An award-winning non-profit community dance organization, the L.A. chapter of Culture Shock is continuing its rich tradition of diversity by presenting "BEauty," its annual hip hop dance show.
The upcoming event, taking place June 22 at the Ford Amphitheatre, will feature various dance crews interpreting and challenging society's idea of beauty --a performance that is sure to be both epic and simply beautiful.
"This is our fifth year at the Ford, which is just a beautiful venue," Allison Tanaka, Co-Executive Director of CSLA, says. "Every year, we try to base the show off a theme: a cause or social issue. The concept of beauty came from our dancers."
The dancers received inspiration for the show after viewing a photographical art exhibit at USC's Annenberg Space for Photography in 2011.
"BEauty" features special performances by Fanny Pak ("America’s Best Dance Crew" Seasons 2 & 7), Funkdation ("America’s Best Dance Crew" Season 7), Mischief Makers Pandora Marie ("The LXD," Step Up 3D), Tamlyn Tomita ("Glee," "Heroes," Joy Luck Club) and The Kinjaz.
Funkdation, a crew of eight members that originated in Monterey, Mexico, are this year's international artists.
"This is going to be a very cool event because we are working with a lot of guest collaborations and artists," Tanaka says. "This is just a great line up...great dancing, spoken word and live music entertainment. It is going to be a fun evening."
Over the years, CSLA has served as a hip hop dance organization dedicated to dance education, community outreach, professional entertainment and the preservation of the genre's culture.
The organization also holds several workshops throughout the year aimed at generating effective life skills -- including self-expression, diversity appreciation, teamwork and creativity -- through significant, interactive and engaging arts experiences.
"That is something that we are very much passionate about," Tanaka says enthusiastically. "We want to share that."
Founded in 1995, Culture Shock L.A. has members from different ethnicities who come from numerous California colleges, including current and past students of UCLA, USC, LMU, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State and UC San Diego, among other universities. They also showcase a range of ages: CSLA's youngest dancer is 5 years old, while the oldest is 38.
"We are very proud of [our diversity]," Tanaka says. "This is beauty from a different perspective."
"BEauty" will fuse urban and classical dance styles, while implementing live DJs and spoken word artists - sounds simply cool, for lack of a better word.
For more information on Culture Shock LA, click here.