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Calgary Catalysts

Oliver “Reignmaker” Reyes and Empirical Freedom


Video was and continues to be a stimulus for Krump artists across the globe and in Canada. In The Dance Current’s September/October 2017 issue, Lucy May explores the rise of the style in Canada:

In the early 2000s, independent of one another and within different cities, a handful of Canadian dancers, athletes and artists were struck by images of a street dance emerging in the inner cities of Los Angeles. Krump, perhaps most widely known from David LaChapelle’s 2005 documentary Rize, is a street dance of resistance and resilience, notorious for its aggressive characterization, exceptional speed of execution and body control, musical asymmetries and theatricality. For several Canadian Krump pioneers, Rize was a catalyst.

Calgary’s Oliver “Reignmaker“ Reyes is one of these pioneers. “The way I represent myself in Krump,” he says, “is also the same way I am outside of that context. I have to continue to educate and elevate myself.” As co-founder of Movement with a Message, in 2014 he also created Empirical Freedom – a multidisciplinary collective that specializes in Krump and other street dance styles. The collective now has ties to Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and University of Calgary and they focus on mentorship, leadership, personal empowerment and professional development. 


Video Courtesy of Empirical Freedom

Dancers: Aimedee “Sweettooth” Gunnink, Albert “Grr-illa” Mejia, Ceniza “Fortress” Aviles, Rheanna Houston, Amy “Wazabi” Plett, Oliver “Reignmaker” Reyes, Nyasha Nymaka, Rachel Forbes

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