Elevate yourself with the hype

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Only entering the dance cornucopia a few decades ago, krump is not only a dance style but a community chock full of talent and fervour. We sat down with Hendrickx Ntela, founder of krump dance company Konzi, to discuss Blind, a performance taking place at Theatre National Wallonie Bruxelles from 21.03.24 to 23.03.24. A true culmination of talent in all of its forms, Blind brings together dancers, artists, musicians and beatmakers, to bring expressive storytelling centerstage.

Could you briefly introduce yourself and tell us how you got into krump? 

My name is Hendrickx. I'm from Belgium and I'm a professional dancer. My preferred style is krump, but I do other styles too. I travel all over the world to represent my style, my country and myself. I do a lot of things; theatre pieces, dance battles and also teach young people to try to develop krump here in Belgium.  

The first time I ‘krumped’, the crew BBF2.0 krumpers from Liège showed me the basics first and then they said; ‘Ok, we’ll have a freestyle session now.’ I thought: ‘No, I’m a hip-hop dancer, I cannot!’, but they told me not to worry. It was the first time in my life that I felt people, even though they didn’t know me, really supported me. The way they hype you up, the way they shout to support you. I’d never seen that before. It was so real! They were yelling: ‘Let’s go, Hendrickx! Let’s go!’ That was so special. You can elevate yourself through this. It’s crazy.

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How is the approach different when choreographing versus dancing?  

More work [laughs], because when you’re a dancer you learn the movements and you just give it your best. But when you’re a choreographer you have to think about everything: the vision, the music, the story and the artists too. It’s not just about giving your dancers instructions. They have to feel comfortable while giving the best of themselves. There are many aspects you have to be careful and mindful of.  

It’s not just about giving your dancers instructions

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For this theatre piece Blind, what was the creative process like? 

I co-created this piece with Dexter, the co-choreographer. Dexter and I have known each other for a long time. We both want to develop krump in the theatre scene. When introducing this to the five dancers, it worked out so evidently and the brainstorming was just natural. Everybody’s working, you know, so it’s not just me and Dexter making all the decisions and choreographing everything. We let the dancers express themselves too, the process is open. It was just amazing to create everything from choreography to lighting and music! We’re working with live musicians - a pianist, a drummer and a guitar player - and Morf, who, to me, is the best krump beatmaker in the world. To work with them all together was a dream. 

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They are all so talented. It was beautiful because we were creating something no one’s done in krump. It’s the project of me and Dexter, but in the end, I feel that it has become their project as well. 

To put krump on stage is beautiful because it is so expressive. I hope that we will travel all around the world to show it. Lastly, we are lucky to have the support of an institution like Théâtre National and Get Down.

It was a beautiful process because we are doing something no one’s done in Krump

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How did the themes or story of  Blind come up for you guys?   

Dexter and I were talking about how crazy societal control is in Belgium. Dexter is from Senegal so he has a different vision on that. We were very curious why people here follow everything they see instead of thinking more for themselves. I don’t even always know what I’m doing, it’s just because I have to. There’s this ‘system’ we seemingly have to follow, so this piece wants to show people that you can think for yourself. 

Nobody has the whole truth. You have your truth and I have mine, but it's not because you have your truth that you are right. You have to understand each other and be ready to listen to the vision of another person. This is what we want to show people.

This piece wants to show people that you can think for yourself

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<div class="editorial-banner"> <div class=“editorial-credits”> @hendrickxntela </div></div>

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