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This Irish director's video will make you fall in love with NYC's subway dancers

There’s been a crackdown on subway performers since the start of this year and director Scott Carthy is hoping to give them a voice before their unique subculture disappears.
Jun 29th 2014, 5:00 PM 10,911 8

Source: Scott Carthy/Vimeo

POLICE IN NEW York are cracking down on subway performers and Irish director, 22-year-old Scott Carthy, is on a mission to give them a voice, before what he describes as an “immensely rich subculture” is totally abolished.

He spent two days with a group of these performers to get a sense of their passion for dance and came away with this beautiful video.

These dancers dash through the carriages, whip their bodies around metal poles, hang upsidedown from the railings and perform backflaps in between the rows of commuters.

It can be an unforgiving environment for the subway dancers, who seem to elicit equal amounts of dread and admiration from their fellow passengers. Whether you see them as a nuisance or as performers earning a decent living, the New York City Police Department is taking a renewed stance against this subway subculture.

Rules state that performers are free to use the subway stations as a stage, but not the carriages themselves. Since January this year, 46 subway dancers have been arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and a further 50 with less risky tricks were charged with the lesser crime of disorderly conduct.

In the video one of the dancers talks about doing it so they can “connect with the people, make the people feel good”.

It’s impossible to watch them without being charmed, as they show off their moves and tell the people of New York that “Obama wants change, we want twenties”.

The Irish director has said he is concerned for the potential extinction of this meaningful and historic subculture.

Carthy is now hoping to show more of the subway dancers’ talents to the world and has launched a Kickstarter project to help fund is return trip to New York. All donations will go towards costs associated with equipment rental, video production and screenings.

- With additional reporting by Melia Robinson/Business Insider.

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Michelle Hennessy


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