I was lucky and had a possibility to join BTS Permission to Dance On Stage offline concert. The show was held on 10th of March and 12th,13th of March. First show started at 7pm and the next two at 6pm. The entire concert was held in Jamsil Olympic Stadium. The access to the stadium is simple, you can take line 2 or 6 and get off at Jamsil Sport Complex.
I had a chance to be there at the very first show. The concert started at 7:00, there was no delay.
I was sitting just next to the stadium, and I was able to hear everything. There were a lot of people who also did not have a change to go inside the stadium and were having fun outside, like I did. They were singing so loud, that everyone outside the stadium was able to hear them singing.
Concert was 2,5h long, for my luck it was not raining like it was on Sunday’s and Saturday’s concert, so me and rest of the people were able to last to the end of the concert. It was not cold either so even though it was dark already, it was not a problem to last till the end. But people from weekend’s concert cannot the same thing.
Seoul was the second city to promote Permission to Dance On Stage Tour. The first one was Los Angeles, where 4 concerts where held on November and December, now the third city will be Las Vegas. Concerts are on April and also 3 dates for the shows were scheduled.
There are not further plans, what after Las Vegas, every time another city with concert is announcement just right after the last planned and announcement show.
Sabrina Gradolf editor（Switzerland）
The government of Seoul created a zone for handprints of K-pop stars, including BTS, at its main sports complex.
The Music Star Zone, installed at Seoul Olympic Stadium, also known as Jamsil Olympic Stadium, features handprints of 35 musicians from 12 singers or groups who have performed at the stadium in southern Seoul.
Besides BTS members, full-size handprints of TWICE, Cho Yong-pil, Seo Tai-ji and HOT are displayed at the zone, along with copper plaques that contain their career summaries.
The Seoul government also created seven photo zones at the stadium complex, from which visitors can take pictures of Seoul Olympic Stadium, a statue of Olympic mascot Hodori, a statue of legendary marathoner Son Gi-jeong and other monuments in the background.
The Music Star Zone is expected to provide new attractions to domestic and international visitors.
Laerke Andersen editor (Denmark)
To kick off the new year, Kep1er debuted with their song “Wa Da Da” with an exciting music video. The song has now become the lead single of their first six-track mini album “First Impact”, which was also released on January 3. Besides that, the project includes two other new songs which is: “See The Light” and “MVSK”, as well as versions of Girls Planet 999 tracks.
The date for the release of their debut song was originally planned to be on December 14 but it got postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19. It began with a staff member being tested positive and a week later, the agencies announced that two of the members had been infected too.
Kira Hermansen editor (Denmark)
KCON is an annual Korean wave convention held in locations across the globe, it’s a music festival created by Koreaboo and organized by CJ E&M. It was first held in Southern California as KCON in 2012 and has since expanded into eight countries as of 2018.
In 2015, KCON expanded to Japan and then soon afterwards announced the first KCON in USA on the East Coast. In 2016, KCON expanded into Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and Paris, France. In January 2017, KCON announced that they would be hosting their first KCON Mexico at the Mexico City Arena on March 17 and 18, 2017.
Kira Hermansen editor (Denmark)
In Korean society, mental health issues aren’t a thing you talk about. Talking openly about your mental health problems is a taboo in Korea and the national attitude surrounding metal illnesses is not looked at as something that could and should be openly discussed.
Because of the norm about mental health, some Korean artist have struggled a lot with it behind closed doors. A few years ago, you never heard a word about your favorite idols mental state, but a lot has changes over the last couple of years. It all started in December 2017 when famous boy group member Jonghyun from Shinee took his own life because of his long struggle with depression. The news took the world by storm and no one could believe what had happened. Not long after that Sulli from the famous girl group f(x) took her own life after a longer period with cyper bullying. Six weeks after that, one of Sulli’s good friends Goo Hara took her own life and right after her, a former boy group member of Surprise U Cha In-ah took his own life. In a span of 2 months, these three celebrities Sulli, Goo Hara and Cha In-ah where found dead, the fans of the deceased were speechless, and the entertainment industry became more focused and attentive on their artists metal health after these horrible accidents.
Laerke Andersen editor (Denmark)
Girls on Top or (“GOT” for short) consist of 7 female members from SM Entertainment.
The annual SMTOWN LIVE event is always a must-watch event for many K-pop fans out there. Here you’ll get to see a variety of great performances and reveals from the South Korean management company’s roster of artists. This year, the Korean online concert reached 51 million global streams and according to SM – this is the highest number of views they’ve had. Other than breaking a record, this year included a surprise which was a new “supergroup” – the so-called “Girls on Top”.
They will feature rotating units which will be a combination of top female artist from SM Entertainment. The first unit “GOT the Beat”, features BoA, Red Velvet’s Wendy and Seulgi, Girl’s Generation’s Taeyeon and Hyoyeon, and Aespa’s Karina and Winter. SM already stated that we can expect other sub-units under the Girls on Top, to be created from other artists with specific genres and themes.
Thao My editor(Vietnam)
Street Woman Fighter premiered on MNET this Summer, and its impact on the often-underappreciated South Korean dancing industry has been exponential. Through this program, eight female dance teams from across South Korea competed for the title of ‘Best Dance Team’. Even if there was only one eventual winning team, every dancer has benefited from the explosive success of Street Woman Fighter.Backup dancers have not always necessarily been unknown, but they have never been widely recognizable to the public. When EXO’s Kai had his solo debut last year, all eyes were instead on a girl behind him. Sporting sleek black hair and a charismatically cold gaze, an unknown backup dancer radiated beauty and viewers picked up on it. Garnering millions of views on edited “fancams”, the public came to the same conclusion. “The girl in the glasses is the best!”. But despite this wide public adoration, few would recognize her name, Noze.
