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Vamping the StageFemale Voices of Asian Modernities$
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Andrew N. Weintraub and Barb Barendreght

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824869861

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824869861.001.0001

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Mainstreaming Dance Music and Articulating Femininity

Mainstreaming Dance Music and Articulating Femininity

South Korean Dance Divas in the 1980s

(p.303) Chapter 14 Mainstreaming Dance Music and Articulating Femininity
Vamping the Stage

Hee-sun Kim

University of Hawai'i Press

Korean pop music, or K-pop, has emerged and taken its dominant place since the turn of this century, but its girl groups can trace their lineage back to the 1990s, while the dance music so characteristic of K-pop began in the dance music boom of the 1980s. This chapter examines the music, image, and performance styles of female dance divas from the 1980s into the 2000s. Its purpose is threefold: first, to properly historicize the female dance singers of Korean pop music within their socio-cultural contexts and trace how the image of sexuality has evolved from those early dance divas to the K-pop girl groups of today; second, to examine the ways in which multi-dimensional cultural meanings and voices are constructed through the music, performance styles, and images, atop discourses of body, gender, and sexuality; and third, to dispute earlier assumptions about Korean female dance singers as being merely innocent victims of the globalized commercial entertainment industry and patriarchal systems. This study seeks to reveal the female dance singers as major subjectivities in shaping modern Korean popular music, a role inevitably overshadowed by the strong critical discourse on K-pop girls that emphasizes their sexuality.

Keywords:   dance music, diva, K-pop, sexuality, Korea

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