O School auditions dancers for a once-in-a-lifestime gig alongside 2012’s biggest music phenom Psy this Saturday.
By Yong Yung Shin
Whether or not you are a fan, sharing a stage with the sizzling hot K-pop phenomenon known as Psy of “Gangnam Style” fame is an opportunity of a lifetime.
Little wonder, then, that almost 150 participants turned up at performing arts center O School yesterday, in hope of being shortlisted as one of the back-up dancers alongside the “Gangnam Style” star in a free public concert this Saturday evening at Marina Bay Sands’ Event Plaza.
As of Tuesday, all 4,000 free tickets had been snapped up. As the designated charity of organizer Marina Bay Sands, O School was roped in to participate in the concert, setting off a flurry of auditions, preparations and rehearsal for the big show.
“We’re very honored to be working with MBS for this,” says O School producer Carol Chen. “They have been very encouraging toward our cause, so we also want to share the opportunity to be involved in the concert with everyone.”
“Most of them already know the moves, so we are looking more for precision, confidence and dance posture,” explains Ryan Tan, Creative Director of O School. A second round of auditions evaluated the dancers’ freestyle moves, their musicality and their comfort level with their body.
“What’s interesting about Gangnam Style is that it attracts everyone from young to old. It seems like a gimmick but you can tell from the video that Psy is very serious about being funny. That sort of professionalism in going all out to entertain, is really inspiring for us as dancers,” adds Tan.
While the majority of those who auditioned were youth ranging from dance students to instructors, the youngest participant was only 7, and the oldest a middle-aged gentleman, whose turn was preceded by raucous cheers of “Go, Uncle!” from the younger dancers. Having fun was the order of the day, in tandem with Psy’s own words, “Dress classy, dance cheesy.”
By the end of the day, 26 finalists were shortlisted for the show this Saturday. One of them, Angie Chua, 23, a professional dancer, managed to squeal, “Very excited!” when asked about her feelings for the Saturday show. “It’ll be really good exposure for me,” she added later on. There was also a trio of T-ARA-loving Korean girls aged 9 and 10, who were all smiles after the auditions despite not being shortlisted.
The 26 will be joining 10 other dancers handpicked from O School itself.
Earlier this month, Psy performed alongside American rapper MC Hammer at the 2012 American Music Awards. “Gangnam Style” also recently dethroned Justin Bieber’s “Baby” as the most-watched music video of all time, with 803,761,000 views since it was posted on July 15, 2012.