By Lee Haye-ah
SEOUL, Sept. 26 (Yonhap) — K-pop sensation BTS kicked off an international music festival Sunday with a performance of its hit song “Permission to Dance” from an iconic gate in Seoul.
The septet opened “Global Citizen Live,” a 24-hour concert featuring dozens of top artists from around the world, with a prerecorded performance filmed at night outside Sungnye Gate, South Korea’s No. 1 national treasure.
“Welcome to Seoul, Korea!” the band said in unison before starting the show.
The seven members, dressed in matching tones of orange, blue and white, danced and sang on a stage set up outside the gate as colorful light beams illuminated the stone wall behind them and flashed in time with the music.
Toward the end, a group of 40 masked dancers jumped in to join the band for the sign language portion of the choreography that expresses words such as fun, dance and peace.
“The stage was made round in order to show the world the beauty of Sungnye Gate in all its glory,” BTS’ label Big Hit Music said. “The stage layout and floor designs also used traditional Korean patterns.”
The K-pop act was the only artist to join the livestreamed show from Seoul.
In addition to “Permission to Dance,” the group performed its Billboard-topping single “Butter” from under the gate’s roof, on its steps and on the typically busy streets surrounding the gate.
The concert was organized by Global Citizen, a New York-based organization founded in 2008, as part of its campaign to end COVID-19, defeat poverty and protect the planet.
The ongoing broadcast features performances across six different continents by more than 70 artists, including Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez and Billie Eilish, as well as appearances by world leaders and celebrities, such as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.