FLEX IS KINGS
Flexing, also called Bone Breaking, is a style of street dance from Brooklyn, New York that is characterized by rhythmic contortionist movement combined with waving, tutting, floor moves, and gliding. Flex dancers, referred to as flexers, often perform shirtless and incorporate hat tricks in their performance for showmanship.
Before flexing gained mainstream exposure it was featured as early as 1992 on a local television show in New York City called ‘Flex N Brooklyn’. The dance is primarily performed to a mix of dancehall, reggae, and “…a chopped-up instrumental called the ‘Volume’ riddim”. Although flexing looks like a subgenre of popping, it did not come from hip-hop dance, funk music, or hip-hop culture. It evolved from a Jamaican style of street dance called bruk-up.
Flex Is Kings takes place in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York, where high crime rates and diminished opportunities have left the young men growing into adulthood few choices and fewer resources, pushing so many to lives dependent on crime and gangs. Yet there is a large and growing group resisting the notion that their prospects are limited to a powerless existence. On these streets a dance community rose, eager for an avenue of expression and determined to create a positive force in their neighborhood. “Flex” is the name of the dance style – it involves dance battle competitions that are at once fights of fancy as well as poetic evocations of the streets – gun battles, romantic interludes, run-ins with authorities. The film is structured around a season of Battlefest, the central organizing event of the Flex movement, and focuses on some of the community’s key personalities.
Directors: Deidre SCHOO & Michael BEACH NICHOLS
Produced by Deidre SCHOO
Producers: Michael BEACH NICHOLS & Christopher K. WALKER
Executive Producers: Edwin SHERMAN & Taylor GILLESPIE
Co-Producers: Ryan HANCOCK, Joshua WOLTERMANN, & Goldcrest Post NY
Original Music: Tranimal
Cinematographers: Deidre SCHOO & Michael BEACH NICHOLS
Editor: Christopher K. WALKER
Curator: Gábor PINTÉR