CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) — A dance of survival is opening tonight at The Joyce Theater in Chelsea opened Wednesday night at The Joyce Theater in Chelsea. It’s performed in a style known as krump by a dancer who spent much of his childhood in New York City’s foster care system.
The performer now known as HallowDreamz has been called, “an architect of hope” by his collaborator: the choreographer Andrea Miller because this dancer overcame such incredible odds to be here. He will perform through Sunday as part of a presentation by Gallim, an internationally recognized dance company.
The style taking center stage comes originally from the mean streets of LA where gangs invented what came to be called krumping.
“It came to a point where rather than having violence you wanted to dance battle what you were feeling out,” HallowDreamz explained at a recent rehearsal at the famed Juilliard School. “Sometimes you want to settle disputes through movement, through letting out what you have on your chest. This is long before the dance form evolved.”
The guy from Bed-Stuy discovered the West Coast style thanks to a 2005 documentary by David LaChapelle called “Rize.”
“It became a seed for me and many others to view it as a way of healing the community,” he said. “Rather than you know going at each other to go fight going for the gun, go to the next thing, you could literally dance it out.”
Dancing meant death could perhaps be avoided, and one life, in particular, was saved. “Yeah,” said the dancer, “I feel Krump definitely did save my life.”
His creativity is “infinite” said his collaborator, and Miller went on to say, “I just felt like I was in the presence of like lightning and thunder and mysticism.”
His art comes out of his challenging early life, which he said, “begins with my mom, and how she had a very difficult life so for her she turned to drugs, and I became a system kid early in my life.”
Today, his mother is clean and sober and plans to attend one of his shows at The Joyce, but the boy born Brian Henry first entered that system when he was just 2 years old.
“So I went from home to home for a bit…and life molded me in a certain way,” he said.
For Henry, the memory of those early days remains vivid. Telling us about them left him with tears in his eyes.
“For a lot of time, I made a lot of my own decisions by myself…I felt robbed of time with my parents, time with my family, loved ones.”
In the end, Brian “HallowDreamz” Henry found relief in dance, and his salvation became a gift for all of us.
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