Arts & Culture

Campus K-Pop group to headline first show

Audition-free group’s first standalone performance to showcase common K-Pop choreography

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, March 10, 2016

DAEBAK, named after the Korean word for awesome, is a K-Pop dance group. Their first stand-alone show will include six sets of about three choreographed songs each and will be held Friday in Salomon 101 at 8 p.m.

Instead of the typical drawl of an economics or psychology lecture, a fun and fresh medley of some of Korean pop’s biggest hits will fill Salomon 101 from 8 to 9 p.m. Friday.

DAEBAK, Brown’s K-Pop dance association, will be performing its own hour-long show for the first time in its three-year history as a group. The group has performed in numerous larger shows such as the Korean Culture Show, but Friday’s free show — titled “Into the New World” — will be its first performance as the central attraction. The show will also feature a Brown breakdancing group, Ground Breakin’.

“I’m looking forward to having a show we can call our own,” said DAEBAK co-chair Jenzel Espares ’16. “People do recognize who we are on campus but it’s mainly through other events.”

DAEBAK, a name that comes from the Korean word for “awesome,” was founded in fall 2013 by current co-chairs An Truong ’17 and Emma Herold ’17. Truong and Herold endeavored to form an open and audition-free dance group of students interested in Korea’s famously bubbly music.

“People usually come in mainly with an interest in K-Pop,” Espares said, adding that the group’s leaders aim to “foster that interest into (a) dance style” amenable to members.

DAEBAK mimics the choreographed moves often seen in Korean pop music, a genre in which music videos are produced for each song. The group’s main choreographers, Espares and E-board members Michelle Kwon ’17, Sung Hee Han ’17 and Jesamine Dyus ’16 learn the choreography of selected songs and then demonstrate it to the group’s general body in a workshop-style rehearsal, Espares said.

To stay true to its inclusive mission statement, DAEBAK holds rehearsals that vary between these larger workshop-style performances and smaller sessions meant to prepare the core group of performers. The group then strings together these choreographed dances into sets of approximately three songs.

Friday’s performance will consist of approximately six of these individual sets. Throughout the show, GBX will take the stage for its own performances and allow DAEBAK dancers to take a breath before returning to the stage.

Espares and Truong said DAEBAK members had been wanting to put together their own show for a while, but it was not until this year that group members felt they were adequately organized and had enough material to put together their own freestanding show.

“Watching other dance groups on campus have their own shows … we were inspired to have something of our own,” Truong said.

DAEBAK’s E-board — its first as an organization — has been planning the spring show since early last semester. The group has tapered off its other performances gradually in order to focus on mapping out rehearsals for an hour-long spring show, Espares said.

The Asia/Asian American Heritage Series provided DAEBAK with funding, said Kristine Mar ’18, a programmer for the series. The E-board also received money from the Korean-American Students Association in order to make the show more professional, adding lighting and costuming.

Truong hopes the success of Friday’s show will lead to more freestanding performances in the future. Eventually, the group hopes to host an hour-long show annually.

More performances, though, will have no bearing on DAEBAK’s audition-free policy.

“What we do as a group is to foster this interest in K-Pop,” Espares said. “I hope that DAEBAK continues to keep generating this space for people and also maintain this sort of open atmosphere in which anyone can dance if they want to.”


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