Korean dance troupe ARTGEE showcased an impressive performance at the recent Korean Festival Week, leaving Bruneians in awe with their street dance talent.
In a gala show dubbed ‘This Is ARTGee’ held at JIS Arts Centre, the group featured its 10 years legacy of globally recognised dance moves and unique performances.
Including their award-winning moves from world competition in Germany, Spain and the US, ARTGEE presented energetic and exciting dance numbers along with a glimpse of traditional Korean culture and K-pop.
For their performance titled ‘The Rhythm of Korea in Brunei’, the group prepared seven different types of performances and dances to the Bruneian crowd.
The first of ARTGEE’s showcase was a performance titled ‘Mirror-man Syndrome’ which had a mysterious sci-fi feel to the performance with the dancers supporting a soccer ball-shaped mirror ball on their heads.
It was an award-winning performance at the 2020 Korea BBIC all-style performance that landed them second place in the competition.
The second performance of the night was called ‘Tick-Tock’, which was a slap-stick performance that featured a synchronised group dance to the ticking sound of a metronome and it showed an impressive interaction with the audience.
This performance was also an award-winning performance at the 2017 USA World of Dance World Final, placing them in second place as well.
Keeping the excitement alive, the group further grabbed everyone’s attention with their performance called ‘Delight’ which gave the audience to experience magic tricks with disappearing lights whilst enjoying street-style dance moves.
Not only that, the group continued on with the show with one of the crowd-favourite performances of the night called ‘This is K-Dance, This is K-Pop’.
The group had the pleasure of showing their moves to K-pop songs from various dance genres including popping and locking, hip-hop, waacking, tutting and more and the dancers were also able to interact with the crowd as they sang along to the songs.
The night continued with a performance called ‘Sal-pan’ which was a performance from the traditional Korean folk dance “Namsadang Nori’. It was the modern version of ‘Sal-pan,’ featuring traditional moves alongside B-Boying techniques.
It is said that the performance included highly physical techniques and risk of injuries; if done well, the show is made “life worth living” (sal-pan), but if performed incorrectly, one “faced death” (jukeul- pan).
The next performance was called ‘Dae-Eunsu’ which opened a new era of Korean culture by adding the modern moves of street dance to aspects of traditional Korean culture, including clothes, masks, music, and folk dance.
Lastly, the night ended with ‘Soundscape Dance’ which is a performance where the sound of voices and daily lives are mixed into a rhythm, to which not only the dancers but also the audience are welcomed to dance.
One lucky audience member was selected to be a part of the performance where her voice was recorded and mixed which then turned into a seamless music that the group danced to.
During an interview with The Bruneian, the group expressed that they were excited and nervous at the same time to perform in Brunei. Their worries disappeared as soon as they heard an enthusiastic cheer from the audience as the group appeared on stage.
“We felt that there was an unbiased innocence in the applause and cheers, so we were able to dance harder than usual,” said one of the dancers.
The group further shared that when they researched Brunei while preparing for the performance, they found that Brunei was full of intriguing culture and facts, which led them to be more interested in the country.
“We had some fears of facing a new culture before the visit. But after looking around the night market and temples, we were very touched by the hospitality of Brunei people who greeted us in Korean,” she said.
The dance group added that everyone was so kind and Brunei had such a peaceful atmosphere.
“We realized that Brunei is a country that could be very attractive to foreign tourists, so we hope others could come and enjoy the Bruneian beaches, food, shopping, and more as we did,” the dancer shared.
The group also shared that one of the member’s aunt lives in Brunei, which was why the trip felt like they were meeting a family far away from home.
“We felt this way more because everyone asked us if we were Korean and greeted us with a bright smile followed by the correct pronunciation of “Hello” in Korea,” said the dancer.
Moreover, they were also impressed that 700 seats were filled and that the audience understood and responded to their body language.
The audience’s response was sometimes unimaginably witty, which made them smile.
Not only that, but they were also grateful to the theater’s staff as they were very accommodating to their request which made the show perfect.
The hour-long photo opportunity after the performance moved their hearts, seeing the overwhelming support and warm hospitality from Brunei.
“Of course, we would love to come and perform again. I heard that next year is the 40-year anniversary of Korea and Brunei establishing diplomatic relations,” said a group member.
The member added: “If we were invited to such an honorable event, we would definitely come with more members and show even more spectacular and amazing performances. Through this concert, we feel a deep brotherhood with Brunei. Once we return to Korea, we will be the ones who promote Brunei to Korean citizens. We love Brunei. Please invite us again.”
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN