“It is important to create a visually stunning experience that amounts to the Super Bowl halftime show. My job is to mesmerize the audience and to keep them completely in awe,” said veteran choreographer Jennifer Archibald. In a video interview with The Dong-A Ilbo last Friday, she seemed excited to encounter a big hurdle in front of her.
Ms. Archibald is a director of the opening ceremony of KCON, an annual South Korean culture and music celebration which will be held in August in Los Angeles, U.S. She and her students at Boston Conservatory at Berklee will perform at the opening ceremony, where a unique performance that mixes hip hop, ballet, contemporary choreography, and K-pop altogether will take place.
“I will make the most out of the 10-minute performance. I am listening to dozens of K-pop to sort out 14 to 15 songs to dance to,” said Ms. Archibald. Born in Canada, she worked commercially for brands such as Nike and Tommy Hilfiger. She has also worked as a resident choreographer of the Atlanta Ballet and the Cincinnati Ballet Theater. Ms. Archibald is known for her creative choreography that mixes different genres such as street hip hop, ballet, and contemporary dance. “When I told students at my hip hop dance class at Columbia that I am going to direct the K-pop project, the students got really excited, making recommendations of various K-pop music. ‘You should check this group, that group,’ they were as excited as I was,” Ms. Archibald said.
Students at Boston Conservatory are all geared up for the event. The ‘game’ begins the next week when Ms. Archibald, currently in New York, flies to Boston. Some 130 students have already applied for an audition for the K-pop project. “I will first select some 40 students and finally sort out 12 to 16 students,” Ms. Archibald said. “Only those with high aesthetic understanding and flexible muscles, which they need to instantaneously transition from one genre to another, for example, from ballet to hip hop and contemporary dance will be given an opportunity to perform.”
“Only students who can breakdance and do contemporary dancing and speedily relax their muscles to perform a ballet movement are qualified to go to KCON with me,” the choreographer. “I will join numerous choreography principles with K-pop.”