Monthly Archives: January 2012

January 25 Session

This was the first night I drove out to NoHo alone. I parked in my usual spot and took a panorama shot of the Ralphs parking lot.

Next, I shot a sign that sets up this scene nicely (Is dancing loitering?), and walked over to where the session would be happening tonight.

Every week the circle starts in a different location. Tonight, everyone gathered directly in front of the Carl’s Jr., which meant that most likely the dancing would begin in the same spot.

The highlights of the night were seeing Oldz Kool and a girl who I have seen at the circle, but never seen dance, both krump. Oldz Kool is an older guy, hence the nickname, and he’s white. He sticks out. He is well known by everybody, and I have often heard people speak highly of his skills. He shared with me that when he krumps he feels like he’s 15 again. It’s a “complete expression of me,” he said. When he gets into the circle, he feels gigantic — his fingers feel like they extend beyond the tips and every part of his body feels larger. He saw the film Rize, bought some Krump Kings DVDs, and then visited their site’s forums, where he found out about the 818. He practiced for two and a half years before he mustered the courage to enter the circle. This is my second time seeing him krump. The audience, or those who have never seen him dance, is skeptical at first, but he soon warms everyone over.

It’s inspiring when girls enter the circle. Of all of my visits, I have seen only six women krump — and dozens of men. This girl, who I later found out is named Kobrah, is my seventh. She is really talented, and I can tell by her moves that she is a dancer. She holds graceful poses, especially that one on her tiptoes, a la MJ.

Introduction to The 818 Session

The 818 Session is a krump circle that takes place every Wednesday at midnight in a Ralphs parking lot in North Hollywood. It is the subject of my thesis, and the focus of my L.A. Story Project for JOUR 599 with Sasha Anawalt. For this specific project, I will be looking at the ways these dancers reimagine public space for alternative, creative purposes. Seen by some as a form of protest, the dancers (mostly black and Latino youth) perform and release in and occupy a space that is designated to promote capitalism and commerce. Over the next few months, I will post content journaling my time at the sessions, making observations, and hopefully, raising issues of interest to a broad range of people.

Below is a 15-minute documentary that my classmate and I made last semester, which serves as an introduction to the 818.

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