By Prisca SamDuru
The annual k-Pop Dance competition organised by the South Korean Cultural Centre, Nigeria of the Embassy of the Republic of South Korea, took place on Saturday, 13 July, 2019 at the Tolulope Odugbemi Hall, University of Lagos, (UNILAG) Akoka, Lagos.•The winner of the 8th edition of K-Pop Dance competition, ‘Octopus Dance Zone’ performing during the competition held at UNILAG, Lagos.
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K-POP, a genre of popular music originating in South Korea which is in its 8th edition, held for the first time outside Abuja, to the delight of a massive audience.
Out of the 37 teams across Nigeria that entered for the preliminary stage of the competition, in April 2019, only 10 made it to the grand finale of the competition. To say that the 10 teams shook the entire walls of Tolu Odugbemi hall with sizzling and scintillating dance moves, will amount to an understatement. The energy exhibited by the young dancers comprising both male and female, was out of this world. Their electrifying dance steps cum acrobatic displays were absolutely amazing and definitely, would earn them a place on the international dance scene.
The 10 dance crews who participated in the finals included;
Jay Race from Jos, Rich Company from Kano, Octopus Dance zone from Port Harcourt, S.O.C. from Sokoto and Yebo Dance Nation from Lagos.
Others were D’Generals (Port Harcourt), D’Brainy (Port Harcourt), Dance X (Calabar), Elite Dance Crew from Lagos and Isaiah 54 which came all the way from Katsina.
The Korean drum, Janggu stormed the stage to entertain the audience after the teams were through with their performances. Their large drums and costume were so amazing and would easily capture the attention of anyone who lacks interest in music.
On seeing the drums, you can’t help but begin to imagine the sound of music that will emanate from them once the show begins.
At the end of the mind-blowing and keenly contested dance performance, Octopus Dance Zone emerged the overall winner followed by D’Brainy from Port Harcourt which came second while Isaiah 54 from Katsina took the third position.
Octopus Dance Zone received a N500,000 cash prize in addition to an LG XBoom speaker which was given to each member of the team. N300,000 cash prize and N200,000 went to the 2nd and third position respectively, in addition to an LG XBoom speaker for each dancer in the winning teams.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the event, Dike James, a member of the Octopus Dance Zone from Port Harcourt, expressed happiness that his team emerged the overall winner in the competition adding that hard work and adequate preparation saw them through.
According to James, his team members had just finished from the secondary school and were seeking admission into the university adding that wherever they gained admissions into, they would still continue to dance together as “we are looking forward to representing Nigeria in Korea,” he said.
The Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea, Lee In-tae described dance as an aspect of creativity that teaches respect and helps people to think creatively emphasising that, “K-Pop is now increasingly becoming a universal trend. It binds people from all over the world together; it is a force of unity and friendship as it grows. No matter the language, music, culture or nation, dance will be understood because it is universal. Many K-Pop artistes have begun to grow their influences through the various social media platforms and with the rising influence of Idol groups and “Be There Soon” (BTS); K-Pop popularity has gone global,” he said.
Lee In-Tae disclosed that BTS had topped Billboard 200 chart three times, ranked among the TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2019 and also attended the UN General Assembly in Year 2018.
The ambassador expressed joy that more Nigerians have fallen in love with K-Pop dance adding that “it has helped to strengthen bilateral and mutual relations between Korea and Nigeria. We have bilateral relations with Nigeria in cultural, economic and other areas,” he disclosed.
The Director of the Korean Cultural Centre, Lee Jin Su, who explained that they wanted to create unity among Nigerians through dance, stated that, “the aim is to promote understanding and strengthen bilateral relations between both countries through cultural exchange programmes.”
He revealed further that the participating teams were given the opportunity to choose from any of the listed K-Pop songs, make their video with the songs and submit their entries online for the preliminary screening.