Flashback Dance Group (FDG) opened its first U.S. tour, titled Flashback Forever, on September 30 at Miller Theatre in New York City and performances will continue until October 7th. The opening night of FDG’s new tour was attended by 100 people, including CEO Lee Myung-oh of YBM Entertainment Company and the dance instructor for FDG, Park Young-chul. The company has devoted itself to renewing Korean pop culture through dance performances since 2008 when it auditioned 24 amateur dancers through an open call process and formed a group called Flashback Crew that consisted only of young men. Since then, five additional members have joined the group, and one member left for personal reasons last year.
This year’s performance, Flashback Forever, is different from the previous three in that it presents some of the most popular songs of K-pop girl groups. According to Han Hyun-min, co-director for FDG and one of eight members, there were many opinions on whether to include these classic dance numbers in this tour. Not everyone agreed at first because they felt that including these choreographed performances would detract from their innovative style. However, the company eventually decided to present a hybridized form of both old and new dances consisting of classic choreography with modern elements to appeal to an international audience.
Park Young-chul stated that he was impressed by YBM Entertainment Company’s vision and added “the fact that they want to take it worldwide is the best thing. It’s like a dream come true.”
The dancers were initially trained in a formal dance program at Hanyang University for three years and have been practicing together for another seven years since their debut. Park, along with his wife Han Da-un, who both serve as co-directors for FDG, is constantly working on choreography that caters to the group’s identity and mission of promoting Korean pop culture through dance. Their goal is also to bring back those late 90’s performance dances that involve double-decker moves.
FDG has performed this tour around six times in Korea and once last month in Germany during Interbau Frankfurt 2014. They will continue to perform the tour in New York until October 7 and then will head to Leeds Beckett University, England as a part of the Leeds International Festival on October 17-20.
Director Han explained that their plans for the future include creating a choreography DVD which they are currently in the process of editing, as well as an all-female dance crew called Flashback Girls. Many teachers have told them that girls tend to be more motivated when learning from another girl rather than a man.
“We don’t want our members to become dancers,” said Park. “We just want them to be able to dance with pride like everyone else.”