo where he played a gas station worker. He directed and choreographed parts of the opening ceremonies at the Expo 2000 in Hanover and the FIFA Worldcup 2006” in Germany
Today, STORM choreographs and directs dance pieces for different theatres and institutions all over the world. After “Solo for Two” he gained widespread success with his solo Virtuelevation which premiered in January 2006.
Also in 2006, he created a show with the company Discipulos do Ritmo from Brazil. Their piece „Geometronomics“ played with geometric precision of different shapes and tempos of dance moves in an abstract version of everyday life.
Since 2008, Storm is also touring with his solo “Storm in Classical Context” in which he improvises to classical tunes played on an old record player with all the scratches and clicks from that machine as well as the noise from the stage. Skipping from tune to tune, he interprets the music in his very own unconventional ways.
Asked about his judging methods STORM explains, “I watch the two competing parties, find out their strengths and weaknesses and balance them out against each other to decide which one is the more skilled dancer. I use three main criteria for the decision—dynamics, dimension and spacial awareness and see how they execute them within the concept of B-Boying—its techniques and styles.”on.