[INTERVIEW] 161201 WINNER KIM JINWOO FOR “THE LITTLE PRINCE”
When asked which idol group member fits the “The Little Prince” role best, Kim Jinwoo of WINNER (age 25) is the first to be named. With pale skin and innocent eyes, his personality is simple too. Born on Imjado island at Jeon-nam Shin-angoon, he is an “island boy”. He leads a simple life of dorming, going to the company, and attending schedules. The people around him all say, “There is no one more pure than Jinwoo”.
He will peer into the vast, desolate, and bleak desert on the contemporary dance stage. He has been cast for the title role in the National Contemporary Dance Company production of “The Little Prince” (December 9th~11th at the Seoul Arts Center CJ Towol Theater – Choreography by Arts Director Ahn Ae-soon).
The contemporary dance performance was adapted from the novella of the same name by the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. When it was first performed last year, it received attention for its dynamic stage directing that included 3D technology and flying techniques. Film director Kim Ji-woon, who directed “The Good, the Bad, the Weird” and “Age of Shadows”, is in charge of organisation and scriptwriting. Musician Jung Jae-il, who interconnects mainstream music, classical music, Korean traditional music, and dancing, is in charge of the music.
Above all, we will see this current world through the eyes of “The Little Prince”. His compatible image and his passion for dancing are reasons the public is anticipating Kim Jinwoo as “The Little Prince”.
This is the first time for him to come in contact with modern dance. It is naturally rare for idols to stand on the modern dance stage. The Korea National Contemporary Dance Company asked YG to recommend them a suitable idol member for the Little Prince role. Kim Jinwoo, who was focusing on singing at the time showed desire for the role which led to the casting.
Recently, we met Kim Jinwoo at the YG Entertainment office building at Hapjungdong and he stated, “It’s a process of gathering courage. ‘The Little Prince’ is a very famous story. My first contact with it was through the animation and later on, I read the book. I hope I can express the emotions I felt through contemporary dance.”
Individual practice started three weeks ago and group practice started two weeks ago and he laughed, “It’s fun”. “At first, I worried a lot. It’s difficult and I didn’t know how to do things so I had a lot of worries. And [contemporary dancing] has so many differences with idol choreographies.”
Above all, how improvisation plays a large role is different. “Idol choreographies are based off of lyrics or special gestures are created. But I found that quick reflexes are necessary in modern dance. Thanks to this opportunity, I think my reflexes will become quicker. Haha.”
Kim Jinwoo debuted as a member of WINNER in 2014 and is part of the vocal line. “Seunghoon is really good at dancing. But being part of the vocal line doesn’t mean that I can’t dance to my heart’s content. The parts are distributed very fairly. However, even just modern dance practices are making me more flexible and I think my expressiveness is improving.”
The most recent group activity for WINNER was their mini-album release in February. Kim Jinwoo talked about how the group was currently preparing themselves for a comeback as soon as possible. He stated, “Since I’ve become familiar with a genre of dancing I’ve never experienced before, I hope that it’ll help me when we, as WINNER, start promoting soon.”
As much as he develops individually, group activities will develop too. Promoting as Kim Jinwoo, not as a member of WINNER, he stated, “I feel embarrassed and proud and weird when I see advertisements on public buses that only have my face on them but I want to create synergy through group promotions as soon as possible.”
He humbly added that he hoped that he wouldn’t be of damage to the modern dance industry. “People may see me negatively because I’m a stranger to the modern dance industry. It’s a relief that everyone working with me treat me so well. What’s left is up to me now. I’m burdened about the possibility of not doing well. It’s something that may damage the contemporary dance company, WINNER, and myself.”
He is careful and concerned but the others of the modern dance industry are busy praising Kim Jinwoo. Additionally, people who were never interested in contemporary dance have become curious about the genre.
Kim Jinwoo strongly stated that “The Little Prince” is all he thinks about these days. “I really feel that I’m burdened about it because I keep feeling myself hanging unto the Little Prince even in my sleep. I hope that people don’t feel the difference when I step up onstage at the Seoul Arts Center.”
It is well known that Kim Jinwoo and WINNER look up to their company senior group BIGBANG as their role models. Kim Jinwoo is also hungry for acting as he stated that when it comes to acting, he wishes to give viewers the same gentleness that reaches the heart as actress Choi Jinsil*.
“Doing well on my own doesn’t mean that I get acknowledged as a person. I have to provide results so that many people come to know about us. Just like BIGBANG sunbaenims and Choi Jinsil sunbaenim. I hope that contemporary dancing becomes a part of that path.”
*Actress Choi Jinsil was a very famous and talented actress who passed away in 2008.