• June 8, 2017
In-action shot of CRAVE dancing to Black Pink’s 'Whistle'. Photo: YouTube
An amateur group of Auckland performers is dancing up a cultural storm in the central city’s landmark venues.
CRAVE is one of Auckland’s newest K-pop dance groups which is swiftly racking up the views online.
K-pop – short for “Korean pop music” – is an international phenomenon on the rise in New Zealand.
The all-girl Korean pop group comprises four members, known as Cindy, Rachel, Vee and Vivian, who all come from different dancing backgrounds. The quartet film videos of themselves grooving to popular K-pop songs at various locations, including the Auckland Art Gallery, the pink ‘Lightpath’ and Ladies Bay.
Some songs feature their own choreography, with the videos then uploaded to YouTube, attracting thousands of views.
Member Rachel Matela, a recently graduated university student, attributes the success of the group to team-work, dance experience and like-mindedness.
“It's a lot of fun for us and we all get on really well, we are all definitely really in-sync and it just works. I think that really shows in our movement.”
CRAVE came together at the end of last year, after the quartet disbanded from their previous dance group, ACE.
That dance crew, based in Auckland, took out first place in the in the 2016 New Zealand KNZCA & HTV Kpop Contest.
When ACE held auditions for new dance members in late 2016 more than 30 people turned showed up.
“So the four of us had been dancing as a sub-unit in ACE and since we really enjoyed dancing with each other we thought it was the right move for us to start our own dance group where we could fully explore our passions.”
We all love K-pop and as most of K-pop dancing is self-taught from YouTube we went ahead and did it. We are also looking at exploring different avenues of dance in the future,” said Ms Matela.
CRAVE is set to start entering dance competitions later this year.
K-pop’s popularity is growing fast, particularly in Auckland with numerous K-pop Facebook groups who regularly meet up.
Jiwoo Lee, a University of Auckland student originally from Korea said the popularity of K-pop lay in the aesthetics and uniformity.
“I guess K-pop is popular because it's a bunch of really good looking, happy boy and girl groups – never together – who dance to catchy music and wear fun clothes. It’s just fun and light, and sometimes Western music doesn't really indulge like that.”