By Catherine O’Sullivan
I’ve got to be honest here. By the late 1980’s I had pretty much given up on dance. I blame two things. One, a lot of modern dance troupes disappeared due to a lack of funding. And two, Ikea opened stores across the country and began selling long collapsible nylon tubes you could crawl through, stand up in and even use as tents. My kids had a few and had a great time with them. I believe I saw at least three modern dance performances in which participants thumped across stages like unhinged tube worms trying to communicate something. I was never sure exactly what.
On September 3, 2013, the performance of The Underground Street Chronicles and “krumping” at the University of Southern California changed all that. Krumping is not just dance. It transcends dance. And Tuesday evening’s performance was the most kinetically honest thing I have ever seen..
Krumping is anything but gentle and as far as I can tell has few to no boundaries at all. An intensely physical style requiring equal amounts of strength and coordination set to music, it is not so much a dance as the complete utilization of the human body to express intense emotion. It blows through metaphor. It is not “meta” anything. It doesn’t waste energy with symbols and convention. Instead of telling us what something is like, it represents what is. It is real human angst, fear, anger, sorrow, trepidation, intimidation, play, love and hate physicalized and delivered with a knock-out punch to every pre-conception you have. It is the human body as message: pleading, despairing, screaming and warring.
The entire performance was electric but two pieces stood out. …
Read full article at Neon Tommy.
The Underground: Street Chronicles @ USC
Rather than listen to politicians drone on about the plight of the underserved, check out how smart street kids cope with stress: street dancing. Witness the latest in street dance with L.A.-based Underground Street Company’s premiere production of The Underground: Street Chronicles. Accompanied by a rapper, krump founders Lil “C” and Miss Prissy take center stage with seven other dancers to “tell” their stories of personal struggles, mainly through krumping. Originating in South Central L.A., this thrilling, energetic dance style fuses breakdancing, hip-hop, Jamaican dancehall and traditional African dance. Moves such as chest pops, arm swings and foot stomps express emotional release. This is a provocative performance that speaks volumes about the state of our community. Following the performance, Annenberg professor Sasha Anawalt moderates a conversation with the dancers. Bovard Auditorium, USC, 3551 Trousdale Parkway, University Park; Tues., Sept. 3., 8 p.m.; free, resv. required. (213) 740-0483, usc.edu/dept/pubrel/visionsandvoices.
— By Heidi Dvorak
Price: free, resv. required
Here is a little insight into who we are, what we’ve accomplished and where we’re headed. Thank you for all of your support!
The Underground will be performing at Pasadena Dance Festival on April 27, 2013, at 8pm at Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Miss Prissy and Boogie Frantick will also be teaching classes during the day on April 27. Please check the schedule for times and locations. If you buy a ticket to the show, please use the code: theunderground. If you take a class, please use either of these codes: teacherprissy2013 and/or teacherfrantick2013.
The Underground will be participating in EMPL.A. Pop Conference — Locals Only: Pop & Politics In This Town — on a panel called ” Krumpin In North Hollywood” on Saturday, April 20, 2013, from 2:15-3:45pm at REDCAT.
Last year marked the 10th anniversary of krump, a street dance created by marginalized working-class black youth living in South Los Angeles. Since its establishment krump has grown into a dance form celebrated and performed globally. But nonetheless it has also remained very connected and based within its Los Angeles roots, currently taking most dynamic form in North Hollywood, an outer-ring suburb not conventionally identified with youth subcultural practices of performance, play, leisure and community-building. At the “818 Session” krump dancers have repurposed an empty parking lot, among many other spaces, for performance and recreation; it is another example of how black and brown working class youth — populations whose mobility and use of public space is increasingly curtailed by corporate takeovers of public space and the growth of outdoor performance spaces that cater mainly to bourgeois interests — have seized underused and undervalued city spaces as sites for invention, expression, and community-building. This roundtable will bring together Lil’ C and Miss Prissy, two of krump’s founders and the organizers of the 818 Session, as well as several krump dancers, dance journalists and scholars on popular culture to discuss the importance and creative value of street dance as well the multifarious politics of the 818 Session.
The Underground is prepping for their next show, Street Dance LA with Versa-Style and Lux Aeterna. Ebony Repertory Theatre’s Dance@theHolden is proud to present three local street dance companies on a Los Angeles stage. The companies perform a variety of styles, including popping, locking, krumping, footwork, flexing, house and b-boying.
@ Nate Holden Performing Arts Center
4718 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016
$20 General Admission
$15 with Student ID – $25 after March 31, 2013
For more information: ebonyrep.org or 323-964-9766
Please support our Kickstarter campaign so we can pay our dancers to tour. Thank you!