Wake up to some serious dance moves in film ‘Flex Is Kings’. Featuring dancers Bones the Machine + DJ Aaron, the kings of Brooklyn’s bone-popping street dance, co-director Michael Beach Nichols tells NOWNESS how the storytelling is dancing, adding ‘You’re not watching different dancers doing the same moves. Each performer summons his background + displays an autobiography of movement.’
The flexing (aka ‘bone breaking’) scene originated on the streets of East New York, Brooklyn. With roots in Jamaican bruk up, filmed over two years, ‘Flex is Kings’ documents the culture around the street dance in the tradition of breaking, krumping + twerking, including flex’s answer to the competitive Harlem vogue-offs, Battlefest.
Wearing sick metal studded gas masks, these bare-chested dancers contort their limbs + pop bones out of sockets, leaving them dangling + slack, creating a sense of both beauty + destruction. In the unseen routine performed for NOWNESS, dancers Bones + Aaron conjure strange, exoskeletal creatures in their own take on flexing. Co-director Deirdre Schoo said, ‘New York is always on the forefront because there’s no room for mediocrity, you’ll get eaten alive. I think the rich history of street dance—from b-boy culture up through flex—means it’s a viable outlet for kids to express themselves,’ + as seen here, it just keeps evolving into more technical moves.
The feature-length documentary ‘Flex Is Kings’ is currently screening at East Village Cinema, NYC until April 10 + at Alamo Drafthouse on April 11, + released on DVD June 6.