The dance style known as Krumping originated from a type of dancing called clowning dance, which emerged in the 1990s. Clowning was created by Thomas Johnson, also known as Clown Thomas or Tommy the Clown, and involved a group of dancers who performed a high-energy, energetic dance style. This style was particularly popular among young people, and the dancers often wore brightly colored face paint during their performances at social events and children’s celebrations.
It is worth saying that the streets of Los Angeles, where the dance was formed, at that time were overflowing with banditry, drugs, and violence. In this atmosphere, it was hard for teenagers not to get into bad company. So for many of them, dancing was a salvation from dangerous and illegal street entertainment.
The Origin of Krump
Tight Eyez (Ceasare Willis) and Jo’Artis “Big Mijo” Ratti once joined Thomas’ band. But despite their interest in dancing, they did not dance like the typical representatives of clowning. Their movements were filled with aggression and anger, and they were more powerful, sharp, and dramatic. Tight Eyez and Mijo themselves mentioned in interviews that they didn’t do clowning originally. They came to Thomas and were Krump dancers from day one.
Since Mijo and Tight Eyez were too rough for the clowning style, they eventually stopped dancing in Clown Thomas’s band and split into their own band. At first, they danced alone. In the late nineties, more and more people were beginning to learn about krump dancing and began to develop a competitive hierarchy and get into dance battles. In the early 2000s, there were families of krump dancers (“fams”).
Krump became popular in the 2000s after the popular video maker David LaChapelle first made the short documentary “Krumped” and showed it at Aspen Shortsfest in 2004. Following the success of the first film, David made the feature film “Rise,” which explores the origins of clowning and krump. The film features popular krumpers such as Tight Eyez, Lil C, Miss Prissy, and others.
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K.R.U.M.P. is an acronym for Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise. The founders, and in particular Tight Eyez, put spiritual meaning into the dance, saying that this dance praises God. For many followers, the spiritual element is also important in this dance.
Characteristic features of krump
Krump is rarely choreographed and it’s usually freestyle. Although, over the past few years, Krump choreography has also gained popularity.
The basic movements are performed powerfully and with some aggressiveness, the dancer puts strength and power into each movement. The movements are often jerky and fast. The krump contains jumps and swings, but they arepowerful and “crushing the ground.”. A typical movement is a chest pop upwards.
Drama is also a characteristic of the performance of krump because it is believed that dancing, the dancer acts as if they are throwing out some dark emotions that they have accumulated and should do it with rage.
- Chest pop
- Arm swings
- J Squad
- Trakk Team
- Big Rules
- Baby C
- Lil Gully
Battle – a dance competition where dancers compete against each other, taking turns.
Session – format of dancing where participants form a circle and take turns in the center to dance.
Those who have their own unique and unique krump dance style are called Buck. People who copy others, in turn, are called Biters.
Often, the words “Kill Off” are used in battles. This means “killing” an opponent in battle, that is, the performing of the most energetically charged and powerful part of the performance.
Callout – battle call.
As you can see, krump, as a separate and independent dance direction, formed not so long ago. However, it has won the hearts of many dancers within just a few years.
What is a krump dance style?
Krump is a street dance style characterized by sharp, jerky movements, aggressive execution, and expressiveness.
Where did krumping originate from?
It appeared in the early 2000s on the streets of Los Angeles and was similar to a dance style known as clowning dance. The creators are Tight Eyez (Ceasare Willis) and Jo’Artis “Big Mijo.”
What is the difference between krumping and clowning?
Clowning is a dance that’s more cheerful and inflammatory, unlike krump. It is often performed by applying bright colors to the faces of the performers. While krump is aggressive, it is performed with the spouting of bad emotions and thoughts. The movements of krump are sharper and more jerky than the movements of clowning.
Who popularized krumping?
Although Krump was popular among teenagers in Los Angeles, it gained real popularity and distribution after the movies “Krumped” and “Rise” by David LaChapelle.