Boogaloo Kin’s career began 25 years ago with his love of hip-hop music influencing the way he danced. Impressed by the style of dance known as popping—which uses the technique of quickly contracting and relaxing muscles—he practiced by watching videos. Later he learned boogaloo and other dance styles by connecting with dancers across Latin America, Europe and Asia. Although Boogaloo Kin was one of j-hope’s earliest inspirations he shies away from being described as one of his “heroes.”

“That’s very flattering, but I’m not sure if I’m a hero,” he said with a laugh. “It’s tricky to put into words—I actually remember the younger j-hope who appreciated and took inspiration from my dance moves. j-hope has come so far since then and I know he reached where he is now in his career through tremendous effort and countless hours of practice. I just consider myself very lucky to have had the privilege to teach a student like that.”

He has positive memories of making the series, especially the episode they filmed in Osaka. “Each episode brought many good memories and interesting experiences, but I remember our first shoot in Osaka, Japan, the most,” said Boogaloo Kin. “I’d seen j-hope active as a member of BTS for a long time and had many conversations with him in private, but I don’t remember us ever having done a cypher together.”

In the context of hip hop culture, the word cypher refers to a freestyle session, originally inspired by freestyle rap sessions where MC’s take turns rapping in a circle.

“It was fascinating to see his freestyle dance after such a long time,” said Boogaloo Kin. “Also, seeing a mix of emotions across his face as he was dancing and expressing himself was an unforgettable scene.”

Shooting dance sequences amid unsuspecting pedestrians posed some challenges, but ultimately delivered a more authentic experience. In the Osaka episode j-hope dances on a busy street, with passers-by taking little notice, merely sidestepping to avoid him. No one recognizes him.

“We went through extensive discussion with j-hope for this project, even delving into performance angles,” said Park. “It was j-hope’s intention to capture the essence of dance in a simple, straightforward manner and film the scenes of dancing on the streets without much elaborate set ups or film techniques. Since we were capturing freestyle dance, we just did a basic rehearsal of the camera walk and angles prior to shooting and shot most of the scenes in one take. In terms of the direction for editing, we aimed to highlight the essence of dance, while addressing and unraveling the questions j-hope had.”

The series was produced by Hybe, the entertainment company originally established as Big Hit Entertainment. Having worked with j-hope on a few Hybe projects, including j-hope In The Box and some BTS documentaries, Park always enjoys their collaborations. They also keep him on his toes.

“He’s an artist who’s very passionate and sincere about archiving every moment to share as much as possible with his fans,” said Park. “While previous documentaries followed j-hope’s projects as he encountered different emotions along the way, the major difference with Hope On The Street was that it focused on exploring j-hope’s artistic roots. If previous documentaries had often shown the accomplished side of j-hope, this docuseries intended to delve into Jung Ho-seok (j-hope’s given name) and j-hope as a person.”

Park’s favorite memory of filming the series was also a scene in Osaka. “I think my favorite memory was our very first shoot that we did for the docuseries’ first episode, where j-hope dances under an overpass in Osaka,” said Park. “I vividly recall this scene, because I was able to witness j-hope, who was hesitant to start dancing at first, so naturally feeling and moving to the music.”

While j-hope may occasionally hesitate, the series does make it seem like he ultimately can’t stop dancing. Exuding his own brand of kinetic energy, he dances alone on deserted streets, he dances while heading to meet his heroes and even dances in his seat as he checks out clips on his laptop. Hope On The Street offers insight into how his inspirations play into his ever-evolving role as a musician, dancer and creator. His dance encounters are spirited and it’s touching to see the genuine respect he feels for those who keep the dance world so vibrant. His infectious enthusiasm makes it hard not to dance along.

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