Dancing movie worth seeing

Those who know me know I am an avid and well-rounded dancer (except Tango and line dancing. I’m not a fan of those, but I can honestly say I tried them and they just didn’t agree with me). I like ballroom, swing, latin, hip-hop, break, everything. I like bringing them together, too, and playing around with the various dances. I also try to keep up with the new stuff.

Those who know me also know that I am an avid and well-rounded movie watcher (no exceptions there. I’ll watch a classic, a comedy, and a chick flick in a row without flinching).

So it should make sense then, that a movie about dancing would be great for me. This particular one was a documentary, too, so it had all kinds of potential. The movie is called Rize, and it’s about a newish form of dance called krump coming from South Central L.A.. Krump is probably best described as a fusion of hip-hop, African tribal, rage, pop’n’lock, and break. The music is rap with a heavy beat and fairly fast.

Rize will make you uncomfortable. The motivation behind the dancing is expression of rage and frustration with their situation in the ghetto, and the movie makes that very clear, starting with some brief history about the race riots and Rodney King riots, followed by a scene that involves some dancers re-enacting the beating in dance form, and the interviews are always talking about how difficult life is where they are. But the form of dance itself is a very positive thing because it is an outlet for their feelings that is safe, it provides a familial alternative to the gangs, it keeps them away from drugs and violence, and it gives them hope.

I’ve known about krumping for a while, and I’d seen some clips online, and even borrowed a few moves, but when I watched the movie, the moves and the clips gained a whole new context that made them a lot more powerful.

I haven’t given away too much of the movie, so please don’t think that reading this was even close to saving you the time of watching it. This was my first documentary of 2007, and it’s going to be tough finding a better one this year.

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