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Topic: Rize Interviews: Clowning, Krumping and West Coast dance

  1. Jun 27, 2005 03:34pm by NRG - livin the art that is life ! www.64111clinic.com fam www.nrginmotion.com massage www.myspace.com/nrginmotion world community Location: havenhouse KCK/ 64111 Clinic 4 Life
    from Davey D's site This is a pretty good article that appeared in Newsweek about the movie Rize and the Clown/ Krump dance movement behind it.. peep this and then check out the radio interviews we did about these dances. In many of the neighborhoods in LA either you clown dance, krump dance or you gang bang...Cats paint their faces and take these dances and their dance crews very seriously. To see these dances in real life will blow you away.. In our radio interview we caught with Flii Styles, Rich and Tone Richmond, Cali's Housing Authority who have been putting it down for years. They have taught everyone from Michael Jackson on down to Usher how to master the latest Hip Hop dance moves. They are also part of the brain trust behind this new movie from famed photographer Dave LaChappele called Rize. They walk us through the history of West Coast dance and make the important political-social connection to these dance styles. We also catch up with Tommy the Clown who sparked this whole movement shortly after the 1992 Rodney King riots. We also catch up with Baby Tight Eyes who breakdowns the difference between Clowning and Krumping.. If you wanna see what Hip Hop was like in its early days be sure to catch the movie Rize.. Breakdown FM radio Interviews for the Movie Rize.. *Note: Mac Users You will need to download Windows Media to peep interviews 1-Richmond, Cali's Housing Authority who were part of the brain trust for the movie Rize directed by Dave La Chappele give a run down about the history of key west coast dance styles including popping, strutting, locking, animations and shields. They also run down the history of Clown Dancing, Stripper Dance and Krumping. [url]easylink.playstream.com/d...i_bdfm.wax[/url] 2-Flii Styles of Richmond's Housing Authority talks about the connection the Bay Area's Hyphy and Thizz movements have to LA's clown and krump styles. He notes that every city and very region has a unique dance expression that reflects the energy and spirit of the people from that region. He also talks about how these dance styles are rooted to our spritual groundedness.. [url]easylink.playstream.com/d...hority.wax[/url] 3-Rich and Tone of the Housing Authority talk about how their Samoan background influence their style of dance. They also talk about the connection the Clowning and Krump Dances have to Africa.. This is a poient point brought out in the film.. Lastly they talk about how the hood and Black people in general give birth to some of this country's most important artistic styles of expressions.. easy[url]link.playstream.com/d...i_bdfm.wax[/url] 4-Here we speak with Clown Dance founder Tommy The Clown..He's the one responsible for this new dance movement when he began using clown dancing as a way to entertain kids shortly after the 92 Rodney King riots [url]easylink.playstream.com/d...fm__2_.wax[/url] 5-We caught up with Baby Tight Eyes aka T-Fly and his Krump Dance Krew..They give a run down about the difference between Krump Dancing and Clown Dancing. They talk about how it allows one to get rid of anger and keeps them off the streets.. We also caught up the Rice Track Krump Dancers-who are an all-Filipino crew from Long Beach.. they also detail Krump dancing and what it means for them.. [url]easylink.playstream.com/d...ancers.wax[/url] Dancing in the streets 'Rize' paints a portrait of L.A. kids using their feet to express their class struggles BY CARINA CHOCANO LOS ANGELES TIMES [url]www.newsday.com/entertain...ent-bigpix[/url] [b:608bb0e4e7]'Rize," David LaChapelle's documentary about a dance movement created on the streets of South Central Los Angeles, opens with news footage from the 1965 riots in Watts.[/b:608bb0e4e7] Over images of burning buildings and plundered stores, a newscaster's voice describes the chaos. "Civil rights leaders were quick to deplore the unbridled lawlessness," intones the disembodied voice, "and Martin Luther King vowed to do all in his power to prevent a recurrence, in Los Angeles or anywhere." Of course, a recurrence was not prevented, most infamously in Los Angeles in 1992, and the scenes that follow the Watts footage are striking in their similarity. But the second sequence culminates in a bizarre dance beside a row of parked cars, where two women pretend to beat a third with invisible batons. The victim hunches over, hands clasped behind her back. "These are kids who created a chance," he adds, "who created their own arts program and clubs. And they are kids from the hardest families. Three of these kids were born in prison, to mothers who are still in prison. Some of their fathers are original gangsters, founders of the Crips and the Bloods. This is not soft, middle-class." Lil C was one of the creators of krump dancing along with Tight Eyez and Dragon. "We all used to dance with Tommy the Clown, and he gave us our fundamentals," Lil C says. "How to entertain, how to perform, how to keep the crowd's eye on you. And then it was like going from seventh grade to high school. Tommy has the realm of performance and entertainment locked down, so all the kids want to be a part of his crew. But he can't accommodate them all. ... So we created an avenue to perform and show their talents. We outgrew him, like you're supposed to. Suddenly our dancing started to become less entertaining, and people who saw it shied away from it because it seemed so aggressive." The