Author: johnsongqijun

K-Pop Dances : For Beginners?

Hello everyone again!

First of all, here is my first review, or not review, of a K-Pop song
Twice – TT  (Apologise for my English)

I was actually surprised and stunned by this music video, not only the dances, also the setup and characters they are doing. Anyway, let’s put the focus back to the dancing.

In this video, which is obviously related to the title “TT”. I have no idea of what they are singing, all I understood when I listened is “I’m like TT, just like TT”. They are doing they gesture of “T” with both hands on their face, and sing “I’m like TT, just like TT”. It gives me a sense of emoji, the crying face emoji.

Is that how they promote the song?  Easier to memorise the dance, by using easy gestures?
In my previous post, quoted “In the industry of K-Pop, it is a highly visual phenomenon. The biggest appeal in these K-Pop videos in terms of visually comes from the dance choreographies of K-Pop groups.” In the music video of “TT”, the choreographies only appears in the chorus. My assumption and research about “new groups doing sharp knife” dances, seems to be a little bit different. Yes, they are new groups. Twice is a girls group from JYP entertainment with 9 girls. They debut in 2015 and brought a huge heat the K-Pop music industry because of the reality show. The members were selected, or won the reality show “Sixteen” and then became a group member. Their dancing style is not “sharp knife” from what I have watched. It was more like a cute, synchronising choreographies. It is also easy to remember the dance move. While I was watching, I could do the “TT” move, which was really easy to remember.
I found a special thing in the music video. Somehow they would show part of the dance but not all of them. Is it because the dance is hard? I checked the live version of the song which has the whole choreographies.
And yes, it is so much harder than the chorus. It also refers to the significant move from the song. From the previous post, I talked about “Gangnam style” with its significant riding house move, which in case can also apply to this song, with its significant move “TT” on the face. The song also makes more sense to me when they do the TT, or else I don’t understand what TT really means. The choreographies are not only showing how synchronise they are, it also fits the song to make sense. In the song, they include English with Korean. It helps me a lot to know what is going on. K-pop music becomes more internationally, to let more non-Korean fans to involve into the song.

Learn how to do K-POP

iccrvTo experience the K-Pop, not only listen to the song but also learn how to dance with it. In my digital artifact, I’m going to experience the K-Pop by previewing the music video and learn how to dance. It is essential in K-Pop as the visual part of K-Pop, not only the appearance of the music video, but also the choreography of the song. (Michael 2015)

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In the industry of K-Pop, it is a highly visual phenomenon. (Michael 2015) The biggest appeal in these K-Pop videos in terms of visually comes from the dance choreographies of K-Pop groups. It is often to change the dance formation such as switching the front dancers. There are one or more lead dancers in one group, which leads the whole group to dance. Not meaning that others won’t be the front, but in terms of visually, the whole groups should perform in a clear and neat formation. They rely on the choreography, which might include significant dance moves and multi-tops formation. There are also some backup dancers when it is necessary to provide a visual formation. Non-professional dancers, like fans can produce a quick easy-to-imitate cover dance by watching those music videos. When I researched about K-Pop dances and notice the “easy dances” of K-Pop, I feel it is bringing its own significant music industry and dancing to the world in a whole new level. For sure it is only during the time in 2009, because those simple dances like “Gee” by SNSD, “Nobody” by Wonder Girls and “Sorry Sorry” by Super Junior are quiet “classic” compare to now K-Pop dances industry. The fact that K-Pop back then is too simple compared to K-Pop now.

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There are new groups coming out this year and bringing the significant “shaping knife” dance moves, which means with a 100% fluency and the best formation changes. It is difficult and fans love them. It is quiet different when I figure it out by looking at the research material and the K-Pop songs I listened this year. Still, there is nothing changed with the fact of formation and its significant dance moves. With solo artists, they do have backup dancers to do multi-formation, but the front is the artist, like PSY.

