At this year's Kollaboration LA show, founder and executive director Paul "PK" Kim said his goodbyes to an audience of 5,000+ people, having realized his dream of taking Kollaboration to 10 cities in 10 years. Fittingly, the 3-hour show was chock-full of memorable moments: Assembly Ted Lieu stopped in to deliver a census PSA, journalist Lisa Ling demonstrated how easy it is to join the bone marrow donation registry, and a girl wearing 3-inch, sling-back heels beat out 5 break-dancing, be-sneakered boys in the freestyle dance competition (no contest).
We Are Heroes, season 4 champions of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew, delivered probably the most anticipated performance:
...but were quickly eclipsed by Korean Union Dancerz's theatrical number:
...and then again by the (also Korean) dance crew Prepix, whose eerie, otherwordly performance had the way-too-LA reporters sitting behind me actually rise in awe:
Cutesy, folksy singer-songwriter Clara took home the first-place prize, while nationally-renowned dance crew Bhangra Empire came in second, and violin virtuoso slash rock star Jason Yang came in a close third:
But in my always humble opinon, ANBU Black Ops stole the show with their hilarious and high energy martial arts-meets-Lil' John frat-boy mash-up -- in which the bare-armed, heavily-muscled dancers party hard at the dojo before defeating the cat-faced Boss to successfully reclaim their sensei's magic box:
PK brought his wife and baby on stage as he said his last farewell -- fitting since he proposed to her at a Kollaboration show and (rumor has it) conceived his child at one too!
The Lost Boy:
You know there's something special about Dante Basco when, 20 years after filiming the children's movie that made him famous, he can still walk into a room and incite a chorus of RU-FI-O! RU-FI-O! Maybe hip California folk think he's passé, but I grew up in Arizona, with its vast Asian-less landscape, so this made my little heart flutter just a little bit:
Well, another day another Asian American filled talent showcase: Don't miss Kollaboration SF Bay Area on April 10, sponsored by Hyphen.