The reality singing audition show has definitely made its mark on Korean TV and cable over the years. MNET’s cable program, “Superstar K,” first aired in 2009 and reality shows have been growing both in number and in popularity ever since. Currently competing in the third season of “Superstar K,” the boy band competitor Busker Busker has made an impressive mark with their flamboyant and fearless live performances, while surviving elimination and making it to the top 7 bracket of the competition. Busker Busker’s cover song, “Admirable Girl,” reached the No. 1 spot on Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 last week, knocking off Huh Gak — the winning star of the second season of “Superstar K” — from pursuing his third consecutive No. 1 spot.
With K-Pop evolving into one of the fastest growing music genres in the world, Billboard Korea investigates the latest K-Pop global trend: the “K-Pop Cover Dance.”
“K-Pop Cover Dance” is a term used to describe the imitation of K-Pop artist’s dance choreography. In celebration of “Visit Korea Year,” a committee hosted the ‘2011 K-Pop Cover Dance Festival’ this past March, proving that the K-Pop phenomenon is here to stay. For this festival, 1,700 amateur contestants from 64 countries submitted video files online and from this pool, a total of 66 contenders from 10 countries were nominated to perform at the final competition concert in Seoul, Korea. A survey conducted amongst the contenders found that the majority of the male dance teams favored Shinee, Super Junior, and Beast while female dance teams favored Miss A, Girls Generation and Kara as their chosen artist to imitate. Moon Chang Ho, the Executive Producer of ‘2011 K-Pop Cover Dance Festival’ stated, “The cover dance boom has created a platform for fans from all around the world to actively participate and enjoy K-Pop; and therefore, it is helping expand K-Pop as a truly international form of social entertainment.”
Boy Bands: Shinee, Super Junior, and Beast
Fair-faced boy band Shinee became famous throughout Asia for their powerful yet precise dance moves. After gaining initial success in Korea with songs like, “Miss, You’re Beautiful,” “Amigo,” “Ring Ding Dong” and “Lucifer,” they continued to spread their fame throughout the world, and recently became the first Korean boy band to perform in Russia. Their newest dance move, the “Finger Break” dance, from their “Lucifer” performance is now one their signature dance moves.
Super Junior is a multi-talented boy band that is continuing to rocket up the popularity ladder in Asia and Europe. It is no exaggeration to say they will be the next K-Pop legend. Super Junior is well-known for their addicting beats with unique lyrics and highly synchronized dances. Super Junior’s song, “Bona Mona”, topped Taiwan’s most renowned music chart for astounding straight 64 weeks at No. 1 and is one of the most emulated dance covers along with “Mr. Simple” and “Ah-Cha.”. Both “Mr. Simple” and “Ah-Cha” are ranked on Billboard K-Pop Hot chart this week at No. 44 and No. 78, respectively.
Beast is the newest dark horse to reach for the distinction of representative K-Pop boy-band. Jang Seung Hyung, who was a former trainee at YG Entertainment for the group Big Bang has all the correct dance moves to charm K-Pop fans. Songs like, “Shock”, “Mystery,” and “Breath” are attracting a strong international music following with strong, rhythmic chorus beats that are great to dance to.
Girl Groups: Girl’s Generation, Miss A, and Kara
The girls of Girl’s Generation became an Asian music sensation with their combination of cute yet seductive dance choreography and simple yet catchy beats. Girl’s Generation’s initial success began with the release of their first EP, “The First Mini Album – Gee” and the girls have continued to make consecutive dance hits with songs like, “Tell Me Your Wish Genie,” and “Oh!”, enticing viewers with their attractive figures and addictive dances. One of Girl’s Generation’s signature moves can be seen in the “Hoot” music video that has the girls imitating the shooting motion of a bow and arrow.
JYP, the production company of Wonder Girls, also launched the girl group Miss A and the girls have been quick to reach success with their first title song, “Bad Girl, Good Girl”, where the girls show off their acrobatic dancing abilities. In addition, Miss A’s seductive dancing while sprawled on the floor in their newest single “Good-bye Baby” has ultimately brought them to the top. This song is ranked at No. 59 on the Billboard K-Pop Hot 100 chart this week.
One of K-Pop’s most visible faces abroad secured their first No. 1 ranking on Japan’s Oricon music chart with their booty dancing in their hit song, “Mister.” With their tightly cropped shirts and baggy pants, the girls were able to further emphasize their hip-centric movement. Also, in their second title song, “Honey”, Kara gained a huge following with their “honey-licking” dance. Kara’s new single, “STEP” is ranked at No. 8 on Billboard’s K-Pop Hot 100 this week.