By: Damien Blaise
Last night in Santa Ana, Diego's hosted Konsept's first breakdance-based event, Downtown Boogie, done in collaboration with the Feel Good Collective. Konsept is an event-organizing company with a real focus on community and charitable events in and around Santa Ana. The show wasn't the kind of thing you see very often, a mix of b-boys and girls vibing all over the space alongside unique vendors, artists, live body painting, and even a barber's chair and station where event-goer's could get their fade's cleaned up.
Diego's itself is not a venue you come across often either. After grabbing a drink or a tasty order of fried plantains and sweet garlic dipping sauce in the deceivingly small front-of-the-house bar, you walk into the next too which is a giant hall with an elevated stage and reverberating sound bouncing off the walls. Last night the big room was bustling with diverse works from local artists like the multi-talented Sean Robertson, with his layered video and physical installation pieces. Vendors like Konsept crew member Freddy's FS Clothing line with detailed hand-drawn imagery. Others, like Zine photographer David Guzman, were selling zines, the proceeds of which go to feeding specific local homeless people pictured in the zine itself. While members of the Feel Good collective were DJ'ing, b-boys and b-girls alike were in their own cliques, warming up for the dance competition portion of the evening.
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Before the dance-off, we were fortunate enough to get a mini live set from C-Tre Flowz, co-founder of Konsept with Tyson Pruong, whose lyricism and flow were undeniably on point. Once C-Tre handed the mic back, it was time for the battle. The judges were called to the front and the crowd gathered around. Dancers were pitted against each other with their chosen partners in two-on-two configuration. Dancers took turns popping and sliding and spinning and dipping and a competitor broke out a mimed Dragonball-Z-style power blast.
In terms of the competition, the male-to-female ratio was pretty decent. There were at least two competing female dancers, a female judge, and half the exhibiting artists were female, which is always refreshing, especially at a hip-hop event. Though diverse, the crowd and event workers all seemed to be generally on the same page, all were there with the intention of having an unpretentious good time with each other. Keeping with Konsept's work as a company, Downtown Boogie was a dynamic event for the community that had everyone vibing out together.