On the evening of March 12, the Brandeis Korean Students Association hosted their biggest cultural event of the year. Dubbed K-Nite 2016: “Heart and Seoul,” the event aims to showcase South Korean culture at its finest with a varied assortment of traditional and modern performances. The main focus of this cultural display was Seoul, the capital of South Korea. As a city with a rich and tumultuous history, Seoul bears an abundance of traditions that the BKSA strove to portray in their event.
According to Master of Ceremonies Dennis Kim ’19, “K-Nite was not only to share the Korean culture with the audience, but it was also a great way of underlining that there are various students in Brandeis who have exceptional talent in various criterias.” After months of tireless preparation, the Brandeis Korean Students Association was proud to present this night to their eager audience.
For the opening act, a humorous video introduction of the current Executive Board was made before the projection screen rose to reveal a guest performer from Berklee College of Music, Joon Daniel Lee. With his own guitar skills and BKSA President Peter Yoon ‘16 as supporting guitarist, Joon soloed two songs and wowed the audience with his singing voice. This astounding first act was followed by a rendition of two Korean contemporary songs in an a capella performance led by BKSA Vice-President, Jeongmi Seo ’18. The songs performed were “Yanghwa Bridge” by Zion T. and “Um Oh Ah Yeh” by Mamamoo. One could say that the passionate emotions put into these songs by the singers were nearly enough to rival the original artists’ versions.
The KSA certainly didn’t slack on the traditional aspects of South Korean culture either. Following the a capella performaces, a traditional Korean fan dance called Buchaechum was demonstrated to the audience. The brightly colored display was an engaging sight that embodied nature at its finest. Donned in hanbok, the traditional Korean dress, the dancers used elaborate fans to perform a refined showing of long-established Korean culture.
In addition to the Buchaechum, Act II of the event opened with a Gayageum performance by renowned artist, DoYeon Kim. Gayageum is the most well-known traditional Korean string instrument that resembles a German zither. It is played by plucking the strings to produce sounds, much as a harp would be played—except horizontal. DoYeon Kim is the first Gayageum player admitted to the New England Conservatory, where she currently studies Contemporary Improvisation. On K-Nite, the audience members were able to discover, in person, the extent of DoYeon’s skills with her chosen instrument.
One of the most exciting parts of the night was the modern K-Pop dance performances. A total of seven dances were performed, featuring coed, all female or all male ensembles. The songs that accompanied these dances were “Heart Attack” by AOA, “Ice Cream Cake” by Red Velvet, “Shake It” by Sistar and “Crazy” by 4Minute for the female dances; “Overdose” by EXO and “Mapsosa” by Hwangtaeji for the all male dances and “Bang Bang Bang” by Big Bang for the coed performance. The introduction of American pop culture to Korea led to the beginning of this popular cultural movement that revolutionized musical pop culture internationally.
The many dancers instructed by Hwajing Kang ’18 and Woo Jin Choi ’18 put on a fantastic show for the crowd that left everyone in the room in a state of excitement. To make a great ending to the night of wonderful performances, there was a band performance by Joon Daniel Lee where “Treasure” by Bruno Mars was sung for the crowd. The night that started with music and remarks also concluded in a similar manner.
In addition to great performances, BKSA catered Korean food to the people attending. The meal featured a serving-style line including options such as rice, noodles with sesame, dak-gangjeong (crispy Korean chicken nuggets), bulgogi (Korean grilled beef) and a variety of different Korean savory pancakes. The many audience members converged in a long line anticipating these delicious delicacies. Volunteers for the Korean Student Association generously served the food to the members and allowed everyone to taste a fragment of recipes from South Korea.
Spectacular performances were truly witnessed on the evening of March 12, 2016. The student body can only look forward to future events by the Brandeis Korean Student Association in the remaining time of this semester. Following K-Nite, The Brandeis Korean Students Association has one last major event for the student body this semester. The anticipated event is their Passing the Torch ceremony where they will honor their graduating seniors and reflect on the impact that their Association had on the Brandeis community over the semesters. Alongside food, please join BKSA for their event upon its announcement!