These men are bigger than the football stadium they imagine. Now, they're performing for a nation.
— Chase Burns, The Stranger
When the Beat Drops
This screening is presented in collaboration with South Carolina Black Pride. Join us before the screening for a live dance performance and stay after for a Q&A with the performers and Darius Jones, president of South Carolina Black Pride.
Helmed by world-class director-choreographer Jamal Sims, When the Beat Drops immerses viewers in the growing culture of bucking—and if you’re unfamiliar with this hyper-athletic, wildly creative dance phenomenon, prepare to be electrified.
Atlanta has recently become an LGBTQ haven, but when Anthony was growing up there as a heavy-set, gay black kid with a love of dance, the Gate City was a harsh place. Nevertheless, talent and tenacity prevailed, and Anthony spearheaded a buck sensation, launching flash buck performances in clubs. Anthony’s crew, comprised largely of other gay African-American men, grew into a family and, eventually, a national movement incorporating fierce competitions and becoming a force of education and affirmation.
There are bumps on the road—like a small-town Alabama Christmas parade that outraged spectators—but the story Sims so deftly tracks is ultimately one of triumph, artistry, and togetherness.
Special thanks to our series sponsors:
SC Equality PAC
Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, PA
Robert Keenan and Brian Chen
Dr. Ed Madden and Bert Easter
Larry Hembree and Joe Hudson
James Hendrick and Richard Irwin
Ruth and Walker Rast