The Kinjaz Are The First Dance Troupe To Grace Identity L.A.’s Stage Review+Photos: The KINJAZ @ Identity L.A. 2018
LOS ANGELES, CA- Lights dimmed as the stage fogged to prepare for a mesmerizing performance by infamous Asian American dance team, KINJAZ. The year was 2010 in Los Angeles, California when KINJAZ was established through a defining collaboration between well known dancers Anthony Lee and Mike Song. The original project was heavily inspired by the Japanese anime series Naruto, which remains the inspiration of KINJAZ today.
Now, eight years later the team has expanded to over 30 skilled members who call themselves the “Army of Kin”. Explained on their official website, the band of brothers “are known for [their] signature intricate choreography style and creative storytelling through dance and new media.” KINJAZ has participated in many notable dance competitions such as World of Dance in 2017, America’s Best Dance Crew Season 8, Arena Dance Competition, and they even host their own competitions.
Their notability made sense of the heavy tension revolving around what KINJAZ would bring to this year’s Identity LA as the first dance team to be featured in the festival’s history. Performing at this year’s Identity LA from the team was Mike Song, Darren Wong, Ben Chung, Mike Fallorina, Jawn Ha, Longkal Lor and his brother Longkue Lor. A roar erupted from the crowd when they entered almost silently onto the stage.
KINJAZ routines always start and end with a respectful bow to the audience. Crowds cheered as Ellie Goulding’s cover of The Weekend’s “High For This” faded in. This was the song that had surged KINJAZ into World of Dance during the qualifiers. With full attention set on the stage instrumentals for “Tadow” by Masego faded in just as the sun started to set. The acoustic riff played as their formations swiftly changed and morphed before our eyes. Soon the six members condensed to three and the routine continued. Consisting of a beautifully balanced combination of captivating style and charismatic power. Unless you were paying full attention you would’ve missed all the subtle details in the impeccably synchronized routine. They wore their signature Japanese inspired KINJAZ uniforms with all the same accents; even down to the KIN pins on their feathered fedoras. From flawless footwork to powerful breaking, KINJAZ delivered a masterful performance.