A poignant portrait of the day-to-day of NYC’s showtime dancers.

In the past year, much has been made of the new generation of NYC subway dancers, with increased media attention and a crackdown by the NYPD and MTA that has included new signs directly aimed at the dancers. A new short documentary film by James Burns, titled We Live This, brings another angle to the story by showing the life of these young dancers.

We Live This, which was part of the official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival 2015, focuses on a crew called We Live This, part of NYC’s Showtime scene. The film follows the crew’s dancers about their daily life and lets them open up about who they are and why they dance.

Burns, who wrote and directed the film, shows how important dancing is to these youths and how it offers one of them, called Forty, “a way in”, rather than out. Forty is homeless and depends on dancing in the subway as a way to earn money, refuge from the world, and find joy. “I’m begging without words,” he says, “I’m begging with a smile.” Other We Live This members discuss their desire to transcend the subway into something bigger and how dancing helps them cope with the loss of parents.

Earlier this year, FACT TV aired its own documentary about NYC’s subway dancing communities. Litefeet: Sound of the Subway was directed by Ezra Marcus and KJ Rothweiler and features dancers and producers who have found fans in the likes of Mixpak and Sinjin Hawke. [via The FADER]

Watch Litefeet: Sound of the Subway here and read a q&a with Marcus.



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