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Thursday, October 28, 2021

K-Pop choreographer Choi Yong-joon praises BTS for using sign language in dance videos: ‘Breaking barriers’

Choi Yong-joon talks about the craze of K-Pop, the art of choreography and his interest in learning about Indian dance forms.

Written by Debasree Purkayastha |
Updated: September 29, 2021 8:41:51 am
Choi Yong-joonChoreographer Choi Yong-joon talks about the craze of K-pop

When it comes to K-Pop, language is clearly not a barrier. Korean pop music, popularly known as K-Pop, has taken over the world and India is no exception. There is a song for every mood, different genres and techniques, and many signature steps that correctly compliment the hook lines. Love it or hate it, but one cannot ignore it, as every day there is a new trend on social media with these well-choreographed songs.

Given the frenzy around Korean pop music, one thing is certain that it’s not just the beats but the combination of the dance and peppy beats that has pushed the popularity—something that World K-pop Academy dance director Choi Yong-joon agrees with.

Encouraging the love and admiration for the music and dance, the Korean Cultural Centre in India has organised a dance workshop with the ‘K-Pop Dance Academy’ where popular dances of the songs of STAYC (6-member female group), Jeon So-mi (women’s solo), and THE BOYZ (11-member male group) will be taught by choreographer-teacher Choi Yong-joon. As a choreographer, he has led the JYP choreography team and has toured with famous K-Pop groups 2pm, SHINEE and GOT7.

Choi Yong-joon, who also appeared in the popular Korean TV show ‘Super Star K’, spoke to indianexpress.com from South Korea, about the craze of K-pop, the art of choreography, and more. Here are the excerpts:

Why do you think the K-pop music is so popular across the world?

What connects with people is music and dance, although one does not understand the lyrics. Through the language of dance the artistes interpret the lyrics and communicate with the audience. The body movement conveys the message of the song.

What is your process of creating a dance piece?

I break down the lyrics into different steps. Basically I try to interpret the song through different dance movements. And it’s an organic process. For instance, how BTS is using sign language in a dance video, it is breaking barriers and is significant. So as a choreographer our attempt is to convey the message through the movements in the best possible way.

What is the most essential quality that you think a choreographer should have?

I don’t know how to put this correctly, but one must be crazy creative. Of course one needs to know different styles and dance forms, we basically keep learning and growing but you have to have the madness to create something beautiful.

What do you keep in mind when you work with a large group of artistes for a dance video?

Most of the singer-dancers in groups are very talented, but one has to keep in mind their abilities and limits as each individual brings in something unique.

Are you planning to collaborate with any Indian dancer or dance group?

(Laughs) I am not very familiar with the Indian dancers and I am also not well-versed with the many Indian dance forms, but I am eager to learn. I hope to collaborate with the talents here in future.

The K-Pop Dance Academy online classes that began on 14th September are held live on youtube.com/user/koccindia every Tuesday and Thursday. The classes will continue till 21st October, and is open for all.

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