Home Arts When it’s time for K-Pop we will party hard

When it’s time for K-Pop we will party hard

by The Concordian March 12, 2012

With an internationally renowned fashion designer paired with a world-class makeup artist and joined by a 23 million view YouTube sensation, a four-time Canadian Hip Hop Champion dance crew, the winner of Korea Sings, and a room packed with cheering fans, the AmérAsia Festival on Saturday  proved it still had one more big party in it before the closing ceremonies the next day.
The night’s lineup included a short fashion show featuring designs by Samuel Dong and makeup by Fang Image, multiple musical and dance performances, and an amateur K-Pop (Korean Pop) dance battle that was probably the most ridiculous thing ever.
Shortly after 6 p.m., the lobby of the Hotel Zero 1 was already filled by guests of all ages with one thing in common: Shimmycocopuffsss.
The Waterloo-based Internet star, with more than 23 million video views on his YouTube channel, was brilliant as the night’s host.
Shimmy (Mr. Cocopuffsss?) took the time to speak to each performing member backstage to build his own unscripted introductions, entertained the crowd between each performance and during intermissions, and somehow found the time to take pictures with whoever wanted one (everybody).
Mr. Puffsss took the stage at 8 p.m. to introduce the night’s first act, Inho Kim.
Kim, whose winning performance on KBS’ Korea Sings drew in 20 per cent of the South Korean population to watch it, made his Canadian debut performance Saturday night. Dressed in a simple black suit and white shirt, Kim opened the evening with a soft rock ballad alone with his electric guitar.
The performance earned a good amount of applause, but it wasn’t exactly what Kim hoped for. When asked how it went, Kim’s only answer was, “It was quiet.”
The fashion show followed and was directed by Fang Fang of Fang Image in collaboration with Hors la Loi productions and showed 12 pieces from Samuel Dong’s Fall/Winter 2011 collection.
The models were strikingly styled with bright red lips, harshly angled, thick, black eyebrows, and gelled-back hair in high ponytails. The severe look married well with Dong’s pieces, which consisted mainly of highly structured, high-colour dresses.
Each model walked out independently down a floor-level red carpet style runway while footage from the collection’s debut show at Montreal Fashion Week last May played behind her. During the changes, the screen played behind the scenes footage at Fang Image.
Fang Fang said that she was drawn to the event by the AmérAsia Festival’s mandate to promote Asian talent. Already established and successful in China, Fang made the decision to move her company to Montreal and understands the difficulties any foreign artist can face in a new environment.
Jenny Diep, who managed the festival this year, explained that she feels the AmérAsia Festival helps overcome that barrier by allowing art—whether fashion, makeup, music, dance, or film—to speak its own language, surpassing boundaries.
For Diep, the night was not only about bringing Asian and Western cultures together, but also about combining different Asian cultures. Originally, the night was scheduled to strictly be a K-Pop event. By introducing fashion and beauty produced by Chinese artists, the evening became more about cultural crossover, the festival’s core concept.
Ten minutes before his second performance, Kim went missing. A rush of people backstage scoured the halls of the Hotel Zero 1 basement to find out where he was. Questions began forming that maybe he was lost—or worse, that he was disappointed with the mild audience reaction of his first performance and didn’t want to go on again.
It turns out he was just getting awesome. Back in the holding area with two minutes to spare, a very different Kim appeared. Dressed now in what may very well have rivaled Lil Wayne’s jeggings at last year’s VMAs and a faux-fur bolero jacket showing off a sleeve of fake tattoos, Kim was ready to rock.
Flanked by two accompanying singers, Kim took back the stage to enormous cheering and applause and blew the place away with what could only be described as a mix of pop, electro house, rock, and hip hop.
Accompanying singer Taewan Kim (no relation) explains he tries to blend together elements of western music with K-Pop and was ecstatic with his group’s performance.
Then the dance battle happened.
Consisting entirely of young teenagers, the battle lasted approximately 20 minutes, in which groups of friends or solo dancers took to the stage to perform short dances they choreographed themselves. Maybe they would have looked better if Irratik, the multiple award-winning Montreal dance crew choreographed by former contestants on So You Think you Can Dance Canada and America’s Best Dance Crew, hadn’t gone on first.
At least they had fun. Noy Xayasane won the battle (measured by applause) after working multiple shirt lifting moves into his routine for an audience of mostly teenage girls.
The night ended with a dance party powered by a crazy-good DJ set by CJLO’s DJ Mike Vee, keeping the crowd entertained until well past midnight.

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