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Student K-Pop Dance cover club impresses in fall showcase

What separates today’s popular music scene from ones of the past is its openness to K-pop or Korean pop. It is no longer surprising to see Korean acts collaborating with Western artists or see them on Western TV. This music genre is unique in the sense that it is largely defined by teenage “boy/girl groups” whose members deliver their own charms, shown through either their impressive choreography skills, personality or even their dressing style. It’s no wonder why such a fan-driven culture arises from this genre. HARU, Rutgers’ very own K-pop Dance Cover Club, exemplified the characteristics that show why the genre is climbing towards its peak in its annual Fall Showcase on Saturday.

At the Douglass Student Center, the club performed the dance covers it had been preparing over the course of the season. The showcase featured a variety of K-pop songs from older songs like “War of Hormone” by BTS and “Devil” by Super Junior  to more recent beats like “Lil’ Touch” by the Girls’ Generation subunit Oh!GG. 

HARU not only showed its talent in choreography, but as full-fledged artists. Although its beautifully synchronized, slow dancing in OH MY GIRL’s “Closer,” conveyed innocence and emptiness related to not being able to reach a loved one, it was further complimented by the dancers’ flower headbands.

In all of its performances, HARU strived to make the concept of its songs known in terms of dress, facial expression and, of course, dance. The club performance covering Vixx’s “Hyde” featured all-black and all-white outfits, as well as black makeup and dramatic face masks, portraying the idea of the conflicting identity crisis behind the song’s meaning and allusion to the book “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." The rapid, unexpected movements in the choreography also demonstrated the uncontrollable nature behind the song. In this exciting but dark performance, the audience reacted with loud fan chants, shouting lyrics from the song.

Fan chants as well as light sticks that HARU provided the audience with were ways the audience expressed their support throughout the showcase. They are traditionally associated with K-pop fan culture and served in bringing the audience together as supportive HARU fans throughout the show. 

Through the excitement of showing support or liking certain K-pop concepts better than others, there are a variety of aspects to like in K-pop, offering something for everyone. That is what HARU demonstrated — the versatility of K-pop.

Aditya Dhawan, a School of Arts and Science first-year and HARU member said, “It is very different. But that is what makes it cool. That is what makes it enticing.”

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