Boston Conservatory at Berklee Dancers to Perform at KCON Los Angeles
Thirteen dance students from Boston Conservatory at Berklee will perform at KCON Los Angeles, the world’s largest convention for Korean culture and music, from August 19 to 21 at the Crypto.com Arena. The performance is the culmination of a new KCON Performance Repertory dance course from Boston Conservatory, which was designed to expose students to the art of K-pop dance and promote K-culture within the United States.
The course, which launched in the spring 2022 semester, is generously supported by the CJ Cultural Foundation. In addition to exploring foundational K-pop dance styles and their cultural influences, students developed a performance piece with guest choreographer Jennifer Archibald that debuted in April 2022 at Boston Conservatory’s spring dance concert, Limitless, and will be performed at KCON Los Angeles later this month.
Archibald’s piece is titled KCON and features an eclectic mix of K-pop and contemporary dance. The performance showcases eight K-pop songs from the some of the world’s most iconic groups and performers, including “MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix)” by BTS and Steve Aoki; “MONEY” by LISA; "WANNABE" by ITZY; and "Raise the Roof" by NCT U, among others.
“This collaboration is a testament to the power of dance to create cultural bridges,” said Mila Thigpen, chair of dance for Boston Conservatory at Berklee. “The choreographic process included deep conversations about K-pop’s influences and aesthetic developments, as well as looking at similarities and differences between American and Korean pop culture with respect to music and dance.”
The performance will mark the first time Boston Conservatory at Berklee is represented at a major K-culture industry event; students will be featured in the lineup alongside globally acclaimed K-pop headliners like ATEEZ, ENHYPEN, INI, Kep1er, LIGHTSUM, Stray Kids, LOONA, P1Harmony, STAYC, The Boyz, and many others.
“When I was given the opportunity by Boston Conservatory to perform at KCON, I was ecstatic,” said student performer Raxel Kempenaar (B.F.A. '24, dance). “I have been listening to K-pop for years, and I often learn K-pop dances from different groups through YouTube in my spare time. I am captivated by the feelings, grooves, and storytelling in every K-pop song I listen to, which has helped me grow as a dancer in many ways.”
KCON, choreographed by Jennifer Archibald, will be performed four times over the course of KCON Los Angeles, from August 19 to 21, 2022.
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