[IG] 161210 WINNERCITY: [Second day of being a prince] Second day of TEAM WINNER preparing B- cuts for ICs this weekend!✌🏻 When he was posing for the wink cuts, everyone on set were smiling like they were his parents😊 Last night, the members went running to watch their hyung’s first performance and as soon as it ended, they ran to their hyung again😘 #Jinu-hyung, Jinwoo-hyung, Hyung Weren’t the members so, so cute when they were giving 1025 thumbs ups for Jinwoo’s solo performance?☺️ #The members #wanted to show themselves #to our ICs first, before anyone else #Accept our hearts #This is the B cut?! Can’t believe it #Have strength today too, fighting, ya ya ya #The Little Prince #Korea National Contemporary Dance Company #Seoul Arts Center #20161210 #Thoughts on The Little Prince #ICs support you
161210 WINNERCITY: [Real Prince Day] Finally, the Prince of Hapjungdong will reveal his #LittlePrince self to the entire universe today!😘🙆🏻 (Scream!) To commemorate our Prince’s performance, we, TEAM WINNER, are revealing the unrevealed cuts of our Prince’s photoshoot!✨ #This is the B cut?! Can’t believe it #TEAM WINNER’s effort in getting our hands on the B cut #Thank you #I love ICs #Kim Beautiful of Hapjungdong who must be nervous😳 #Have strength, fighting, ya ya ya #The Little Prince👑 #Korea National Contemporary Dance Company #Seoul Arts Center #20161209 #Thoughts on The Little Prince #ICs support you
For the first time, Kim Jinwoo of WINNER has been given a microphone that was prepared solely for him.
Kim Jinwoo’s heart is a knot of excitement and fear, nerves and anticipation and he has started to unravel that knot one by one, carefully, and calmly.
Kim Jinwoo? When I heard the news that he was casted for the title role of “The Little Prince”, I tilted my head. There was no face that popped up in my mind immediately. The first reason was the fact that I did not think to make the connection between the Korean National Contemporary Dance Company and an idol group. After I was given the hint that he was a member of the group WINNER, I was able to think of his face. But even then, I was doubtful. That was because Kim Jinwoo was never really coupled to phrases like “dance-idol” or “dancer”. On top of that, unlike his group members who don’t hide their talents and actively display their individual charms, he is usually standing slightly to the back, smiling at them. That Kim Jinwoo is going to perform contemporary dance? I feel that even his fans who know him best would have been surprised at the unexpected news. But all these doubts subsided when this shy young man entered the studio. That was because Kim Jinwoo himself looks so much like the Little Prince, as if he came out of the storybook itself. There is no doubt that Kim Jinwoo has an uncanny resemblance to the illustrations by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. From his blonde hair, to his large, bright eyes, and even his zoned out facial expression when he is alone. Fortunately, it wasn’t only me who discovered these similarities. “My members and the people around me tell me that I suit the Little prince. It’s probably because of the hair color (laughs). I feel embarrassed but it’s true that it makes me happy. I have to do well to satisfy those expectations. I have to do well so that even when this is all over, I still have the nickname of the Little Prince.”
The courage of the first step
“The Little Prince” is bringing him many “firsts”. For example, this is his first time to promote alone. He has never stood onstage alone without his members after debuting as WINNER. “This is my first time to take part in such a quiet photoshoot so I feel awkward and lonely. Wherever I go, I’m with my members so I’m used to noisy and hectic environments. On the other hand, it takes much less time for the photoshoot to end compared to when all 5* of us (T/N: This interview and photoshoot took place before the announcement of Taehyun’s leave) have a photoshoot, so it’s nice to end the photoshoot when the sun is still up (laughs). But that’s how much I need to do well so I feel much more burden and responsibility.” His burden is not unrelated to the genre of contemporary dancing. Unlike with plays and musicals, it is difficult to find idol members who take part in the contemporary dance stage. This probably proves the vast difference between the genre of contemporary dancing and the idol industry. It seems like that gap itself is an obstacle that Kim Jinwoo must overcome. “With musicals, meaning can be delivered through various ways such as songs and spoken lines, but with dance drama, the dancer has to express everything with just the body. That was what I was worried about the most. I was also afraid about whether I’ll be able to do well.”
