DANS LA RUE: Paris Urban Youth Culture
 
Below is a little recap I made of the this past weekend's over-sized Paris street dance competition Who Iz Who:

A few interesting things to point out about this particular competition:
  • The 2-day event hosted contests in the so-called traditional Hip Hop dances of Popping, Locking, Breaking as well as contests in Hip Hop, a separate category for Krumping, House dance, and Vogue.
  • Each contest averaged about 70 entrants each, and more than 100 for Popping and about 200 for Hip Hop!
  • Dancers came from all over France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and maybe a handful from the US (do I count as US or France?).
  • There were judges for each particular style of dance, of whom the majority were from the US.  Clearly the cultural imperial power still making its presence felt and deciding what's considered good.
  • Rumor has it that the original Krumping judge scheduled to come Tight Eyez, Krump pioneer made famous by the documentary Rize, bailed because he thought Who Iz Who was too commercial!
  • Indeed, many at the event grumbled that the event costway too much to attend and was merely put on to make dollar$$$...woops, I mean euros.  For this reason, some people didn't bother to show up for Day 2 which cost 25 euros a ticket.
  • Another rumor circulated after the event was over that a bag full of thousands of euros in cash payment for the DJ's and judges went mysteriously "missing."
  • EDIT: Also note that the final battles took place at Palais des Sports which is a concert venue for the likes of Elton John, Boyz II Men, and the Blue Man Group.  Could you imagine anything e
And what's the deal with all the Krumping here in Paris?  Why do I have to cross the Atlantic to see this American-made dance?  In NYC, I've only seen this LA street dance performed mockingly (east coast, west coast bias? perhaps).  It's surprising that out of all the newer street dances in the US, from Get Lite and Flexing from New York to Turfing in Oakland to Jooking in Memphis, the ones that have really taken hold here, Krumping and Jerking, are both from LA.  Something tells me it has a little something to do with that Hollywood magic.  Then again, maybe in my ignorance, I simply haven't seen the rest.

I do however appreciate that the hyper agressive Krumping battles at this event were always followed by deliberately effeminate Vogue dancing (see the incredible Javier Ninja at the end of the vid for an example). 
10/19/2010 2:30pm

good to be reconnected in the cypher that now spans continents!

on the topic of krump, when I was in the homeland sa Pilipinas, folks had KRUMPIN
down pact.

my little cousins in the provinces of bohol had their own krumpin routine, matched with colorful bandanas and tranformer music.

but pinoykrump w/Philippine All Stars out in Metro Manila sold me to the dance. i never felt such an intense cypher. peace boogie brooowwwwwn

Reply
10/19/2010 2:31pm

good to be reconnected in the cypher that now spans continents!

on the topic of krump, when I was in the homeland sa Pilipinas, folks had KRUMPIN
down pact.

my little cousins in the provinces of bohol had their own krumpin routine, matched with colorful bandanas and tranformer music.

but pinoykrump w/Philippine All Stars out in Metro Manila sold me to the dance. i never felt such an intense cypher. peace boogie brooowwwwwn

Reply



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    Brian is a writer, dancer, activist, and general hip hop head from New York City. He is currently working towards his Master's in Global Communications in Paris.  



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