K-pop wunderkinds EXO performed at their fist ever headline concert in Seoul on May 23 with a surprising new addition to their dance routine. With 12th member Kris, currently in a legal dispute regarding his potential contract termintaion the now 11 member boy band, launched into a Haka-inspired stylised war cry before breaking into their 2012 hit “Mama”.
Watch the fan footage here:
As 3news NZ reports, an Auckland local and member of the crowd Stephanie Town explains that her reaction was mixed.
"I felt uncomfortable upon seeing it, because of how meaningful it is. No one likes to see their heritage used for entertainment value like that. Knowing that they didn't personally choose to do it makes me able to forgive it. It's the choreographer who should have known better".
The Haka traditionally is an ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand that you might have seen performed at the start of the All Blacks rugby matches.
EXO fan Stephanie Town sees the positive side too,
"Maybe I'm being too generous, but it's nice to see people enjoying parts of New Zealand culture internationally, and flattering in some way to see these idols of mine pay a kind of homage to our culture".
American born choreographer Tony Testa is responsible for a majority of EXO’s music video routines and is the director of the group’s world tour.