A Kingston University graphics student has used his camera to tell the story of the endangered art form of subway dancing in New York City. Scott Carthy, who is originally from Drogheda, Ireland, arrived in the United States with his camera in March of this year with the intention of documenting the declining subculture which is currently being clamped down.
The result of Scott’s trip is the seven-minute film 1050.6(c), which takes its name from the section of the New York City Transit Rules of Conduct which prohibits performers from dancing within the subway cars. This local law has largely been ignored till now but will shortly be more stringently enforced.
Scott’s interest in the topic was initially piqued in September of last year when he chanced upon a poorly lit, low-quality YouTube video of the performers in action. Unlike New York’s rush-hour commuters, who sometimes looked upon the dancers as an unwelcome nuisance, Scott said he had been entranced by the unique artistry and talent of the performers. “I thought to myself, if I can capture these guys with a high-quality camera, I could make something intriguing that might spark people’s interest. The challenge was that it was all taking place in New York and, at the time, I was a cash-strapped student based in the UK.”
Scott is now determined to find a way to return to shoot a feature-length version of the movie and, to that end, has set-up a Kickstarter public fundraising campaign to try and get the project in motion. “I want to film these amazing performers now, because this could be the last chance to record this art form,” the 22 year old explained. “If no one else does it, it will be gone.”
Scott’s film takes a snapshot of social and political change in one of the world’s most famous cities, and captures the artistry and often unappreciated talents of New York’s subway performers through the eyes of an aspiring young film-maker.
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