This past weekend, the World Youth Rock & DJ Festival was held at the ACC. There was tons of food, an energetic crowd, and plenty of amazing performances. The acts hailed from all over Korea to bring together a mix of rock bands, DJs, K-POP, live painting, and dancing.
Although the main stage featured most of the action, there was a nice pocket of live entertainment and various tents at the area run by Butlers Korea. The company is known for being highly active in the community to help with traveling, moving, tickets, translation, and trouble-shooting of all kinds. Recently they’ve begun to focus on live entertainment and festivals in addition to their services. The head of the company, Daniel Choi, could be seen actively running the events on his side, while still socializing and dancing to the performances.
At one point, there was a brief threat of heavy rain, but Choi had a smile on his face as he and his colleagues quickly covered the speakers with plastic, proudly exclaiming, “I love my job!” Their efforts held up, and helped one of the top acts of Saturday to keep going. The Armada Dance Crew put on a high-energy show that turned heads and got the crowd moving. They were dancing to remixes of hip-hop, pop, soul, and EDM songs, but the progression of their dancing sequenced a story to perfectly enhance each song. Sometimes they would dance as a complete group, but other times they would revolve to do a solo or couple routine.
The four member group is headed by Joshua Wright, who explained the story behind how this group got started. “I formed Armada, out of the pure need and want to dance with like minded creators.” Wright is well known in creative circles around Gwangju, and always as a friendly face bar-tending at Loft 28. “I’ve been preforming (acting/dancing ) for 12+ years, and instructing seriously for about 5 years,” he explains, going on to the creative process of Armada, “Each piece, when choreographed, is tailored to the feeling or message we want to convey, or in the most playful of ways. A crew just really vibes with a song, and through that raw inspiration, myself and often along side Miriam, our co-choreographer, helps that creation process along.” Without a stage, or any sort of barrier between them and the audience, the Armada Dance Crew’s performance unleashed an unadulterated kinetic energy into the crowd. While it was my first time seeing the group, I am hoping that there will be more opportunities for them to perform locally and around Korea. “The World Youth Festival was wonderful. Being able to share and see others share their cultures and talents was beautiful, and I need it to happen more, haha.”