Dance group makes a splash in Seoul
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.