The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] Street dance meets classical music

Lip J from ‘Street Woman Fighter’ to perform waacking to violin and orchestra

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Dec. 14, 2022 - 17:52

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Waacking dancer Lip J (left) and violinist Cho Jin-joo (Lotte Concert Hall) Waacking dancer Lip J (left) and violinist Cho Jin-joo (Lotte Concert Hall)

Dancer and choreographer Lip J, who rose to stardom in Mnet’s dance survival show “Street Woman Fighter” last year will perform a special collaboration with an orchestra.

Lip J will show off a waacking dance performance of Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen” by violinist Cho Jin-joo and Hankyung arte Philharmonic at a year-end concert held at the Lotte Concert Hall in Songpa-gu, southern Seoul, on Dec. 31.

“It will be a performance where the beauty of music is expressed through dance,” said Lip J in a written interview with the local press.

Conductor Choi Soo-yeoul who will take the baton for the New Year’s Eve concert said he was a big fan of the “Street Woman Fighter” and hoped for a collaboration with the powerful dancer.

Waacking dancer Lip J (Lip J's Instagram) Waacking dancer Lip J (Lip J's Instagram)

This is not the first time that Lip J has danced to “Zigeunerweisen.” The dancer performed to this classical piece during a waacking event held in Russia in 2017. The video of her performance went viral with more than 2.3 million views on YouTube as of Tuesday.

Lip J said it was a big challenge to select classical music for a street dance performance, but she went ahead with her decision because of her mother who loves classical music.

“I was conflicted until the very last minute if I should play safe and choose disco music,” she recalled. “But my mother is a big fan of violinist Sarah Chang. The day of the performance was my mother’s birthday, so I wanted something that she could relate to.”

The dancer said the “passionate and alluring” melody of Zigeunerweisen suits well with waacking.

“The intensity I felt when I first heard this song seems similar to the dramatic sensation I felt when I first encountered waacking,” she said.

“Waacking mainly uses arm and hand movements. And they will visibly show the dramatic melody of the music. … I feel like waacking resembles the sound of a string instrument.”

Waacking dancer Lip J (Lip J's Instagram) Waacking dancer Lip J (Lip J's Instagram)

Unlike in 2017, Lip J will dance to live music with violinist Cho and other musicians at a classical music venue.

“I have danced at many different places but it’s actually the first time that I’m on a stage with classical musicians and at a classical music hall,” she said.

“All movements of the piece will be performed. Some will be choreographed; some will be freestyle. Auditory and visual sync with the violinist should also be considered. So I have a lot on my mind but I’m really looking forward to the rehearsal because every moment is so unpredictable.”

DJ Haihm will open the performance with house electronic music while tap dancer Oh Min-su will perform to George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm.”

Lip J hopes this concert will expand the creative artistic practice in dance and show the beauty of dance.

“I feel like classical music and pop culture are not too far apart. After all, good music and dance enchant the eyes and ears.”

The dancer said she is always open to new collaborations in different fields.

“I want to try if it sounds cool and fun. I believe the more new things come up, the more art as a whole will evolve. … The audience has changed as well. They welcome the dance itself. So I want to keep trying new things.”