Mutant remakes street dance

On the occasion of Jonah Weiner’s in-depth profile in The New Yorker on Brooklyn’s most eccentric (and mesmerizing) street dancer, Storyboard P, I offer a review I wrote on his BEAT Brooklyn outing.
Here are the first couple paragraphs:

Almost everything that the otherworldly Brooklyn street dancer Storyboard P does defies expectations, especially if you’re expecting straight-up hip-hop.

He hails from the same ‘hood as staunch rapper Jay Z, whose latest album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, the 23-year-old “covered” this weekend at the Brooklyn Museum as part of the roving young Beat Festival (until September 21). But the dancer, as elongated in limb as a Giacometti, rejects hip-hop’s reflex bravado. The intricate language he helped invent – he explained before a small, avid crowd in the museum’s airy Beaux-Arts Court – and is constantly, obsessively revising describes dreamers, poets and ghosts, not gangsters. This “mutant” idiom shows what it feels like to be young, black and pinned to the inner city, not whatever stance you take to deal with the situation. 

 And how does it feel? Complicated, from the looks of it…..

For the rest of the review, click here. (If you hit a registration request, it’s free, plus you only have to do it once. Registration permits you 8 free FT articles a month.) 

Storyboard does come across as a bit of an egomaniac and fantasist in Weiner’s piece but also as mad smart. I do wish he’d get that cell phone, though. It’s nuts to feel bitter about not reaching the audience you deserve when you make it so impossible for producers et. al. to find you. C’mon, Storyboard, save the contradictions for the art!  


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