Sunday, 23 March 2014

The 2014 K-Performance Supporters Get-Together: A KaBOOM Of A Party!

Last year, during the get-together party of the 2013 K-Performance Supporters in Gangnam, the noisy guys from the North were on full blast in their provocations against South Korea, which actually scared only the people who lived outside the peninsula. Well, that's what happened when you watch those international news channels who exaggerated their reporting, making it sound like everyone in Seoul was running scared or was rushing to the Incheon International Airport to catch a flight out.

                                (VIPS' salad buffet)

We, who live in Korea, are used to these 'all-bark, no-bite' press releases from the North, and just like the rest of party-going people in Seoul, the K-Performance Supporters also ignored those provocations and went on with the party!  Yes, in 2013, the first get-together for the K-Performance Supporters was a buffet-dinner and a k-pop concert kind of party!
                        (Top bloggers of the 2nd Batch)

This year, for the 3rd batch, there were no more provocations from North Korea, only rain clouds and a drizzle that greeted the 2014 K-Performance Supporters as they assembled for the first time at the VIPS restaurant in the Jongno District in Seoul. 

This is my third year as a K-Performance Supporter (KPS). I remember in 2012, the first year, the members staged a flashmob in the middle of Insa-dong, and it was fun covering it for the blog.
                                  (The 2014 K-Performance Supporters)

In 2013, the Supporters had a trip to Pyeongchang County to watch the 2013 Special Winter Olympics at Alpensia Ski Resort and to enjoy a Snow Music Festival's K-pop concert at the Hanwha Resort.

And for the 2014 KPSs, the campaign started with a bang! Literally!

After the hearty buffet dinner at VIPS (I especially liked the tomato soup, frozen mangoes and pasta!), a short program inside the theater at the 4th floor of Cinecore Building in the Jongno District was held to welcome the third batch and to give recognition to the second batch's top bloggers, yours truly included (ehem!). After which, we all quieted down to watch KaBOOM!, a variety show directed by Kolleen Park.
                     (The Morning of Owl b-boy crew)

    (Morning of Owl with some K-Performance Supporters)

This show's slogan is actually 'que sera sera', Spanish for 'what will be will be', meaning, the audience would just be surprised with the performances in the show, doing away with a storyline popular with other non-verbal performances in Seoul. Four groups of performers complete the whole show: Magic TrunkVa Va VoomMorning of Owl and Performance in the Darkness (PID).

I especially liked Magic Trunk's sequence where the magician conjured water out of his assistant's plucking of a gayageum, and that trick where his assistant changed dresses in a nano-second by hiding behind his cape. I wonder if she bought those dresses at Dongdaemun nearby?

Va Va Voom's numbers were mostly gayageum-plucking, buk-drumming and pansori-ish singing and rapping with occasional head throws and dancing around the stage in shorts.

PID was all about glow-in-the-dark spectacle which I think would be a hit during Halloween, especially if they were wearing scary costumes. But tonight, these five performers were in their Transformers get-up, wowing everyone with precise movements that were synchronized with the colored, LED lights plastered on their costumes. While they were performing, I was able to tell that they were not an all-male ensemble, as the movements of a couple were a little bit 'soft'. But boy did they bring the house down! Clearly, they are the best act of the night! The lasers and lights playing in the dark, coupled with the Transformers theme synchronized with the music were all perfect ingredients on how to grab the audience's attention.

And the Morning Of Owl? Well, everyone would have been blown away if Bboy Pocket was there tonight. Unfortunately, it was his night off. Bboy Pocket is I think the bboy who can execute a Thomas Flair for the longest time.

These bboys are actually the current R16 world b-boy crew champions. I first saw them last year at the R16 Korea World  B-Boy Masters Championships at Olympic Park, where they battled and defeated b-boy crews from around the world. And tonight, just as everyone else, I enjoyed again their number where they threw those white confetti in the end. This number was their 'showcase performance' at the world championships which also brought down the Olympic stadium down that time. Figuratively speaking, of course. 

After the show, I had to ask the KaBOOM! staff whether Morning of Owl was dropping by the lobby. I had to say 'hi' to Bboy Birdie, whom I knew since the championships. Luckily, the staff was able to catch them before they left the building, and everyone who was still in the lobby was able to have photos with them.

KaBOOM! is indeed a different kind of show. As its brochure says, 'Forget about the stories'. It's a variety show of four acts with each act a performance of its own. No more wondering about a story during the show. Just let yourself be entertained by magic, modernized Korean traditional music, gravity-defying, shoulder-dislocating moves, and synchronized lasers and lights dancing in the dark.

So, thanks again to the Korea Tourism Organization's International Events Team, who organized the first get-together. Everyone truly enjoyed the dinner and the show!

Here's to another year of a successful campaign for Korean performances! 

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