We made it through another one! After giving ourselves some time to reflect on what went down last weekend for the Cypher Adikts 4 Year Anniversary, we were extremely proud of what transpired. A lot of groundwork went into bringing another vision to life this year. There were even moments where we felt it would be nearly impossible to be able to collaborate with the people involved. At the end, it came together beautifully and the four Year Anniversary proved to be a success that completely exceeded our expectations.
We kicked off day one in classic CA style and teamed up once again with the good folks over at Think Tank Gallery located in the Fashion District of Downtown Los Angeles. Knowing exactly what to expect with the venue since we were here last year, we really wanted to make sure that every detail was on point. This time around the whole CA team met up the night before to allow for more time to work on producing the classic CA set up and once again transformed Think Tank into a full on party atmosphere.
Just to give you a little insight at what went on behind the scenes, We left the venue the night before feeling pretty good about getting a head start on set up and loved that we would have time to relax on Saturday morning before doors opened later that night. However, our free time was quickly put on pause when we received a phone call Saturday Afternoon that there had been a power outage on the entire city block where the venue was located, with no signs of when it would be restored. Needless to say, the pressure was ON! So we all headed to the venue earlier than anticipated and with the help of Jacob and his amazing team we were able to rig and rewire all the electricity in the venue. We had completed everything once again just 30 minutes before doors opened. We’re still in shock on how we were able to pull this off! We worked really hard to make sure this issue did not in any way compromise the quality of Cypher Adikts and there was just no way we weren’t going through with the celebration.
Doors opened exactly at 9pm without further dilemmas and people had already been lining up outside the venue waiting to get it in. Almost immediately Ervin Arana had the spot crackin’ with his musical selections! Within the hour, the place was officially packed! We were a bit surprised on how fast it went from zero to a hundred! In the past it’s always usually taken some time for the vibe to build up and people like to trickle in a little later in the night. So we were all excited to see such a large turn out so early!
We had dancers in from The Bay, Chicago, Japan, Europe, Taiwan, the I.E., OC, Hawaii and the list goes on! Everyone came prepared and just ready to get down. There were no awkward moments with people stretching in the corners or standing around waiting for something to happen. People just knew! There was no denying we were in for a full night of excitement.
During the night we also make sure that we get in a little cypher time as well and we were excited to see that not only were there a lot bboys & bgirls in the house, but also a lot of other different types of styles rockin’ the circles. We’ve had a little bit of this in the past at some of our more local events, but to see so many cyphers of just straight up UNITED party rockin’ was unreal and very refreshing! After all, this is meant for strictly CYPHER ADIKTS, and that stretches across all genres of dance. Ervin did an amazing job of reading the crowd and took different routes with the music. From breaks, to Hip Hop, to funk and even a little house and dose of ratchetness at the end of the night, we had it all! What also stood out to us was that the dynamic of the cyphers themselves had also changed from what we’ve previously experienced. In the past we’ve witnessed cyphers were starting to become stressful with folks rushing in, cutting each other off or being disrespectful to one another and that was definitely taking away from the fun of it all. This time around, People were having FUN! The energy was high and Saturday night was definitely all about having a good time and feeling the music which is what CA has always strived to deliver.
Of course the highlight of the night was watching the incredible JUNGLE FIRE perform for us once again. This has now been the 3rd year that we were able to have them play thanks to the connection and collaboration with CA resident Ervin Arana, along with their desire to just be down for the movement. Once they hit the floor everyone let lose and the party really reached it’s peek. We were also glad to see people just simply enjoy watching the performance itself! Truly amazing what these guys can do. If you’re not familiar with Jungle Fire, we recommend you go and check them out for yourself. You really need to experience the magnitude of talent that JF brings with each musician. The performance for CA featured a mix of Afro latin funk, soul & bboy breaks perfectly arranged to set the party into a frenzy! The collaboration between Jungle Fire and Ervin only continues to get better as the chemistry, vibe and music settles in to be the perfect fit for the CA Anniversary. We’re fortunate to have this level of talented musicians playing for us and feel extremely honored to have been able to feature the power house band for another celebration. Simply speaking, Jungle Fire is the TRUTH! Thanks for blessing the CA house once again!
Other highlights throughout the night included having Ivan the Urban Action Figure rock the mic alongside Koolski as guest during Jungle Fire’s set. Ivan is all about the music so he definitely contributed in keeping the energy of the night HIGH. We also had the extreme pleasure of sharing this experience with none other than Ken Swift. Having him come through to CA has been something we have always wanted and watching him getting down in the cyphers was definitely a surreal moment for everyone. Like a true party man, he could also be seen dancing along with his lady, just groovin’ out and having a good time throughout the night. Literally EVERYONE who passed through our doors played a big role in how the night turned out.
There was just no better way to kick off the weekend. Even with the little snags we hit in the beginning, we banned together and made sure nothing stopped the party. Huge thanks once again to Jacob and the amazing people at Think Tank Gallery that helped us pull through. These guys went above and beyond to make sure it all went down without a hitch. WE THANK YOU! At the end of the day, we couldn’t have hoped for a better turn out of support and a more infectious vibe. The night was a success because of YOU, the supporter! Can’t stress that enough.
