It was the sheer rawness and intensity that got me. Limbs and bodies flailing in a trance-like state, immersed in a moment where time seemed suspended. I’m not sure if it was fate, but after seeing David LaChapelle’s Rize, I knew that I had found my kind of culture. Krump emerged in 2000 in the streets of South-Central Los Angeles, cultivated by young African Americans and transpiring from the ‘clowning style’. For some, it offered an alternative to gang life and provided a sense of community. There were also strong ties to faith and spirituality and for many, the dance was used as a form of praise and worship. Whatever the motivation, Krump provided a release and, as the culture developed, so too did its dance foundations, music, dress code and vernacular.
In 2005, Krump found its way to the streets of Dandenong (Melbourne, Australia), initially through the Polynesian community. Perhaps it was the connection to Church, or an affinity with African American culture, or simply the newness and freshness of this artform that attracted these young Pacific Islanders. Whatever it was, the movement quickly spread, straddling various cultural groups and religious beliefs. I first became involved with the Melbourne Krump community in 2007. Starting out as a Krumper first, my role later shifted to solely focus on documenting the dance and lives of the Krumpers through photography and video.
My work aims to not only provide an insight into the culture within a Melbourne and Australian context, but also emphasise the journeys and stories of the individual Krump dancers. The project hopes to fracture the stereotypes of the dance and the dancers themselves, presenting the juxtapositions between the ferocity of the style and the everyday life of the dancers; which is often focused on family, faith and work. The viewers are provided with a window into an intimate and beautiful world of dance and community, providing a snapshot into ‘non-mainstream’ contemporary culture in Australia.