Belly dancers, rock acts shake things up

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Apr 16, 2013 - 20:03
  • Updated : Apr 16, 2013 - 20:03

Eshe, a belly dancing veteran of the Seoul expat scene, will team up with acclaimed Korean bands for an unusual fusion performance in aid of cystic fibrosis.

Her Navah troupe will perform alongside Smacksoft, Jambinai and Juck Juck Grunzie for the event dubbed the Shake Shop. The former two bands won recognition at this year’s Korean Music Awards ― Smacksoft was nominated for best modern rock album and Jambinai won best crossover album ― and Juck Juck Grunzie came second in EBS’ Hello Rookie contest in December.

The concert is in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a cause that has recently become close to Eshe’s heart.

“My nephew was born and diagnosed last year with cystic fibrosis, so I feel a very personal connection to this charity,” she said. “This show is a demonstration of solidarity and love for those affected by cystic fibrosis.”

There have been two Shake Shops before, but this is the first that will be a fund-raising effort. 
Eshe. (Stephanie Bell)

Eshe said the idea for the Shake Shop series came from a show in November, where she invited indie acts in Seoul ― Apollo 18, Ninano Nanda and Romantiqua ― to play live while she and Navah belly danced to the fantastic music they turned out.

“The night was an amazing experience so I decided to create a monthly concert series called the Shake Shop that mixes some of the city’s most exciting local bands with belly dancing,” she said.

The monthly series began in February, with performances from Romantiqua, Momguamaum, Hellivision and Toyshop, to good effect, according to Eshe.

“I think whenever art forms are mixed, it always makes for an exciting experience for the artists and audiences alike,” she said.

Eshe has worked with some of the bands before, appearing in an Apollo 18 video and performing at Smacksoft’s Christmas concert.

The combination of rock and belly dancing is unusual, but Eshe says she enjoys pushing the envelope and that her favorite shows are live collaborations.

“The culmination of being in the moment, having the music being orchestrated fresh alongside the unique energy that each audience member brings is overwhelmingly inspiring and delicious,” she said. “Creating the show from scratch every month takes a lot of love and energy but it’s so worth it.”

The Shake Shop starts 11 p.m. at Freebird in Hongdae on Friday. Tickets are 10,000 won and all proceeds will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides National Walk Event that will take place in Canada in late May.

By Paul Kerry (