Summer Arts pick: K-pop gets the star treatment at Fresno State

An exciting performance at Fresno State on Friday, July 14, highlights a type of dance you’re sure to have been hearing about lately: K-pop.

Pictured above: The K-pop group Lalary performs July 14 at Fresno State. Photo: Instagram

Jiselle Cardenas, managing editor of the Fresno State Collegian, popped over to campus — get it? — for a nice report on the K-pop dance workshop offered as part of this year’s CSU Summer Arts festival. The course is coordinated by Chuyun Oh, who tells The Collegian this is the first K-pop dance practice class ever offered in a university in the United States.

There will be two chances for the public to experience K-pop. The first is Friday’s 7 p.m. performance at the John Wright Theatre. It will feature the Los Angeles-based group Lalary, described as a K-pop co-ed project group established in 2019 created by dancers who wanted to explore into the creative space by releasing original music.

The group has released a Korean track titled “Lalary” and a Spanish/Korean fusion titled “Fireball.” Tickets are $10 general, $5 seniors and free for students.

The second public performance is 4 p.m. July 21 at the John Wright Theatre. This free student showcase will highlight moves that students learned during Summer Arts.


Cardenas writes in the Collegian:

K-pop is short for Korean popular music that originated in South Korea as part of South Korean culture. The music is often paired with sharp, elaborate choreography specifically made for each song and K-pop idol, Oh said.

“K-pop has been beloved by ethnic, racial, gender and even sexual minorities across the world. It is a social dance, like hip-hop, that advocates many different types of social groups and identities, including young people,” she added.

Oh is a powerhouse in the world of K-pop. She is described on the Summer Arts website as a Fulbright scholar, former professional modern/ballet dancer, and a pioneer of K-pop dance studies. Her award-winning scholarship has appeared on global media coverage, top-tier journals, and numerous anthologies and international academic conferences. She is the author of K-pop Dance: Fandoming Yourself on Social Media (Routledge, 2023).

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

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