Dani Soto(Mexico)&Thao My(Vietnam) editor
The K-POP industry, as many people know or imagine, is very competitive and very wearisome. Idols train to be flawless artists and they are expected to be role models for society, which is to some extent a lot for them without taking into account that they are humans as well and they can make mistakes. Also, to be able to be in the industry you have to have a strong mentality and mindset to be able to not give up halfway through it. As years go by, the trainees chosen to debut are increasingly young. This is nothing new, we have seen before some examples are Taemin (Shinee) who debuted in 2009 at 14 years old; BoA, who debuted at 14 years old in 2000; and Jisung (NCT) who debuted in 2016 at the age of 14.
Idols who debuted at 14 were usually the youngest of the group, but now the future idols that are 14 are usually or get to be in the middle age members. With the auditions going back to normal after 2 years of pandemic, companies and TV shows auditions are looking for trainees in between 2002 to 2009, we are talking about 19 to 12 years old. Some of the groups that have debuted in the last 2 years that have members that don’t pass the 17 years old are BAE17, Afterschool, Enhypen, Iz*One, Treasure, Rocket Punch, P1Harmony, and many more.
Thao My editor（vietnam）
Facilitated by open center auditions, email castings, and global searches for “The NextK-Pop Idol”,the facade that becoming an idol is realistic and tangible for most people poses serious implications. It breeds a certain level of envy for a few people. This envy is not necessarily malicious, but it can be.Let’s take for example the recent 2021 Belift Audition. To search for the next possible trainee to feature in their hit survival show program, I-LAND, the subsidiary of HYBE Labels posted an open casting call available to girls across the globe from ‘99-09. This was a real, tangible opportunity for these hopefuls across the world to grasp the same success as members they saw on the screens. The same members who also auditioned and through their merit and talent got in. The successful few stand on a pedestal, shining a beacon of light onto those who want to become trainees themselves. Hearts elated and waited for the post made by the audition casting agents that those who made it to the second round successfully have been contacted. But it does not take more than a simple glance into online community discussions as the days go by and more and more applicants have to face rejection.
They turn hope into anger. How could they be fairly assessed for their talent like those before them if there is not even a view on their video? Just like a business resume where companies will just skim the front page of an applicant, K-Pop casting can consist of just a simple glance at their face. They begin to be angry when they realize many companies are not as fair and organized as they think. Many come to resent idols they deem as less talented than them or direct their anger to those who did pass the audition.
Sabrina Gradolf editor（Switzerland）
It’s 1992 and three young men in a boy band are performing in a live television talent contest. The sound is new: Korean lyrics, Euro pop, African American hip-hop and rap. They dance in sync.The studio audience goes wild.The judges in their prim suits are less impressed. They reveal their scorecards.The band gets the lowest mark of the night and is voted off the show. The judges couldn't have got it more wrong. In the next few days, the song “I Know” climbs to the top of the charts and stays there for a record-smashing 17 weeks. That night the group, Seo Taiji and Boys,ignites a revolution. Korean pop or K-pop was born.K-pop is now a multi-billion-dollar industry.Bands like BTS and Blackpink are selling out in the US, UK and international stadiums within minutes. BTS is second only to Drake in international music sales. How did K-pop conquer the world? It’s a story with several parts.
Sao Taiji and Boys blew everyone away with that one performance on the TV talent show, broadcast live into millions of South Korean homes. The band opened the door to generations of younger Korean artists who were inspired to create music using influences from other parts of the world. In the late 1990s, major artists like Clone also made it in China and Taiwan. The prize at that time was the Japanese music market. The so-called "Queen of K-pop" BoA topped the charts in Japan many times over. She helped open the eyes, ears and ambitions for a lot of people in the music industry. From 2008 K-pop's reach extended well beyond an Asian fan base. Unlike in China and Japan, where they use home grown social media, Korean companies embraced international ones – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – and K-pop began to become available on international music platforms.
Sabrina Gradolf editor（Switzerland）
If one were to open a Korean magazine, the likelihood seeing a curvy, yet underweight, electronically modified model is highly probable. Not surprising as the booming force that drives the entertainment industry in Korea, known as K-pop, is personified by thin women who undergo plastic surgery to attain a less characteristically Asian, and more American looking body and face. Korean women frequently identify American models that flaunt thin yet curvy, hourglass figures as their ideal appearance rarity in naturally occurring female bodies.
Most studies in print that investigate the media’s impact on body image explore thinness of, more often than not, women in media and how lauded thinness influences the targeted audience. While thinness is idealized in Korea, this particular culture stresses the importance of maintaining an ideal, collective appearance.The number of women that desire to achieve Korea’s body ideal reached new summits over the course of the past decade. When members of a given culture fall short of an idea, it promotes proliferous body image dissatisfaction. Body image dissatisfaction drives the desire in Korean women to change their bodies.
Among several identified compensatory behaviors, plastic surgery in Korea is becoming increasingly popularity due to the desire to achieve a nun natural occurring ideal, as opposed to solely the thin. In almost all cultures, the expectation for women is to be beautiful. However, the specifics of each culture’s ideal body are shaped as they develop their own unique set of qualities, they deem admirable. Korean culture has its own set of societal “rules” that define beauty, its own definition of physical attractiveness, and its own set of body ideals, which shape its collective body image. Prior to discussing how Korean pop culture influences ideals, the definition of Korea’s ideals is necessary. An ideal body in Korea, as in many other cultures, is multi-faceted. It engages the amount of body fat, shape, and the prominence of different facial features.