Moving along to Day 2, this year we wanted to focus connecting on a more personal level with our supporters. Like we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, we’re dedicated to consistently give back to the community. So we decided to host a full day of FREE workshops and discussions with three of the best Bboys out there; Roxrite, Ivan the Urban Action Figure and none other than Prince Ken Swift! These three individuals span over four generations within Hip Hop culture and were the perfect additions to help create Cypher Adikts – Unplugged.
This wasn’t a panel discussion or what people would expect from an average workshop. This was a unique opportunity to come build and exchange with some of the most influential dancers of our time. Our three guests did not hold back and delivered beyond our expectations, and with each one having a full 2 hours to do whatever they pleased, we knew we were all in for it. We arrived at the venue an hour before getting started and found there was already a line of people waiting, ready to take advantage of this experience.
We kicked it off with Ivan as he shared his unique approach to the artform. Most people misunderstand IVAN’s ridiculous level of energy, but make no mistake, his philosophy and explosive approach to this dance/culture is nothing short brilliant ! The balance between mental and physical exercises set the precedent for the type of event Unplugged was going to be. Ivan was definitely the perfect way to start. The room was PACKED and people made the most out of the space to soak in the full Ivan experience. His teaching methods are also designed for you to open up and explore the music through movements and his bursts of inspirational messages left everyone in the room motivated and eager to rethink their approach towards the dance.
Up next we had “The General” himself, Bboy Roxrite. Not only was he the younger of all three of our guests, but he currently stands as one of the most consistently active in the scene, celebrating 20 years of hard work and dedication to the dance. Roxrite coming in after Ivan and before Kenny could’ve been very intimidating for many but he provided a perfect balance to the day. There’s a lot more to Rox than what we’ve seen of him through some of the worlds best competitions and the stage of Red Bull BC One. His approach and mindset within the current state of the scene is refreshing to what one might think. Roxrite truly cares about what he does, how he trains, who he’s involved with and what he represents within our culture. It was really important for us to have him come through and share his perspective and approach to the dance, especially to the young and upcoming bboys and bgirls. During his time at CA Unplugged, he offered incredible insight to his personal history and training regiment. Then he challenged everyone by giving you some tools/exercise that could help expand your personal arsenal.
Last but not least we had the legendary Ken Swift close out the weekend. His presence alone at our Anniversary was a huge deal to us but we had no idea on the amount of gems he’d be dropping! This man isn’t considered the epitome of a bboy for no reason. His insight and understanding of hip hop culture was simply mind blowing. One of the main ideas behind Unplugged was to inspire through Story Telling and Ken Swift’s articulate depiction and willingness to share his rich history with us exceeded our expectations by far! His delivery was so generous and genuine. He shared fascinating personal details on how it all started for him and facts on what HIP HOP was and felt like through his own experiences. His words were a great reminder that the music and having fun was and should always remain the #1 focus. Whether you’ve been breaking for decades or just getting started, what he shared could only leave you with an immense amount of inspiration.
We were overwhelmed with the support from everyone who attended day two. At first we weren’t sure if our community would fully take advantage of an opportunity like this. Often times we come across dancers who feel they’ve got it all mastered and wouldn’t benefit from a day like unplugged or any workshop for that matter. However we feel there’s never enough knowledge to be gained, Always a student, we never stop learning! Those that were there (including us) were truly fortunate to have shared this “Unplugged” experience. A great reminder as to why we LOVE this culture!
Huge shout out to everyone that came through and weren’t afraid to open themselves up to learn from Ivan, Roxrite and Kenny. It really made our day to see such great interest and care within our community and we are further inspired to keep on spreading knowledge and education, Thank you!
We’d also like to highlight and thank other key people who were a huge help to us this weekend;
– JUNGLE FIRE for the Amazing off the charts performance!
– Jacob and everyone over at Think Tank Gallery for allowing us to bring our event to their amazing space for another year and helping us get through the little glitches. We appreciate you all!!
– Our team for the weekend; The one and only Debbie Barnes for keeping the door on LOCK as usual, we love ya! The Lovely Miss Lady Lex and Ricky Rocany for helping us out with set-up and break-down. We couldn’t have done it without you.
– Our resident host Koolski for rocking the mic once again.
– Documentarians of the night; VEPhoto’s, Exsyte, Emajyn & Ervin Arana (yes he cloned himself). Make sure you always show love to these guys, they throw themselves in the trenches and provide some incredible images that we all love to share and repost. PLEASE CREDIT THEM! (@vephotos @exsyte_ @emajynphotography)
– Hint Water for donating their products to keep our dancers hydrated throughout the night as well as Bboy Machine for dropping off and donating cases of Monster Energy. We really appreciate your contributions!
All in all, this was such an incredible weekend. The energy, the vibe and of course YOU the supporters and the collaborators. Thank you for caring and participating in the Cypher Adikts movement and celebrating 4 years with us. We do this simply for the love of this art form, the entire weekend was produced entirely on our own without any outside financial backing. So with that said, we want to stress that we couldn’t have completed this weekend without your support. Your messages & posts afterwards help push us to continue doing what we do. So on behalf of Cypher Adikts (Jeskilz, Ervin and CrissyB), THANK YOU! Can’t wait to celebrate the BIG 5 with you all in 2016!
To view more pictures of DAY 1 & 2, Click here