Dance group makes a splash in Seoul

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse - NYO ME ny­ome@mm­times.com

IT’S a quick way to make friends. Es­pe­cially Korean friends. Project K (for King, Korea and K-pop) is a Myan­mar K-pop cover dance group with seven mem­bers which won sec­ond prize in at the K-Pop In­ter­na­tional Cover Dance

on Oc­to­ber 8 in Seoul. (Thai­land came first, Malaysia third.)

Ever since, the plau­dits have been rolling in. The project’s Face­book page has racked up more than 62,000 likes, with many fans adding Oppa (brother in Korean) or Salang­hae (I love you).

“Project K has lots of Myan­mar fans. A few min­utes af­ter post­ing my photo with the Project K team on Face­book, I re­ceived 100 friend re­quests,” said fan Zay Yar Linn, 23.

“I or­gan­ised the group three months ago, for peo­ple who were good at danc­ing and looked Korean,” said man­ager Jimmy Ko Ko, a dance en­tre­pre­neur.

Teams from Thai­land, Myan­mar, Malaysia, Mex­ico, Hong Kong, Tai­wan and Korea com­peted in the event with two dances each – a K-pop Cover Dance and their own cre­ation, called Pa­rade Dance.

The Myan­mar team chose a tra­di­tional dance for the sec­ond event, per­form­ing a rou­tine they’d learned from chore­og­ra­pher Ko Tin Maung Sann Minn Win. Hav­ing trav­elled to the US and seen the way for­eign au­di­ences take to Myan­mar tra­di­tional dis­plays, he said that pro­mot­ing tra­di­tional dance is a prof­itable move for young­sters.

“Al­most 60 per­cent of the younger gen­er­a­tion have no in­ter­est in tra­di­tional dance. To be hon­est, I was one of them – I never cared for wear­ing make-up,” he said. “But when a dance group in­vited me to Amer­ica and put me up in a 5-star ho­tel, I re­alised Amer­i­cans were im­pressed by Myan­mar tra­di­tional dance, so I have to pro­mote it.”

“Be­cause of Project K, I think younger peo­ple are pay­ing more at­ten­tion to tra­di­tional dance. The dance crews re­alise it’s dif­fi­cult and they’re ask­ing for more Myan­mar styles. They re­ally tried hard and I taught 12 styles of tra­di­tional dance,” he added.

“Our group com­peted there be­cause we wanted other coun­tries to know about Myan­mar,” said Jade Dragon dance group mem­ber Htet Phone Naing. “That’s more im­por­tant than win­ning prizes. I got tired of find­ing peo­ple have never heard of Myan­mar, or even look down on the coun­try,

‘Our group com­peted there be­cause we wanted other coun­tries to know about Myan­mar. That’s more im­por­tant than win­ning prizes. I got tired of find­ing peo­ple have never heard of Myan­mar, or even look down on the coun­try, when I went abroad. I wanted to show them what we can do when we try.’

Htet Phone Naing Dancer

when I went abroad. I wanted to show them what we can do when we try.”

The seven dance crews are or­gan­ised from dif­fer­ent dance groups: Wil­liam and his twin broth­ers Phone Nay Min and Phone Nay Linn of Triplet boy band; Htet Phone Naing, Min Khant Hein and Hein Yar from Jade Dragon; and K-pop solo dancer Ye’ Yint Thaw. The group, who are all in their 20s, runs as a fam­ily.

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