Agency partners with Korean talent

HOLLYWOOD — Creative Artists Agency is looking to bring back break-dancing in a big way.

The tenpercentery has signed Cartel Creative as a client and will help the Seoul-based entertainment and sports agency boost the profile of its talent across all areas, including movies, TV, videogames, music and licensing.

Cartel primarily reps a roster of dance troupes, graffiti and street artists, DJs, rappers and music producers who have raised the profile of urban youth culture and hip-hop throughout Asia and the Middle East.

While the appeal of break-dancing in the U.S. peaked in the 1980s, it’s become a big biz for companies overseas.

On the event side of its business, Cartel produces the break-dancing competish “R-16,” broadcast in more than 60 countries, as well as the traveling show “Marionette,” described as a hip-hop version of Cirque du Soleil. It’s also closely tied to “Project Soul” for MTV Asia and “Soul City” for South Korea’s major network, KBS-N. In addition it’s helped produce the docus “Planet B-Boy” and “Turn It Loose” and the PlayStation 2 videogame “B-Boy.”

Cartel’s pair-up with CAA comes at a time when Hollywood has been eager to capitalize on the popularity of dancing.

Shows like ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” have consistently proved strong ratings generators, while studios have earned considerable coin at the B.O. with pics like Disney’s “Step Up” and its sequel.

MGM is readying a redo of “Fame” for later this year, and Paramount has a remake of “Footloose” planned. Hollywood’s dance craze has even spurred a spoof from Par with the upcoming “Dance Flick.”

Cartel, founded in 1999 and run by producers Alice Han and James Kim, has offices in Los Angeles and New York. Its creative founders, Charlie Shin and Johnjay Chon, also serve as youth consultants for global brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Apple; this service matches up well with the Intelligence Group, a market research and trend forecasting company that operates as a division of CAA.

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