Since street dancing on subway cars is illegal and dangerous, members of It's Showtime NYC! have found alternative outlets for their craft. One Friday night a month, they gear up for Battle! Hip-Hop in Armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
"Many people know about the program and are coming to see it," says Pierre Terjanian, curator in charge of the department of Arms and Armor. "Other visitors are just passing through the museum. The element of surprise is part of the exhilaration."
On this frigid night in January, a crowd gathered near the museum's beloved display of suited knights and horses. "Children up front!" a staff person shouted, encouraging kids as young as 2 to sit near the action, a rectangle of space beneath the balcony. On the floor, pieces of medieval gear and modern streetwear suggest confrontation.