JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Talent behind recent K-pop hit moves is a 20-year-old Japanese dancer

Talent behind recent K-pop hit moves is a 20-year-old Japanese dancer

Saturday, March 26, 2022, 14:04 GMT+7
Talent behind recent K-pop hit moves is a 20-year-old Japanese dancer
Japanese dancer ReiNa dances as she teaches dance moves to students at her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters

South Korea's distinctive K-pop music genre has swept the world in recent years, its catchy tunes and flashy dance videos making international stars of its top performers.

But not every element of the global phenomenon is made in Korea.

Some of the genre's dance moves are being created in neighbouring Japan, by 20-year-old dancer and choreographer Reina Kaneko.

The talent behind recent K-pop viral dance videos, Kaneko has choreographed for top groups GOT the Beat and NCT 127, the winner of the grand prize at the Seoul Music Awards in January.

Japanese dancer ReiNa take photos with her students after her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters
Japanese dancer ReiNa take photos with her students after her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Kaneko, known online as ReiNa, began dance lessons at five years old, created her first original choreography for a competition a few years later and by middle school was teaching hip hop dance workshops.

Her 176,000 followers on Instagram, where she posts dance videos, now include global superstars like Rihanna.

Kaneko said she was shocked when two years ago she opened her email to find job offers from entertainment agencies to choreograph for the K-pop groups.

Japanese dancer ReiNa dances as she teaches dance moves to students at her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters
Japanese dancer ReiNa dances as she teaches dance moves to students at her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters

"They (Korean boy bands) were so big and it (choreographing for them) was well over the pressure I could take," Kaneko told Reuters.

"But I tried to put everything I've got (into the choreography). Also if I was going to choreograph for an artist, I wanted to produce a choreography where they would outshine others."

Japanese dancer ReiNa teaches dance moves to students at her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters
Japanese dancer ReiNa teaches dance moves to students at her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters

SM Entertainment confirmed they had hired Kaneko to choreograph for NCT 127's "Favorite(Vampire), NCT U's "Universe(Let's play ball) and "Make a wish", and GOT the Beat's "Step back". The agency declined an interview request.

The coronavirus pandemic made the task a little trickier by ruling out travel, forcing Kaneko to record a series of videos, including one of her explaining the choreography while dancing very slowly and another of her performing in formation with others.

Japanese dancer ReiNa teaches dance moves to students at her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters
Japanese dancer ReiNa teaches dance moves to students at her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters

"She's working internationally and choreographing for big stars at a young age," said 22-year-old dance student, Shoya Yamada, who was attending a hip hop class in a Tokyo studio. "I'm so proud and happy for her because she's my teacher."

As well as teaching in Tokyo, Kaneko holds online classes for dancers abroad and choreographs stage performances for Japanese artists.

For dancing inspiration, she likes to go shopping in the Tokyo fashion district of Harajuku, and says that while her resume hits new heights, she will always be the girl-next-door who genuinely just loves to dance.

"My goal at the moment is to show the world how amazing dance truly is," she said.

South Korea's distinctive K-pop music genre has swept the world in recent years, its catchy tunes and flashy dance videos making international stars of its top performers.

But not every element of the global phenomenon is made in Korea.

Some of the genre's dance moves are being created in neighbouring Japan, by 20-year-old dancer and choreographer Reina Kaneko.

The talent behind recent K-pop viral dance videos, Kaneko has choreographed for top groups GOT the Beat and NCT 127, the winner of the grand prize at the Seoul Music Awards in January.

Japanese dancer ReiNa take photos with her students after her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters
Japanese dancer ReiNa take photos with her students after her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Kaneko, known online as ReiNa, began dance lessons at five years old, created her first original choreography for a competition a few years later and by middle school was teaching hip hop dance workshops.

Her 176,000 followers on Instagram, where she posts dance videos, now include global superstars like Rihanna.

Kaneko said she was shocked when two years ago she opened her email to find job offers from entertainment agencies to choreograph for the K-pop groups.

Japanese dancer ReiNa dances as she teaches dance moves to students at her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters
Japanese dancer ReiNa dances as she teaches dance moves to students at her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters

"They (Korean boy bands) were so big and it (choreographing for them) was well over the pressure I could take," Kaneko told Reuters.

"But I tried to put everything I've got (into the choreography). Also if I was going to choreograph for an artist, I wanted to produce a choreography where they would outshine others."

Japanese dancer ReiNa teaches dance moves to students at her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters
Japanese dancer ReiNa teaches dance moves to students at her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters

SM Entertainment confirmed they had hired Kaneko to choreograph for NCT 127's "Favorite(Vampire), NCT U's "Universe(Let's play ball) and "Make a wish", and GOT the Beat's "Step back". The agency declined an interview request.

The coronavirus pandemic made the task a little trickier by ruling out travel, forcing Kaneko to record a series of videos, including one of her explaining the choreography while dancing very slowly and another of her performing in formation with others.

Japanese dancer ReiNa teaches dance moves to students at her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters
Japanese dancer ReiNa teaches dance moves to students at her dance class in Tokyo, Japan February 26, 2022. Photo: Reuters

"She's working internationally and choreographing for big stars at a young age," said 22-year-old dance student, Shoya Yamada, who was attending a hip hop class in a Tokyo studio. "I'm so proud and happy for her because she's my teacher."

As well as teaching in Tokyo, Kaneko holds online classes for dancers abroad and choreographs stage performances for Japanese artists.

For dancing inspiration, she likes to go shopping in the Tokyo fashion district of Harajuku, and says that while her resume hits new heights, she will always be the girl-next-door who genuinely just loves to dance.

"My goal at the moment is to show the world how amazing dance truly is," she said.

Reuters

More

Read more

ChatGPT sets record for fastest-growing user base: analyst note

ChatGPT, the popular chatbot from OpenAI, is estimated to have reached 100 million monthly active users in January, just two months after launch, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history, according to a UBS study on Wednesday

17 hours ago

Missing radioactive capsule found in Western Australia

Australian authorities on Wednesday found a radioactive capsule that was lost in the vast Outback after nearly a week-long search along a 1,400 km (870-mile) stretch of highway, an emergency services official said

1 day ago
;

Photos

VIDEOS

‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Latest news