However, “The Little Prince” was so charming that he willingly put aside all his worries. Each facial expression and movement add to the storytelling and that is done through each dancer’s dancing and each of those individual movements interconnect with each other and illustrate a large, directed choreography. There is a magic to the recreation of the many different planets that the Little Prince visits with vibrant colors and detailed props on the stage. As Kim Jinwoo became taken by this unfamiliar site, he fell in love with the charms of contemporary dancing as he watched every National Contemporary Dance Company performance video he could get his hands on. He became deeply aware of how WINNER choreographies and the dancing of “The Little Prince” were worlds apart after he started practices. If the goal of idol choreography is to accentuate sharpness through detailed movements, the bodily movements of contemporary dancing are determined only by the dancer. In other words, improvisation. For Kim Jinwoo to pull out this unfamiliar concept from within himself, the dancers of the dance company, who are also his teachers, gave him a homework assignment on the first day of practice. The homework assignment was for him to discover the defenceless Kim Jinwoo. He had to organise what he did when he was alone and what he thought about when he was alone. “After coming back to our dorm that day, I thought about that assignment and… Please wait a moment, I wrote down all of it.” He took out his phone and after looking through his notes, he started reading them out loud. “‘Zoning out while lying down. Going to the bathroom. Eating a meal. Watching TV’ and the thoughts I wrote down were, ‘I’m bored. I feel empty. I’m hungry’ and we started with expressing these things with my body. They told me to express them in my own way and that it didn’t matter whether or not people could recognise what I was expressing. For example, usually when people are asked to express hunger, they touch their belly. But I (actively moving around) turned my chest around like this and wrapped my arms around my belly.” The movements he created were brushed up and connected and then became the Little Prince’s dance. That is the reason why it can’t be helped but for “Kim Jinwoo” to flow out of each and every movement of the Little Prince. These days, he is most taken by the expression of lacking gravity out of all the choreographies in the performance. This is because floating in air is the most fundamental movement of the Little Prince as he travels to the many different planets in the universe. For this, these days, Kim Jinwoo walks around carefully with his heels in the air at the dorm. “Even outside of practice, I practice the feeling of being out in space. I open the door and hug my cats as if I lack gravity. I try raising my arms with this floating feeling and I think about how my eyes should travel. I realised that letting my body loose is harder than I thought. When it doesn’t work out well, I look for videos about space and get ideas while watching them. Recently, there was a special ‘Infinity Challenge’ episode on space so I enjoyed watching that.”
Other than dancing, “The Little Prince” has changed the air that surrounds Kim Jinwoo. And he is gladly enjoying that fresh air. “I went to the practice room for the National Contemporary Dance Company at Seoul Arts Center and it was really nice. There was even a fountain (laughs). Before debuting, I practiced in underground rooms that lacked sunlight so practicing at a nice place like this really feels new. The leader [of the dance company] and the teachers don’t distance themselves from me so I’m able to practice with a comfortable heart.” Although he suddenly became the youngest/most inexperienced member of the dance company from being the eldest hyung in his group, he laughed happily about it. “There are actually many things I have to worry about as the eldest hyung. I’m not the leader but I realised that there are things I have to do as the oldest. But after becoming the maknae, I feel at ease. Something like even if I make a small mistake, I feel like people will let it go? And it’s nice because it feels like I’ve become younger. Haha.”
Proving Kim Jinwoo
Kim Jinwoo wishes for “The Little Prince” to be the starting point of becoming a bigger and deeper person. He straightforwardly stated that his ultimate goal is to mature as a person through meaningful experiences. “I walk on the path of a singer but I think singing and dancing according to what is expected of me would be trapping myself in a boundary. I can’t deny that I didn’t experience enough freedom since I joined my agency when I was 20 years old and gave up my youth (laughs). But attempting to act and challenging myself in contemporary dancing naturally leads me to experience various things. I think that after experiencing new things, my thoughts and feelings will become deeper. In that sense, I think that challenging myself in contemporary dancing is a chance for me to learn many things.” He has already prepared himself for biased/negater attitudes that is common for celebrities who challenge themselves in musicals and plays. “I think professional artists of the modern dance or ballet industries will think it unusual for me to be a part of this. However, I will devote myself to practices and perform in a way that will not distance them from me. I don’t expect praises like, ‘He suits this genre,’ I will work hard to at least not make them feel that there is a disconnection.”
However, everything talked about above is all secondary worries. That is because what he desperately waits for is the stage itself. After WINNER ended promotions in March, it has been 8 months since he last stood on stage to meet the Korean audience. His heart thumps quickly with even just the thought of stepping up on the stage that he longed for. “Just the fact that I will step up on a stage makes me happy. I really longed for the stage. Although it is slightly regretful that it won’t be WINNER’s stage. I want to enjoy myself as much as I waited for this moment. Of course it’s important that I do well but more than that, my greater goal is to enjoy myself on this stage.” What does he want to show the audience on the stage he desperately waited for? Unlike with how he took his time answering previous questions after much thought and deliberation, he had an immediate but also clear answer for this question as if he had thought about it for a long time. “[I want to show] that Kim Jinwoo can do it too. The fact that I have the strength to create this kind of stage and performance and that there’s this kind of side to Kim Jinwoo too. I want to show people this side of me.” The determination in his shining eyes felt like this was a promise to himself more than to the audience. Kim Jinwoo will be given five stages and during that time, we will watch him prove his own domain just as he promised. And the audience is already prepared to accept him with joyful hearts. Just like how the Fox was able to imagine the Little Prince’s golden hair just by seeing the waves of the golden wheat field.
“The Little Prince” – Korea National Contemporary Dance Company
– Dates: 2016.12.9 ~ 12.11
– Time: Friday 8PM | Weekend 2PM and 6PM
– Place: Seoul Arts Center CJ Towol Theater
– Choreography: Ahn Ae-soon
– Organisation & Script: Kim Jiwoon
– Music: Jung Jae-il
– Price: R seats 50,000won; S seats 30,000won; A seats 20,000won