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The creme de la creme of Korean American talent gathered at Kollaboration to showcase their skills for a chance to win cash prizes
Beatboxer Steven Kim, rappers BiPolar, and dance group IS 'X were just a few of the competitors who performed at the fourth annual "Kollaboration" talent show held on October 25th at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The show not only featured the amateur competition, but also special performances by various artists. Part of the proceeds from the production was donated to Chongdae and GPYC.
Two new categories, beatboxing and stand-up comedy, were added this year to the already established categories of vocal, rap, band, and dance. The single acts competed for the cash prize of $200 while bands competed for $400 and dance for $600. Judging this year's performances included Linh Ko (host of Y-factor), Helie Lee (author of "Still Life with Rice"), DJ K-Sly (from 100.3 The Beat), Roger Fan (from "Better Luck Tomorrow") and Brooke Lee (1997 Miss Universe).
A production by Prokreation, a pioneering production company promoting entertainment in the Asian community, Kollaboration is an annual show that gives Korean Americans an opportunity to showcase their talents to the community. The goal of Kollaboration is to eliminate biases and stereotypes, while providing a stepping stone for up-and-coming artists.
Even though most of the acts were male-dominated, overall, the show provided an impressing array of talent. Some of the crowd-pleasing acts included Steven Kim and Daniel Lee's beatboxing, where each manipulated various aspects of their vocal chords to produce sounds and special effects that one would think were impossible. Also noteworthy was the amateur dance contest where eight audience members showcased their pop-locking and breakdancing skills for a chance to win $100.
It is interesting to note that some of the artists competing this year have already established a reputation for themselves elsewhere in the community. For example, singer and songwriter Ken Oak was already featured on MTV Surf Girls, and opened for Lena Park, Yoon Sona, and Drunken Tiger. Breakdance team Unbalance had already won an award at the K-town festival prior to the Kollaboration competition.
Throughout the show, various clips were shown by Korean American production crews such as OPM's "Just Rice League," which featured Kimchi inspired superheroes and K-Unit Crew's "In the Ni-te," a parody of 50 cent's song "In the Club," but with a Korean twist.
Playing off of Asian American stereotypes, comedians Bobby Lee (from "MAD TV"), Jo Koy, and Edwin San Juan (both from the Laugh Factory) provided comic relief. But most impressive of all were the special performances which included the martial arts demo by Steve Terada (many may recognize him from Fox's "30 Seconds of Fame") and the ballroom dancing of brother-sister duo Mike and Alice, the youngest Korean salsa team in history. There was also a special performance by Korean rap group Uptown 3000.
The two-hour show ended with the award presentations. This year's winners were Ken Oak in vocals, Danny Cho in stand-up comedy, Daniel Lee in beatboxing, Far East Movement in rap, Mary Jane in band, and Unbalance in dance.
To read more about Kollaboration or to watch clips of previous performances, please visit kollaboration.org.
Date Posted: 11/7/2003