Neon Tommy Reviews “Street Chronicles”

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.