 

How does K-Pop be significant? A mixture of dance styles. This is the second information I agreed with the research. K-Pop dances can be described as a mixture of different dance styles. (Michael 2015) They especially use hip-pop and often simplified to more minimalistic dance patterns, choreographed for group performance and combined with characteristics gestural movements, so called signature moves. Hip-Pop is the base of K-Pop as the reason of early hip-pop group in Korea. It gained a strong foothold in Korean pop culture and the styles have become an integral part in the dance lessons of idol aspirants.

Not only with the hip-pop stylists, but also the labor force came from global brings the global dimension of K-pop dances. In 2008, dancer Rino Nakasone Razalan who gained the fame as a dancer and choreographer for American pop stars such as Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and Gwen Stefani, was contracted by SM Entertainment for the dance choreography in the music video called “Replay” which signals Korean company’s image to be global company.

 

Talk about significant move, it is how they promoting K-Pop to the international audiences. As a non-Korean speaker, it is easy to memorize a song by looking at its gesture. As a tool it can help them circumvent language barriers and remember the songs. That’s how they do to PSY “Gangnam Style”. With the dance move crossing hand and jumping, the song became a huge fame around the world.

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For the future project, it is good to try how they use significant move to promote a song. I’m a dancer so it is quiet easy for me to memorize the dance moves. However, it is more important to explore how do they do the formation. It is hard for me myself to do it, I would try all roles to see how the difference of being in the center and being at the back.

Dance like K-Pop PSY :D

K-Pop music is a mainstream music genre in the world that people like to listen or follow. For me, not only the music, I love the choreography of the K-Pop music as the appearance and style catch my eyes. Choreography is a specific term for the dance, and it represents the dance move of a song. Not every song can fit a choreography expect there are so many different type of dances in the world. For example like hip-pop, popping, breaking, jazz and more and more. I would call the dance genre of K-Pop “K-Pop”. It is a mixed of genre within one song that can be so complicated or so easy. This is how I look at K-Pop as my own experience so far. How about watching some new K-Pop songs come out lately in order to explore the autoethnography in digital Asia culture.

 

a97840b1c370f10c626331ef750935fcAutoethnography “…is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse ones personal experience in order to understand cultural experience” (Ellis et al. 2011). By using this definition, I would like to explore the Korean culture in K-Pop and discuss the similarity between the my own experience and the new song.

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I was addicted to K-Pop since the song “Gee” by Girls Generation, a girls group with 9 people (and now they have 8). The rhythm and repeat are catchy and enjoyable. The dance move is so unique with the legs split in and out with the lyrics “Gee Gee Gee Gee baby baby baby”. It sounds stupid because I don’t know what is the lyrics mean but just addicted. For more famous song, aka the representative of K-Pop to non K-Pop fans is “Gangnam Style” by PSY. Is this song itself an addiction to the world? Or is it because of the unique dance move of riding house? It is fun to explore how do they show the visual of the song from a simple, “funny”, unique dance. How is the K-Pop now? Still with the culture of “uniqueness”? Or be more funny and over “Gangnam style”?

What is Inside Game and Life

Ellis, Adams and Bochner explain, writing autoethnography is writing something about ones own personal experience within another culture and use it to understand ones own cultural experience. It is how you write an autoethnographical account by describing the cultural experiences patterns. In my first post, I watched the documentary “State of Play” and experience a Korean culture. Thank you for the comment about the summary linking and aspects. And now, it is time to expand the ideas.

 

In the beginning, I tried to express the feeling “excited” to the documentary. It is not normal as watching a documentary. Documentary is using pictures or interviews with people involved in real events to provide a factual report on a particular subject. The subject this time is gaming. I did not feel any distance away from the film, which I felt so close to the characters because I did have the same dream far back before. However, the excitement was the unknown mystery of gaming in Korea. When I heard Korea gaming, it popped out “Well, the title suits the film, from what I know about the gaming industry in Korea.” and I used the word “Honor”.

