#TWERKUMENTARY: A visual devotion to a dance phenomenon.
What started out as a passion project funded with her money and took two years to produce, Diana “Spaghetto” Manfredi set out to make #TWERKUMENTARY, the first documentary about the dance phenomenon that has swept nations since the early 10s. No, it isn’t when the twist and jerk portmanteau came into existence, but the word entered the Oxford online dictionary in 2013; cited as the runner-up to the “Word of the Year.” Though its origins are from West Africa and the dance was sexualized during the 1990s in Hop-Hop culture, it became a pop culture resurgence when Miley Cyrus performed the dance to a J. Dash song called, “WOP” that features vocals from Flo Rida. Later that year, her MTV Video Music Awards performance caused quite a stir.
During a conversation with Manfredi, she shared that George Clinton was the first to say “twerking” in a song in the 70s, DJ Jubilee was the first to say the “twerk” on record in the 90s, and that the twerk queen has “the most amazing booty control.” She has travelled the world, specifically to Japan, Spain, Italy, Australia, Denmark, Brazil, and the United Kingdom to get controversial and polarizing takes from folks like Jameela Jamil, a British journal who doesn’t think twerking is a good thing. Jamil has received death threats from Miley Cyrus fans for articulating her thoughts about the dance craze not being empowering for females. On the contrary, meeting with the Twerk Queen, a psychologist who wrote her thesis on feminism and twerking knows that young girls and women find freedom “when done on a personal level” and it is done “for fun.” It all comes down to the motives of your actions as far as the director is concerned.
The documentary features interviews with everyone from rappers Khia, Too Short, E-40, Kreayshawn, Big Freedia; New Orleans Bounce DJ Jubilee and Diplo, and the infamous twerker Remy Fox to the creator of the hashtag, Chris Messina. Watch the trailer for interesting documentary below:
If you’re in Los Angeles on Friday, June 10, go to the #TWERKUMENTARY premiere at the Wiltern Theatre. The first 200 people will get the official documentary poster. We hear that the Twerk Queen Louise will be there. She’s flying all the way from Denmark, and Ham On Everything is handling the after party, so you know it’s going to be a zoo.
*This article is a content collaboration between GRUNGECAKE & Live Nation.
It’s her unprejudiced love for people that’s taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs.