The Queen’s Back, Never Really Left

Hyuna inhabits the stage like a seasoned pro. The petite 24 year-old is famed not only for her pop songs, but for her youthfully haughty dance style. Once she’s onstage with a posse of beautiful backup girls, Hyuna owns the theatre. It’s been a longtime coming for ‘Kim Hyun-ah’, who made her start over ten years ago as an original member of Wonder Girls. After health issues sidelined the singer from the group, it could have been the last time we ever heard from her. So many promising rookies are lost in the fray after a single opportunity with a top-tier group doesn’t pan out. But Hyuna would go on to helm the much-lauded girl group 4Minute, proving to the world she was more than just a flash in the pan.

Chérie, a Toronto dance group

Being her first time in Canada, it was fitting that Hyuna gave centre stage to three young local dancers who paid homage to their idol. She opened her show with skilled Toronto dance group ‘Chérie’, with a cover of “Ice Cream”. Jazmin, Blooe and Kalli proved why Hyuna had hand-picked them to warm up the stage at Danforth Music Hall.

Hyuna owning the stage

Hyuna then unrolled her hits with a well-rounded set featuring “Troublemaker”, “Red”, “Change” and “U & Me”. Lasers pierced the thick cotton-candy colored smoke as she dipped in perfect sync with her dancers. Hyuna caught flack in the past for her racy image, more overt than some of her contemporaries. Yet watching her onstage it’s clear that the artist should be respected for her work ethic and skills as a dancer. Hyuna did the entire show teetering in tall lace-up heels that were both sexy and uncomfortable-looking. Not once did she appear strained from the fast-paced show. Costume changes yielded different looks during the show, from an off-the shoulder blue gingham blouse to a black silk and daisy dukes ensemble. Her doll-like complexion hid the inner tenacity of a woman who has earned her seat at the table of K-pop legends.

Hyuna

Dubbed ‘The Queen’s Back’ tour, Hyuna’s 8-city North American tour would be the first time she would perform in Canada (Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver) along with her U.S. dates. It is a joint production between KpopMe! and Cube Entertainment. Mostly sticking to arenas in Asia, this is an unprecedented look at a beloved idol in the flesh. In case you were wondering, Hyuna seems just as gung-ho to get to know her fans from the North. ‘I tried poutine in Vancouver!’ she exclaimed at one point.

Like many artists performing in North America, Hyuna made use of a translator who stood patiently behind Hyuna during the Q&A. She spoke for Hyuna so well that it gave the illusion that Hyuna was being dubbed, actually speaking in English. Because of the depth of her fan interactions on this tour, it became apparent why the singer would need a translator. She spent a generous amount of time judging a ‘Hyuna’ dance competition, onstage fan quiz, and held a Q&A session with the audience.

Can you imagine being this close?

Those lucky enough to be invited onstage were greeted with hugs and gifts from Hyuna. She showed a sense of humor too, fielding questions from the crowd about pretty much anything. ‘If you were an Avenger, who would you date?’ asked one fan. ‘Alex Pettyfer.’ answered Hyuna, not skipping a beat. ‘I filmed something with him, he’s really tall. If we dated he could carry me on his back, save transportation time.’ Hyuna also announced that she will be releasing new music soon, much to the thrill of fans. ‘I’m preparing for a new album right now. At the end of my North American tour perhaps something will happen, I think it will be soon.’ This is a time of change for the queen, whose longtime girl group 4Minute announced their disbandment earlier last year. Fans can most certainly look forward to more edgy, fun solo work from Hyuna, who wields her fabulous sceptre with a fierce benevolence.

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