Monday, January 12, 2009

The Krump - A New Dance Style Set To Rock The World?

Those who watched the second round (Top 18) of So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) America - Season 2 on 8TV on January 4 2009 would have noticed contestants Travis Wall and Martha Nichols doing a krump dance routine to the song Clap Back by Ja Rule. The routine was choreographed by Lil' C, a world renowned krumper. I guess for many of us (it certainly was for me) this would be the first time that we are watching a krump dance performance. The dance was entertaining, fun to watch and Travis and Martha really gave a polished performance. It was thumbs up from all the judges.

Krumping is a relatively new urban street dance form that was born circa 2001 in the streets of South Central Los Angeles, USA. It is a fusion of several dance styles popular in the LA area. In addition to hip hop and breakdancing moves, krumping also involves another unique LA style of dancing known as clowning, pioneered by Tommy The Clown. The popularity of krumping has spread to places like Europe, Brazil, Australia and Japan. A krump dance competition was held recently in Japan with the first prize being an offer to battle against Lil' C and Miss Prissy in the USA.

Through the annals of history, we find that new genres of dances have always been continually "invented". While some dances have remained popular in their present or variation forms, many have faded into oblivion and are quickly forgotten. Dances which have challenged and will stand the test of time are the folk, contemporary and national dances. Many fad dances just come and go like the wind and are soon consigned to the history books. Dances like the locomotion, mashed potato, the jerk, the fly, the monkey (and a whole list with ridiculous names) which were the craze in the 1960s are all but barely mentioned nowadays.

The social dances which have remained popular in Malaysia include the ballroom and Latin American dances. Other "newer" entrants are the hip hop, salsa and line dance. There has been a resurgence of interest in other styles like the American swing dances (lindy hop, east coast swing, west coast swing, etc), Argentine tango and belly dance. You can still get to dance the twist, off-beat cha cha, YMCA, disco, and macarena at some social functions. Will the krump retain its allure or will it just become another dance fad and slowly fade away. Only time can tell. In the meantime, happy krumping!

Warmest Regards,

Dance Aficionado
Dancesport Malaysia


Ming said...

Thanks for this article DA. I have maybe 1 more inclusion--although not a social dance, I am yet to come across a dance studio (here or singapore) that hasn't installed poles! it seems to be enjoying a lot of support, and to my surprise not an entirely female pursuit.

Dance Aficionado said...

Hi Ming,

I didn't know that pole dancing is that "hot" in Malaysia and Singapore!

I am glad you are having a swing session at Aliyaa's every Tuesday now. Swing dancing must be getting really popular.

You should try to conduct classes and workshops at the KLDA.