South Korea is fast becoming synonymous with dance and many choreographers are establishing themselves as big names all over the world. We managed to catch up with Bongyoung Park, an inspirational dancer, choreographer, artiste and aspiring videographer. He was able to answer some of our questions and also tell us more about The Housecon, a company involved in tours and events, creative content production and connecting artistes together. Read on for our interview!
Would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi I am Bongyoung Park from Korea. I’m an artiste and I am doing a lot as a choreographer.
Could you tell us a bit more about how you got into dance?
I first started dancing when I was 19 years old but not as a professional. I was a stage actor at that time, so I learned for the musical; basic jazz, basic tap dance, basic pop…things like this. After that, when I was 21, 22, I thought that it really resonated with me – this art, this job, so I trained a lot to be professional. I took a lot of classes and travelled for dance training. It was fun and actually I really wanted to make something creative for myself. Life as an actor was really hard because there were other people, such as the writer and director. We could create something together but I wanted to make something that was more my style, my art.
On YouTube, I watched many dancers from the USA and other foreign dancers. They were able to make something emotional within a small video. It was cool. I thought that I wanted to join that culture and make it in Korea. The reason why I started dancing more seriously is because I wanted to be creative within myself more easily. Even if my friends aren’t crazy about that.
What is the most difficult choreography that you have learned?
It was ‘Cookie’ by R Kelly. That song was too strong and had too much high energy so maybe in a class, people feel really tired and down. Everytime I say ‘fighting!’ and ‘you can do it!’
Which artists would you like to collaborate with?
Actually I really wanna do a collaboration with Big Bang. That group is my favourite in Korea. When they were young, I was young too. Now they’ve grown up as artistes. I’ve watched them from the beginning to where they are now. They gave me a lot of inspiration so some day I would like to make a collaboration with them.
What style of dance would you like to try that you haven’t learned yet?
I’ve learned a lot of styles already, ballet, jazz, tap dance, I’ve learned a lot. So now I want to learn from young dancers, the new generation. I’ve gotten lots of inspiration from them and so want to join a young dancer’s class. I mean internationally. I know that Korea has a lot of young dancers, but a lot of Korean dancers tend to leave it late, compared to other countries. I’ve watched some European young dancers and they are really crazy. Sometimes I think ‘ah if I can dance like them’. They are like teenagers! They give me so much inspiration.
Any funny or weird moments from your workshops or travel that stood out to you?
There has been some culture shock. During my tour, I was in a hotel. I think it was China, some asian country 2-3 years ago. It was night. My room was next to the staff room. Two naked girls opened the door to the staff room at 3am. They thought it was my room. If they had gone into my room, it would certainly be a culture shock! The staff were shocked and called the reception! They were scared. At dinner time it was so funny. They were saying ‘who are they? How could they know about the room?’ They must have followed me at reception, or found my information…I don’t know. It was scary but it was more funny!
What is The Housecon?
I thought about making some company for dancers. Like a dancer’s agency. Doing some creative production. I made The Housecon company 1-2 years ago. It started from a small idea of making small video productions for some dancers, some character dancers. I am working in The Housecon, and The Housecon is working for the dancers.
Dancers as artistes need to create something on stage or something on video, and need to develop and need to show some emotion to make the audience love our creations. This is an artiste’s job, right?
I didn’t want my focus to only be on teaching, I wanted to change something about this. So The Housecon will try making some special product or something special creatively. We made The Housecon experience. After all classes, we bring all the dancers together and make crazy videos altogether. We will give one more experience like that. We’ve tried it in China and Japan, and we will try The Housecon experience all over the world, with all dancers together. After that, we will pick some great energetic dancers.
Why Housecon? Housecon stands for ‘house concert’. I thought ‘welcome to my house’. Even it is a small room or big room, I will be like ‘welcome to my house!’ It will be like a concert definitely, a mixed stage.
Is there something else you would like to be known for aside from dance?
I try to understand other arts too. It’s why I love to go to museums, why I love to watch movies and listen to music. Especially nowadays I am trying to learn from videography and music. I think these two things offer very good chances for dancing nowadays. Every creative dancing commercial now is from YouTube and some platforms on mobile so we want to make that perfect, I wanna make that perfect. So I started music and videography for our creative.
Nowadays I am trying to focus more on my tour. In Korea, I have only 5 or 10 days in a month (free), so I cannot do a lot of vlogging. I don’t even have my computer, since it is in the hands of a videographer!
What inspires you and what do you want to focus on this year?
First, I want to get more training this year. During the last 3 years, I couldn’t do much training, all my time was taken up with teaching. But this year, I will invest more time into the training of my body and my creative ideas. I also want to get more ideas from other arts, like modern art and music. I will also focus more on developing myself, as a dancer’s life and artist’s life.
Is there anything you’d like to share about Korea?
We have so many cafés! I really love to enjoy the cafés. You can visit and get many special desserts. It is a very small country but you can meet many different cultures, and you can enjoy music and food 24 hours a day!
I’d like to thank everyone for their interest and support of Korean culture! I appreciate that. I hope you guys will deepen your understanding of Korea, for example the history (not just desserts!), and to understand how to enjoy other cultures.
Featured image and in-article images source: © Bongyoung Park. 01.05.2018.
© Interview with Bongyoung Park. 01.05.2018. Inspire Me Korea.