The Big Bang concert is hitting Los Angeles area again in just over a month from now. The Kpop popularity is soaring with splashes from both boy bands and girl groups left and right. In their dashing movements are some of the amazing skills that we don’t often see from other parts of the entertainment industries. The not-so-well known secrets of their success is probably the power of choreography along with other visual enhancements. Not too long ago, the new music video released by 2NE1, Come Back Home, was so reminiscent to the graphic illusion of the famous movie The Matrix that some would even challenge it with the accusation of plagiarism—please give me a break—to the idea of the virtual reality. A virtual reality?
Actually, the real essence of their so-called virtual reality draws its strength from the choreography underneath all the idea and graphics. If you look at closely, it’s all predesigned movements and steps that make the video all worthwhile. The latest example is the revival of the 1977 smash hit 나 어떡해 (Do you Know Me) by T-ARA. Their official music video is dressed up with very attractive colorful, yet original, customs on the stage. However, what makes the whole engine pouncing is the choreography of each and every movement by all the participating members in the music video (whether they are the girl group members themselves or otherwise).
One that comes up in mind is Rino Nakasone, a Japanese dancer/choreographer who just won the Huading Awards in 2015 for the category of Global Best Dancer-Actor. She choreographed for the big names such as Shinee, Girl’s Generation as well as TVXQ and BoA in her early days. Rino’s success is no surprise seeing that she earned her stage reputation while touring with icons such as Britney Spears and Gwen Stefani as a backup dancer. She also joined the prominent Beat Freaks to compete in America’s Best Dance Crew and was a runner-up in 2009. Her brilliance transpired directly into the success of boy bands and girl groups in the wave of this Kpop era. Yet she is not the only name to remember.
Another new name we should be paying attention to carefully is a young choreographer Parris Goebel and her choreographed Big Bang’s new video Bang, Bang, Bang, just released at the onset of this summer. It will blow your mind away and all those wonderfully choreographed videos of the past by various Kpop stars. It is filled with dazzling graphic and movement. There are so many components to work with from steps to fire and automobile in the background along with all other moving parts. Choreographing dances is only half the story. Goebel’s ingenuity shines in carefully fitting all the moving parts in unison with dance and music. It makes the whole video to come alive as though the entire screen is dancing right in front of your very eyes.
Perris Goebel just turned 23, but she is already living the dancer’s dream of every aspiring professional whose wannabe’s will idolize her like all those wannabe’s of the ice queen Yuna Kim. Having worked with Jennifer Lopez, Goebel is no stranger to the stars like Rino was, and she is the three time winner of the prestigious World Hip Hop Dace Championship. Her relentless strength as a dancer is that hip hop is a way to follow her “dream from dancing for fun to dancing on the world stage.”
Goebel doesn’t see any real difference between hip hop and Kpop dances. The biggest challenge is the cultural understanding. In that she succeeded in bridging the cultural aspiration with the dynamic yet very artistic movements of hip hop dances along the tune of Kpop music. Without her choreography, Big Bang’s Bang, Bang, Bang may very well have been lots of bang with no real Bang in it.