Creative inspiration, or that light-bulb moment when an idea transforms into passion, is often found in the most unexpected places. For filmmaker Maceo Frost, that spark came at a street dance camp in the Czech Republic: during a chance encounter with krumping, a form of dance characterized by rapid, expressive movements, he witnessed the crowd go “from wild to completely speechless.” Capturing this feeling, which he describes as “spiritual goosebumps,” led him across the world to a parking lot in South Central Los Angeles. There he met Marquisa “Miss Prissy” Gardner, one of the founders of the movement, and began the journey of making this week’s Staff Pick Premiere, “Raised By Krump.”
Maceo combines personal interviews and dance with breathtaking style and intimacy for a rare view into the soul that drives the movement. In krump, each gesture is drawn from reaching deep within the dancer’s personal experiences to give physical form to the disappointments and heartbreak of daily life. As Maceo puts it, “the more you feel and release, the more the crowd pushes you. It doesn’t matter at what level you dance. It’s all about pushing each other until you reach that zone where you’re connected to your feelings.” A poignant look at self-expression, the film focuses on the art of dance as a means to express real-life struggles and offer a positive alternative to street violence.
“I think Krump symbolizes every piece of what we went through growing up in our neighborhoods,” says Miss Prissy, “from being chased by gangbangers to being harassed by the police for just being who we are and what we are. It was about us going through the shit that we just couldn’t control anymore, and I feel that’s what birthed Krump.”
Known for his strong visual flair, Maceo worked with cinematographer and childhood friend Robin Asselmeyer to develop a “spiritual, divine kind of look” and the undeniable glow that seeps into each frame. As a handheld camera floats between intimate interviews and raw slow-motion performances, Almkvist’s original score of piano melodies and harmonies remixed with synth beats (see some behind the scenes magic here) provides the backbone that ties it all together. Culminating into a perfect symbiosis of storytelling and performance, “Raised By Krump” is an emotionally-charged ode to krump and the performers that give it life. – Vimeo