Dancers and performers, frenetically dancing against one another, were part of Calgary’s first ever krump battle, held at the Big Secret Theatre.
The Oct. 3 event, titled Fifty Hype! and hosted by Empirical Freedom, a division of Mpact Movement, gathered both local and national performers of different streams of dance to “battle” one another for a small prize and bragging rights.
Krumping is a form a street dance that incorporates highly energetic, expressive and hyperbolic movement. It was founded as a way to release anger and frustration in a positive manner.
And while the term “battle” is often synonymous with competition, the effect of krump battling goes beyond the notion, said Oliver Reyes, co-founder of Mpact Movement.
A large part of the krump movement is about the community and the “hype” that the community brings, and also that the foundation of krump – its terminology and style of expression, including music, movement and even fashion – has its own identity, he said.
“For us, hype is a big thing,” Toronto co-host, Bj “Pusha” Albano told an audience of roughly 50, many of whom were dancers and participants.
“It’s the flow of life within our culture, movement and community. Because the u in krump, stands for uplifting,” Albano said
Boi Solow, a Montreal-based professional dancer and krump pioneer, said if it weren’t for the hype, he wouldn’t be dancing. And, because the krump scene is young and emerging, Solow doesn’t want those interested to be discouraged.
“Calgary, it’s a very young scene,” he said, emphasizing the growing interest in krump. “Some people might not know what you’re doing, and you’re going to go through obstacles.
“But, you’re going to understand that hype will help you survive through the times and make a healthy scene.