An Introduction to Dancicals

It seems that musicals have a younger and more contemporary counterpart, dancicals.

So what are dancicals? Well, according to Dictionary.com, dancicals are a type of dance show in which choreographed performers dance to pop/ contemporary songs with complex dance moves. Although the setup for dancicals are similar with singing and music, but that’s where to similarities end. Dancicals are more vibrant than musicals when it comes to dancing and music (e.g. musical music vs. pop/contemporary music).

In addition to the usual singing, there is the occasional beatboxing and nicely choreographed breakdancing or a combination of dance types, with a little humor and lots of interaction with the audience In musicals, the singing and musical performance are interwoven into the plot, with smooth transitions throughout the storyline between talking and singing. Below are some examples of Korean dancials that are not only entertaining but are able to cross the cultural and language barrier.

1. Sachoom or Love Dance

Sachoom or Love Dance, is an abbreviation of “Dance When You are in Love” in Korean. It is presented in an unusual non-verbal format about the story of three friends, Jun, Sun and Bin, depicting their lives and their interactions from the time they are babies all the way to their twenties. This dancical takes your through their life experiences through various genres of dance froms hip-hop, jazz, techno, break dance, pop dance, modern ballet, all the way to contemporary dance. With the entire story solely expressed through vibrant and powerful dance movements, it is an interesting experience indeed.

2. Ballerina Who loves B-Boy

Ballerina Who loves B-Boy tells of a love story between a b-boy and a ballerina. The ballerina ends up falling in love with the b-boy and “changes” (mostly her dance style) for him. The dancical begins with a ballerina whose classical training is frequently interrupted by heavy noise generated from a nearby hip-hop square. This leads to a showdown of the two dancing genres, as both ballet and street dancers try to outdo one another. In the process, the ballerina falls for the lead B-boy, and gradually grows into his world, becoming a hip-hop dancer herself in the final scene. The show features a fusion of high-energy dance, break-dancing, ballet, and hip-hop.

3. Bibap Beatbox Action Comedy

Bibap Beatbox Action Comedy is a a 90-minute production which revolves around two rival chefs’ and their quest to make the world’s best bibimbap (a type of Korean rice dish). The production begins in a kitchen setting and contests are held to determine whether the red or green chef is selected to cook a dish at each stage. After each the dish is “cooked”, audience members (usually one or two) are selected to “try” the dishes; so real food is involved here. What makes this dancical stand out from the rest is the engaging interaction with the audience the outstanding sequences. The beatbox duo, Lee Dong Jae and Song Won Jun, provided awesome percussive beats, and also mimicked the sounds of chopping up and mixing up the ingredients that go into bibimbap and the other sequences.

4. FLYING

FLYING, is the first Korean non-verbal sports comedy presented incorporating b-boying, gymnastics, cheer leading, and martial arts. It is an 80 minute performance that spans from the past to the present.

The story of FLYING starts off in the past during the Silla Dynasty where a goblin appears during a Hwarang martial art competition causing mayhem. Soon it becomes a battle between the golblin and students as they students try to subdue the goblin. Love blossoms along the way with funny antics and really good gymnastics, cheerleading, martial arts and b-boying. The 4 different elements were successfully blended into the show seamlessly, creating entertaining visuals.

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