“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”
– Martha Graham
Make it to the showcase on Friday March 20th? Good. You experienced one of the best events held at KIS this year, so far. Couldn’t go because of after school sports practice or hagwon (or just from being lazy)? Fear not, because this article will get you up-to-date with everything that happened on Friday.
Chaos hasn’t ensued just yet. The dancers begin to fill up the black box as their teachers dismiss them from class, hurrying to get changed into their outfits for their first dance routine out of many. Girls are doing both their hair and makeup, while the guys awkwardly stand around watching them, horrified by the amount of makeup products they can fit inside their tiny purses. All the while, club president Kate Won Young Cho (‘15) is already busy running around – an hour before the showcase – distributing the schedule of the showcase to all performers. The schedule consists of a master script to be used by the MCs (Lizzie Jeon (‘15), Peter Kim (‘15), and Jason Kwon (‘16)), as well as the order of every single dance. She then greets each of the other schools’ teams as they arrive, explaining to them where the changing rooms are located, and scampering around to make sure everything is perfect before the actual show.
Chaos ensues. The black box is absolutely full of students who have traveled all the way from SFS, GSIS, YISS, and SIS. Clothes lie strewn everywhere, and Blackout members step around lost clothes to practice their dance moves before their performance in front of the audience. Ashley Soyu Park (‘15), (in charge of backstage) tapes the master script to the door, and reviews the schedule one by one in order for her to tell the dancers when to come out on stage. The noise level in the room reaches an insane level as officer Yuna Shin (‘17) wildly shushes the dancers and crew members. Kate Won Young Cho hands out the team sweatshirt to the Blackout members, with the Blackout logo freshly printed in white. Slowly, the dancers realize that this is it.
The PAC begins filling up with people, and with five minutes left before the show, dancers can hear conversations going on outside. Member Emily Lee (‘17) peeks through the curtains, comes back to the blackbox, excitedly exclaiming that there are so many people sitting, whilst the dancers wait for the show to begin. Top batter performers, dancing to the song 멘붕 (mental break down) by CL are both excited and frightened about being the first ones to kick off the show.
As Rena Yun (‘18), one of the dancers in the 멘붕 group recalls,
“I thought my heart was going to burst open when I entered the stage and I was so nervous and scared of making any mistakes.”
However, despite the immense pressure, leader and Vice President of the club Jamine Kang (‘16) proceeds to calmly address the small group with a pep talk, reminding all members to do their best, and to not blank out even when they make a mistake. The audience is ready, the soundbooth is ready, and most importantly, the dancers are ready.
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
The lights in the PAC go dark and the audience goes wild, as the dance team’s promotion video pops up on the screen on stage. As the video runs, dancers get ready right behind the curtains, waiting for their cue right after the video. The video finishes, the audience cheers, and Premiere begins. One by one, dancers go up on stage, perform, run backstage to change, frantically racing with time. Many performers like Kay Herr (‘18) had back to back performances with just a mere couple of minutes of MC to stall time for her to quickly change, and/or to grab her snapback. Despite the showcase being over an hour long, the energy refuses to die down.
As one of the audience, Alex Kim (‘17) says,
“I thought it was very energetic, which actually pumped me up. Overall, it was great and really enjoyable.”
Of course; who wouldn’t get pumped up? Kate Won Young Cho’s solo performance to Break of Dawn by Michael Jackson, the performance of oh-so-fangirled GSIS dancer Trey Noh, and even KIS dancers dancing to HER by Block B in their animal suits. With both great performers and audience members, dancers can proudly say, the Premiere was a success.
Blackout: The Premiere
When asked to recall the Premiere, Jasmine Jeong (‘17) told Blueprint,
“Our first showcase was definitely one of my greatest sophomore memories. I think our club worked really hard as a team for the last month. Despite the lack of time and some clashes between members, I think we did a great job preparing multiple songs for our first showcase. I think it was a huge opportunity for all members to get to know each other better.”
With practices almost every day after school, as well as on weekends, dancers got to interact more, and share their joy and passion of dancing with one another. Dancers enjoyed it, but how about the audience? If the high-pitched, admiring cheers don’t convince you, Lisa Han (‘17) is here to convince you otherwise. She especially enjoyed it because
“Premiere brought different schools together, creating a community where all students can perform and show their dedication for dance.”
She also exclaims that she loved the performance, asking for Premiere to become an annual event. Dancers also wish for this to become a reality, because it’s not an everyday thing to be able to dance in front of a large crowd. However, seeing the stage they produced with their extreme effort and perseverance, we can say it definitely paid off.
Get excited for more to come from KIS’ very own Blackout, because this is obviously not going to be their last stage. Continue supporting our lovely dance members! Until next time…
– Leona Maruyama (’17)
All pictures by Justin Kwon (’16)