In the midst of an urgent and alienating reform are New York City’s renowned subway car performers; arrests have trebled in a New York minute with panhandlers, the category including said dancers, currently holding 256 convictions since mid-March. As part of an ongoing series I spent two days befriending and documenting these performers, experiencing first-hand the perspective of both performer and audience - unexpectedly witnessing the remarkable cultural resonance these individuals have in the New York public sphere. Effortlessly showcasing their strength and ability these dancers have perfected the techniques necessary for the subway environment, It seems finding these boys an annoyance however is just cause for the penalty of reckless endangerment. An implicit bias is apparent; as although authorities can seemingly quantify a large sum of complaints, they have no testimonies from those members of the public who have had their quality of life improved by these dynamic harbingers of ‘showtime!’. In a tale of two cities it seems performers are met with the paradox of being both avid contributors to the arts and culture and also criminals forcefully disrupting the comfort of subway passengers.
Director: Scott Carthy
Introduction Second Camera: Julius Juul
Nicolas Jaar - Took Me Out of the Dark Rain (non-commercial)
James Brown - Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul (non-commercial)