Bruk-Up Cinema: “Flex is Kings” Documents Brooklyn’s Caribbean-Inspired Dance Movement

Words by Emily Shapiro—

Photograph by Deidre Schoo

If you’ve been to a dancehall party in Brooklyn over the past 10 years (or a Rice and Peas), you’ve seen a flexor. They can contort their bodies in unnatural ways, glide and wave their limbs with insane fluidity, and generally put on a good show at any bashment they attend.

A style of dance originated in East Brooklyn in the 90s, Flexing has developed into a huge sub-culture with its own battles and events across the world. But it actually has its roots in JA. Before Flexing hit New York, dancers in Jamaica performed a similar style called “bruk-up” at dancehall parties. The cultural trafficking between Jamaica and Brooklyn brought it to New York, where it took on its own shape.

Directors Deidre Schoo and Michael Sean Nichols (who have also created a dope web series about flexors) have brought us the documentary, Flex is Kings, an in-depth look at the style, and the dedicated and creative folks that live it. It premieres today as part of the TriBeCa Film Festival and has already gotten a lot of hype. As far as we’re concerned, it’s a must see. Check out the trailer below:

Tickets are already sold out for all shows but, if you come early, you can grab some tickets at the door with some luck. See the show times here, and follow the Flex is Kings website for information on future screenings.