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Krump is a dance style born in the early 2000’s in the inner cities of the Los Angeles County. It is a high intensity dance that requires strength, power, control and a commitment to expressing raw emotions. The movements and facial expressions are often interpreted as anger, aggressiveness or even rage. However, after being familiarized with the dance, the average person will begin to notice and relate to the dancers’ expressions of passion, energy, physical and mental commitment. Krump is a freestyle type of dance: dancers spontaneously compose with dozens of codified basic movements and elements through an alter-ego. More than just a dance style, Krump is a culture in itself that consists of basic movements, music, terminology, a dress code, and many other aspects. The different forms of gatherings, such as battles, sessions, shows, and labbs (practice time), allow its practitioners to express themselves at different occasions. Krump was birthed and evolved in those settings. In its early stages, spiritual connotation was associated to the dance, which explains the acronym of Krump: Kingdom, Radically, Uplifted, Mighty, Praise.
THE ORIGINS OF KRUMP
In 1992, following the Watts riots, in an area marked by violence and drug-trafficking, Thomas Johnson aka Tommy The Clown created a movement called Clowning. It was a dance style designed to entertain kids at birthday parties, schools and community events. Clown dancers combined energetic and funny dance movements. Clowning became very popular with the youth and several Clown groups were formed. For some of its practitioners, however, that form of expression became limited. Clown dancers Ceasare ''Tight Eyez'' Wills and Jo'Artis ''Big Mijo'' Ratti decided to create their own language, one more aggressive and more powerful, with basic movements related to a raw language and essence. Tight Eyez and Mijo are now recognized as the creators of Krump. The emergence of this dance is narrated in the documentary RIZE, directed by Dave LaChapelle. The first Krump crew was called: Cartoonz. Tight Eyez, Mijo, Slayer, Miss Prissy, Lil C, are some of the important figures of the early Krump movement. In its early years, Krump was more underground, and accessible via tutorial DVDs made by the creators and their proteges. The dance is now being practiced worldwide and is constantly evolving.
MONTREAL's KRUMP HISTORY
The Bzerk Squad was the first Krump crew in Canada. It was founded in Montreal in 2006 by the first Canadian Krumper and street dance veteran Otis ''Pez/Big Bzerk'' Hopson. Pez started learning the art of Krump at the end of 2003. A lack of accessible information made his learning process difficult. Despite the limited access to knowledge and ressources, his perseverance helped his dance evolve and he shared his passion for Krump with new dancers. Amongst the Bzerk members were co-founder Vladimir ''7Starr'' Laurore, Valerie ''Taminator'' Chartier, a veteran leader of Krump in Canada, Ja “Ozcar the Grouch” James Britton Johnson and Samuel ''Cursed'' Privé who became the last member of the crew. The Bzerk Squad established its name in Montreal by giving classes and workshops, building the Krump scene in Quebec and participating in several Krump-related activities across Canada. The crew was active on stage, presenting Krump’s choreographic aspects while remaining true to the freestyle essence of the dance. Montreal Krump Alliance (MKA) is now the main leader in the province of Québec — a non-profit organization founded by 7Starr and co-founded by Taminator. Their mission is to promote and spread the Krump movement provincially and nationally.
In recent years, a new wave of Krumpers have been helping the Krump movement to grow to new heights. In particular, Kevin ‘’Jr MaddRipp’’ Gohou, from France, an international elite dancer (also member of the European pioneer Krump crew MADROOTZ) is now located in Montreal. His expertise in Krump has helped the advancement of the scene through his teaching, performances, battle skills and innovative showcases. Other veterans such as Yannice ‘’Vilain’’ Ouellet, Sonida ''Kid Triple C'' Horng & Arielle ‘’Craze’’ Veyintondolo are among the most involved contributors to the scene as well as other mentees training under the MKA members.
One of the MKA’s primary mandates has been to ensure Krump is recognized and accessible to the general public. Events such as Gutta Zone, The Clash, Krump Roots & The B.O.S.S have helped the development and exposure of that art form. Montreal Krump Alliance has energized the next generation, in order to ensure a strong future for the Canadian Krump movement. Many youth have joined the community and represent the future of the dance. The members of the Montreal Krump Alliance are constantly perfecting their art. They represent the Canadian scene by taking workshops and private training, and by participating in Krump events in Montreal, Canada, and around the world.
CANADA's KRUMP HISTORY