Boston Conservatory Announces New K-Pop Dance Course and KCON Convention Performance
Boston Conservatory at Berklee has announced a new dance course and performance opportunity designed to expose students to the art of K-pop dance and promote K-culture within the United States: KCon Performance Repertory.
The course, which launched at the start of the spring 2022 semester thanks to the generous support of the CJ Cultural Foundation, is taught by Conservatory dance faculty and has 15 dance students enrolled. In addition to exploring foundational K-pop dance styles and their cultural influences, students will develop a performance piece with a guest choreographer that will debut in April 2022 at Boston Conservatory’s spring dance concert, Limitless. The work will be presented again this summer at the highly anticipated KCON Los Angeles, which is the world’s largest celebration of Korean culture and music.
“This course and the incredible opportunity to perform at this year’s KCON convention in L.A. are born from a shared vision to promote greater cultural awareness within the performing arts,” said Cathy Young, executive director and senior vice president of Boston Conservatory at Berklee, who has led for the past several years a robust Strategic Direction to modernize and transform the conservatory educational model. “We are deeply grateful to the CJ Cultural Foundation for making this opportunity possible; the KCon Performance Repertoire course enables us to offer our students an immersive exposure to K-pop music and dance.”
The CJ Cultural Foundation, which is based in Seoul, South Korea, seeks to expand foundations of the culture industry and contribute to a healthier arts ecosystem. Since its founding in 2006, the foundation has enriched Korea’s cultural landscape by supporting emerging artists and projects in music production, filmmaking, and the performing arts. The CJ Cultural Foundation has also been an active partner of the larger Berklee institution, establishing scholarships for Korean musicians enrolled at Berklee College of Music and helping to organize events such as the Business of K-Pop, which will be held at Berklee in March 2022 and bring the K-pop group I Love Dance to Boston Conservatory for a master class.
The course’s culminating performance at this year’s KCON is what Boston Conservatory anticipates to be the start of many similar appearances in the future. In August 2021, the Conservatory announced a groundbreaking three-year B.F.A. in dance that will immerse students in a variety of commercial styles, including K-pop dance. The new KCon Performance Repertory course was added to Boston Conservatory’s academic lineup a semester before the commercial dance program welcomes its inaugural class in fall 2022. As the program takes root, the school intends to build upon KCon Performance Repertory and introduce similar courses and performance opportunities designed to give students a wide variety of portfolio-worthy experiences.