 

Then, when I talked about Lee Jae Dong, one of the StarCraft players, I made a lot of assumption based on my own experience. For example, the gender assumption towards the fans he had and the economic incomes by playing only games. I also pointed out the difference between Australia and Korea in terms of being a professional gamer.

 

So far, I do find my own response too personal. One of the reasons is about the comparison between Australia and Korea. I have not learnt or saw any big news or team from either Australia or Korea back then. The gaming type people play is different back then too. Maybe it is because the fact I was not in Australia in 2012 that I was still in Hong Kong. Now I think more critically and subjectively, but still the thought is following Asian culture rather than Australian culture, which proves that my response is based on my own Asian culture experience to analyze the film.

 

The development of gaming in Australia became big since the Ninja Fruit mobile game. Australia is more focus on developing games instead of participating gaming events or competition in 2012. The research I can see my own analysis was cross over different years and tried to compare them together, and it is not really match the gaming industry in Korea.

 

In Australia, I get in touch with online games and video games all the time. My daily routine is starting the game and play with friends. I do not have the feeling to be competitive or aggressive. But somehow when it comes to a system related to ranking, I get nervous every time I play. This observation was made last week and I was really hoping I could win without losing any games because of the rank. The observation provides the similar view of myself making assumption of those gamer in Korea, they were competing for the ranks in the games. The top they are, the better reputation they have.

 

The reflection proves myself the cultural identity I have towards the experience I had while watching the film.

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Game and Life

Autoethnography, for sure, a process and a product with the combination of autobiography and ethnography, it helps us to understand cultural experiences or cultures by analyzing their own experiences. Well, I was like “What is that?” at the beginning of the class. For me to understand this in an easier way, autoethnography is writing a “story” to tell other people what your own experience and connect it to different aspects, like social, cultural and political.

 

In Week 2, I was excited and amazed by the documentary “State of Play” (2013) by Steven Dhoedt. The title gave me a really big hint towards the documentary before I watched. It sounds like an achievement or honor. To be called “state of play” should be a really big gaming industrial country. I guessed it right which is Korea to have such honor to be called that. The documentary is not only about “Play”, but exploring the gaming career by looking at groups of youngsters who tried hard to become professional players and top players in a game called “StarCraft”. I felt normal towards the documentary and I did not surprise about the fact that they were trying hard to become a top player, but more of that, the importance or procedure to become a top player was harsh and dilemma. It was interesting to watch that I felt the same way when I was the same age as who they were. Here is something I noticed and reflected after I watched the documentary:

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I feel “jealous” or upsetting about the top player Lee Jae Dong. He was a StarCraft player that made 135000 euros in 2007 and he started to play when he was 16. It gives me a sight that Korea gaming career can make a lot of money based on the players’ ranking or fame. The fans totally shocked me, which I thought there should be guys but instead all of his fans are girls. The gender is significant. Guys are playing the game to compete for the single seat into the famous team and become the representative to join the competition. I was so jealous about the facts he earned a lot of money by only playing StarCraft and had such a fan base. However, I feel upsetting about the fact that Lee did not enjoy playing the game at all during the time StarCraft was overwhelmed. He played for work and not for fun by the evidence that his face did not show any joyful or happiness. I feel like it shows a cultural statement about Korea gaming industry that players focus their practice and listen to their coach to play a strategic game. Comparing to Australia, the fame of being a gamer does not sound big or proud in Australia from what I know. Esport here in Australia does not sound as popular as Korea and it proves that its unique cultures of gaming.

 

The documentary also made me amused about the differences between a professional player and a student who wishes to become a professional player.

I saw how enthusiastic the “newbie” tried so hard to become a professional player that he attended over 7 times and all failed, but did not stop his dream to become true. Meanwhile, the professional player was having harsh time with loads of practice and lack of studying. I could not imagine how would he be if he joined the pro team.