dance style quickly erupted beyond parties and performances and into backyards, rec rooms, ball courts and Battle Zone. Later, for some, it took a spiritual turn, not surprising since krump is clearly related to the kind of movement that happens in charismatic and Pentecostal churches. Dragon, who first began krumping in church, is now studying to be a minister. The more the movement became about expression, the more spiritual and community-oriented it became. Older members of the original crew recruit young, at-risk kids and become mentors to them, as Tight Eyez did for his surrogate little brother, Lil Tight Eyez, who wasborn in jail. "Krumping is a real spiritual thing," Lil C says. "It's a God thing. We all have definite struggles, and if we didn't have God, we wouldn't be krumping." Send in the clowns Ten years later, neighborhood kids enact a version of the dance, only more ritualized and abstracted, and they've painted their faces like tribal warriors. As a photographer and music video director, LaChapelle is well known for his surreal and often outrageous portraits of celebrities (which draw from influences as diverse as Renaissance painting and pornography), as well as for his glossy, color-saturated fashion ads and campy, sexy videos for the likes of Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez. What he's not generally known for is his social realism or socially committed art. So when the riot footage gives way to images of a large black man in a clown suit and rainbow wig dancing in the street, you might assume that LaChapelle made him up. He didn't. Tommy the Hip-Hop Clown is the creation of Tommy Johnson, who invented the persona in 1992. Tommy became an Inglewood, Calif., kid-party-circuit fixture, performing with children he had trained. As the numbers of clowns increased, and clown groups formed on their own, Tommy founded Battle Zone, a competitive venue for dancers to compete in front of huge audiences, and eventually Tommy's Hip-Hop Clown Academy. It's gone now, but for years neighborhood kids went there to learn the exuberant art of hip-hop clowning. Tommy's influence in the community is immense. The founder of a subculture that offers one of the few alternatives to gang involvement, he's also considered the artistic father of "krump," an aggressive, cathartic, freestyle dance created by some of his original pupils as an expression of their frustration and pain. Exploring the neighborhood The film, which opens tomorrow, unfolds chronologically, tracing LaChapelle's gradual involvement with the community. Originally setting out to learn more about this visually stunning dance form, LaChapelle, who is based in Los Angeles, wound up creating a moving portrait of a dispossessed neighborhood and a group of kids determined to rise above their circumstances. "In September of 2002, I was working on the 'Dirrty' video for Christina Aguilera," recalls LaChapelle, a tall, soft-spoken guy with big, sleepy eyes. "And backstage there was a room where all the extras were. My friends Tone and Rich Talauega were working on the choreography on this video, and they came up to me on the first day we were shooting and said, 'Dave, you would love this dance these kids are doing in the "hood."' "I went to the room, where there was music playing, and saw them and lost my mind." The dancers were doing what looks like a manic, desexualized, sped-up version of a lap dance, called "the stripper dance." "It was something I'd never seen before, and my first thought was I wanted other people to see it ... I have to film this." "Rize" goes beyond chronicling a dance movement to paint a moving portrait of a neighborhood and the class divide in America. "It might as well be another country," LaChapelle says of South Los Angeles. In the movie, he alternates dance footage with interviews featuring Tommy, Lil C, Dragon, Tight Eyez, Miss Prissy, Lil Tommy, Larry, Baby Tight Eyez and Quinesha Dunford, a 15-year-old girl who, along with her friend, was shot and killed on the street while walking to the store one day during the course of the production. What comes across in interviews, as well as in the jaw-dropping filmed krump sessions, in which face-painted dancers move with a fervor at once violent and religious, is a mixture of anger, determination and hope. "It's difficult to film a documentary in South Central and visually illustrate the idea of poverty. There are blue skies and palm trees; it just doesn't look menacing like New York did back in the day. But what struck me going out there is that in New York you can be in the worst neighborhood and still be just 15 minutes from Fifth Avenue," he says. "But L.A. is so segregated. You go to South Central, and you realize there's nowhere to eat unless you want fast food. ... There's nothing for the kids to do outside of school, unless you play sports. "When Quinesha got shot," LaChapelle adds, "her family felt the sorrow as deeply as any family whose child is murdered. But what was lacking was the sense of outrage. Why was there no outrage? Because it's accepted as a fact of life. Had that little girl been shot in Beverly Hills with her 13-year-old friend, we would all know their names." Creating their own art Growing up in Connecticut, LaChapelle took advantage of every art program available to him. He attended North Carolina School of the Arts, then enrolled in the School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League, and had his first professional job - shooting for Interview magazine - by Andy Warhol. "Art saved me," LaChapelle says. "I honestly believe that many people in prison today are artists who just never had the opportunity to develop skills, to develop their talents.