The world of K-Pop is entering India with a distinct flourish, as the Korean Cultural Centre opens its gates to the Indian youth, by initiating training courses in the K-Pop Academy in New Delhi, and at InKo Centre in Chennai. Any dance and song enthusiast is encouraged to take up this opportunity, and give his or her best shot at being selected for the K-Pop Concert at the K-Pop World Festival itself.
K-Pop (short for Korean Pop) is a musical genre originally from South Korea, and includes all the genres of popular South Korean music. It has been gaining popularity in Southeast Asia since the late 1990s, but it established its foothold in the Indian music market during the late 2000s. While it started out as a subculture only in the Northeastern regions, it has amassed a huge fan base over all of India in only a few years. One of the biggest contributions to its increasingly immense popularity was the smash hit Gangnam Style by PSY, which introduced most Indian households to the concept of K-Pop. Most teenagers and young adults have been hooked ever since.
The K-Pop festival has thus seen a lot of interaction with India over the past few years. The genres of electronic, hip-hop, R&B, which were earlier unheard of in India, have become one of the many staple genres the young Indian listens to. With this years Korean Music Festival on the horizon, the training courses could not have been announced at a better time. The instructors include Choi Jong Huan and Ken Kwak, both professors from Sejong University, and skilled teachers of dance and vocals, respectively. The duration of the training is from the 25th of April to the 20th of May, with a total of ten two-hour classes.
The dance classes are set to begin from 25th of April. The selected applicants will attend classes from the 26th of April to the 6th of May. The vocal classes will begin from the 9th of May, and the selected applicants will attend their classes from the 10th of May to the 16th of May. Both the dance and vocal classes will take place from Monday to Friday, 4pm-6pm.
These classes are only the stepping stones, however, to the K-Pop Contest of 2016, where one winner will be selected to attend the K-Pop World Festival. Both the singing and dancing competitions have three stages to qualify, the Online Contest, the Preliminary Round and the Grand Finale. While the dates and venues for the Preliminaries are yet to be announced, the selected participants will be attending them at regional venues like Delhi, Kolkata, Patna, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, and the Northeast. Andy and Simba, both members of the Korean J.J.C.C. band, formed by world-famous actor Jackie Chan, will act as judges for the Grand Finale India Round, scheduled to take place in Chennai on the 30th of July. The 1st prize winner in the Grand Finale will get to perform at the K-Pop Concert.
The annual festival is to take place during the month of August, 2016, with its usual lineup of popular bands and performers to showcase the very best of Korean Pop. Reputed K-Pop celebrities like Exo and Big Bang have already graced the stage in previous years, and this years lineup continues the trend with celebrities like SHINee and Red Velvet in attendance. All aspiring performers of dance and music are urged to begin uploading their videos to the official website, www.kpopindia.com, to begin their journey towards the K-Pop World Festival 2016.