Culture Shock LA Triumphs with “Roy Meets World”

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(Marvin Vasquez/Living Out Loud LA)

The cast of Culture Shock Los Angeles performing Friday night at The Ford Amphitheatre. (Marvin Vasquez/Living Out Loud LA)

Hash tag amazing: #amazing

That’s perhaps the best way to classify Friday night’s Culture Shock Los Angeles’ “Roy Meets World” piece at The Ford Amphitheatre. It was just darn fabulous in terms of culture, music, dance, acting and spoken word. #amazing

In fact, I never truly thought that such a night could be made possible. Here’s why: Culture Shock Los Angeles put a contemporary hip hop spin on Brazilian novelist Paolo Coelho’s The Alchemist. The unique performance took the crowd on a plot celebrating the victories and challenges of life.

The show itself featured a significant portion of hip-hop culture, dance and music. Throughout the show, the 65-member ensemble portrayed classic street dance routines and contemporary elements while formulating a night full of inspiration.

At the beginning, a rather eclectic pack of kids took the stage to depict their hip-hop dance skills. They didn’t disappoint, and the crowd loved them. I loved them! The kids shook the floor with to many hip-hop tracks, including Kanye West’s “Clique.”

The following unit of dancers, whom were in their teens, placed a tropical feeling to the show. They danced to Gloria Estefan’s “Conga.” This portion of the night ignited cheers and claps from the sold out venue.

Artistic Director Anthony Lee soon came out to greet the public. In his minutes of greeting us, Lee requested that everyone take on to social media to talk about the night’s show. Everyone quickly took their phones out of their pockets. Now that’s an example of sporting an influential presence on stage.

“Roy Meets World” continued with several distinctive routines. After intermission ended, the energetic kids and teenagers proceeded toward entertaining the crowd – something they accomplished rather marvelously.

One of the peaks of the night arrived when they delivered a special routine to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us.” That was such a distinctive set of dancing moves that it’s beyond complex to describe. It’s one of those things that you got to see to believe.

At show’s end, the infectious “Let The Groove Get In” by Justin Timberlake was played. And it proved to be a perfect finale to an exceptional two hours of show time by Culture Shock LA, a non-profit organization that promotes “the positive attributes of the hip hop culture by teaching self-worth, dignity and respect through training in the visual and performing arts.”

Marvin Vasquez is a Senior Staff Reporter for Living Out Loud - LA, covering lifestyle, entertainment and sports. Follow him on Twitter: @geo_la
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