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Culture Shock Los Angeles Dance Troupe presents "iConnect"Featuring a special performance by the Beat Freaks and KABA Modern LegacyFord Amphitheatre, September 4, 2009 at 8:30pm Culture Shock Los Angeles will present "iConnect: Communication in a Hip Hop Generation," at the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood on Friday, September 4, 2009 at 8:30pm. Using Hip Hop dance and art forms, this collaborative project focuses on the theme of communication within the digital age. Through dynamic and innovative original dance, spoken word and multimedia segments, audience members are given a playful look at the many different methods and styles of communication. All of us begin interacting with others during infancy, but the process of passing information from one person to another can be a complex process. There is so much that can be communicated or mis-communicated simply by the words we select, the vocal intonations we use, and the body language we display. "iConnect" explores the concept of communication, including ways in which interpersonal interactions have changed with the advent of computers, cell phones, and text messaging; different mediums through which people choose to communicate such as dance and the arts; and potential barriers to effective communication, such as cultural differences. Kicked off with special performances by the Beat Freaks (MTV's America's Best Dance Crew Season 3) and Kaba Modern Legacy (members featured on MTV's America's Best Dance Crew Season 1 and Bravo's Step it Up & Dance), "iConnect" features the explosive street dance styles of breaking, locking and popping, fused with multimedia segments. The diverse cast of over 45 dancers, ranging in age from 9-35, strives to dispel the negative stereotypes that commonly associate the entire Hip-Hop genre with demeaning images of sex, violence, and greed so often depicted in commercialized ads and videos. This production combines thoughtfully choreographed pieces with the depth of urban art forms to highlight the basic concepts at the root of the Hip-Hop culture - giving a voice to the voiceless and finding positive expression through artistic creativity. Set to a backdrop of infectious grooves and head-bobbing beats, the show seeks to entertain and engage, while also educating audiences on the power of verbal and non-verbal communication. "iConnect" was inspired by individuals with special needs; a population that often has trouble communicating in conventional ways and whose actions and behaviors are frequently misinterpreted. To gain a greater understanding of challenges faced by children with special needs, Culture Shock Los Angeles partnered with the Pediatric Therapy Network (PTN) in Torrance to provide specialized dance classes for children with autism, and other developmental and physical disabilities. PTN provides quality occupational, speech/language and physical therapy services for children with special needs. With PTN's guidance and support, Culture Shock LA dancers have learned more about the ways in which these children perceive the world and how they communicate within it. The collaborative workshops highlight the powerful ability art has to connect us all, as some PTN therapists have observed that the music and movement gives many of the children freedom to joyously express themselves and also engages others who may not typically participate in group activities. On Monday, August 10 at 7:00pm Culture Shock Los Angeles, in collaboration with established artists Man One (Crewest Gallery) and DJ Hapa (Scratch DJ Academy), will also host the "Hip Hop Get Down" as part of the Ford's J.A.M Sessions series. Children and adults of all ages and ability levels will have the opportunity to learn about the four elements of Hip Hop (breaking, deejaying, graffiti art, and emceeing) in this free interactive workshop. Tickets for "iConnect: Communication in a Hip Hop Generation," priced at $25 general admission and $5 for students with valid ID and children 12 and under, are available at www.FordTheatres.org or call the Ford Box Office at (323) 461-3673 (GO 1-FORD). Through the Ford's early buyer incentive, adults who buy tickets on or before August 28 pay only $20. The $5 tickets are made possible thanks to a grant from Target, sponsor of the Target Dance Series at the Ford. Target strives to make the arts affordable and accessible to youth and families because the arts help foster an appreciation and understanding of various cultures and points of view.