K-Pop World Festival 2014 in New York

Article by Eder Guzman
Photo credit Xue Liang

This is 3rd annual 2014 Kpop World Festival, held in New York at the NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts and put together by the Korean Cultural Service of New York. The day, August 15 had given this particular show added meaning, since it was also Korean Independence day. It was no secret that this was the perfect crowd for KPop, as the night was filled with raucous screams and applause every time a performance began, or an artist was mention.

K-Pop World Festival 2014 in New York has its opening performance by I Love K Pop led by founder/choreographer MJ Choi.

The lineup had 8 performances, a mix of dance groups and single performances, all vying for a chance to win the competition in order to be able to travel to Changwon for the 2014 K-Pop World Festival. The first 1st performance was the group MiXX, where 5 girls performed for the song Mr. Chu by Girls Day. Following this was a single performance by Cindy Vo, singing “Missing You” by 2ne1. She stole the show by singing sweet and soulfully, then transitioning to a more aggressive and sultry near the end.

Next up was the group STAMPede, a dance crew of 8 all in black. They were confident and aggressive on stage, being comfortable on stage as a result of everyone in the group being in the group for years. Then it was the DBJ dance crew dancing to “Overdose” by EXO-K, the artist who received the biggest applause. The audience learned that DBJ stood for Dong Bang Ja, meaning eastern people in Korean. Solo singer Jadee Prince then took the stage to perform “Sunmi” by 24 hours. She was the most expressive performer on stage, with a more freestyle routine than the rest.

Then it was a duet, double the fire, singing a kpop mix. They were the only duet so far, with a routine that was intimate, enough so that the crowd began waving their glow sticks in adoring silence. The 7th performer, Neva, sang “Eyes, nose, lips” by Taeyang. She wore a flowing and frilly dress that, along with her long curly hair, made her routine very flashy.

The last performer was Fernando Farias, who had performed at last year’s festival. He had an amazing dance routine for “Good Luck” by Beast, and “Boys in Luv” by BTS. He had promised that he would try to keep his shirt on in the beginning, but by the end, to the joy of all the ladies, he had broken it. At the end, the winner of the 2013 Kpop Fest, Arnelle Nonon had appeared on stage for a special performance. She was electric on stage, performing two songs with 6 other dancers.

In the end, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in New York, Se-joo Son, had awarded runner-up to DBJ, and the first place to the well deserved Fernando Farias. There was also a best vocal performance award, humbly received by Cindy Vo. Overall, it was a fantastic event, and I hope to see it next year.

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