K-pop Unleashed

GVL / Courtesy - Nate Foster
GVSUs KPop Group Evolution performs during the 2016 Global Gala on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016.

Nate Foster

GVL / Courtesy – Nate Foster GVSU’s KPop Group Evolution performs during the 2016 Global Gala on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016.

Eva Perron

The world holds an endless variety of unique passions, and K-pop, a term defining Korean pop culture, happens to be one. The K-pop Group Evolution club at Grand Valley State University will present its annual K-pop Unleashed event, an upbeat showcase of Korean pop culture, Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center Grand River Room.

K-pop Group Evolution is a dance team, as well as a cultural group, that seeks to bring popularity to Korean culture through K-pop dance.

Not many people are aware of this pastime. Ashley Salik, president of K-pop Group Evolution, said K-pop Unleashed is an opportunity to “witness a whole new side of the music industry.” With performances by the K-pop organization itself, as well as the Capoeira Mandinga Brazilian dance group, there will be a combination of subculture and art at the event.

“It’s a great, fun way to incorporate another culture within a university setting,” said Taylor Scherman, a member of K-pop Group Evolution. “There is more than just our (American) culture. There are other cultures representative of our campus.”

While performing dance covers of popular Korean music, this student organization embraces postmodern subculture and aspires to bring forth foreign music industry within Western society.

“There’s a stereotype that K-pop is really weird,” Scherman said, referencing the unfamiliarity surrounding the topic. “(But) people should understand that there is music outside of our country. There is more to be offered.”

To further enhance the cultural side of K-pop, presentations by Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., the Taekwondo Club, Korean Connection and study abroad will take place throughout the evening.

“With Korean Connection and study abroad there, we hope to have people get involved in helping Korean students in America,” Salik said. “This way, they could possibly get acquainted and better understand a new culture.”

The members of the K-pop Group Evolution hope everyone who attends the event leaves with an improved understanding of Korean culture and the K-pop industry.

“It’s a great way to experience this culture firsthand,” Sherman said. “It’s not just Psy’s Gangnam Style. There’s more to the K-pop industry. We hope to inspire others with Korean culture and show how it influences other music industries in this world. There are even some ethical issues with K-pop, and hopefully they can look at it with a critical eye.”

K-pop Unleashed only occurs once a year, but K-pop Group Evolution can be found performing at various events, including the Global Gala and Sexy Accent Night.

For more information about K-pop Unleashed, visit www.gvsu.edu/events/kpop-unleashed-lib-100-approved-1/.