One of the ways K-pop sets itself apart is with its meticulous choreography and precision. Idols are able to give amazing performances full of energy that draws many fans in. A stage performance has many aspects from the idols’ dancing to the clothes the idols are wearing to the set design itself. Another element that can set stages apart from others are the use of props, as a way to give the performance a memorable flair!
Here are nine choreography routines that use props as a way to enhance their stages:
"Pretty U" - SEVENTEEN
Heartwarming and fun, the choreography for “Pretty U” is upbeat and features many interactions between members. These stages showcase a very theatrical set of various objects for members to interact with such as a couch, chairs, and a book or magazine. With thirteen members, there is a lot to keep an eye on so the choreo never gets old! Each performance is slightly different depending on how the members choose to interact with each other and the props, giving us a whole era of lighthearted and wholesome stages!
"Dumb Dumb" - Red Velvet
In this unforgettably catchy song by Red Velvet, the members are wearing the prop in plain sight! Each of the members has a band on their wrist corresponding with the member’s color. These turn out to be snap bracelets that they take off and use as a prop before effortlessly appearing back on their wrists with one slap. It’s a strong accent to the upbeat and bubblegum song that is full of colors and eccentricities. They are also a nice way for new fans to be able to tell who is who just by the color of the band.
"Arario" - ToppDogg
Toppdogg is another group with many members, and in this choreography they make a large use of fans. The use of the fans is extremely dramatic and provides a more delicate touch to their usual "bad boy" style. As a part of the choreography, Toppdogg also uses Korean masks historically used in performances, rituals, and plays. There are many different kinds of traditional masks that exist, so it is difficult to know exactly what the masks in the video signify, but it fits in with Toppdogg’s combination of traditional elements with hip-hop.
"Sign" - Brown Eyed Girls
Released in 2010, “Sign” is another choreography that makes great use of fans for a dramatic touch. They use them effortlessly, opening and closing them with a flick of their wrists. The choreography is elegant, powerful, and satisfyingly emphasizes the catchy beats of the song.
"Rain" - KNK
In “Rain,” umbrellas are used beautifully as if they were in a musical. KNK’s backup dancers in these stages all carry umbrellas that are used creatively: as a spinning backdrop, to hide members and create transitions, and even to form a car with windshield wipers during the rap. The black umbrellas match perfectly with the sleek and jazzy style of the song.
"Fantasy" - Fei
Minimalist and sexy, this solo is extremely captivating and creative. Fei and her backup dancers use hula hoops in the beginning of the dance to catch the audience’s eye and create an air of mystery. The dance itself displays Fei’s skills as she effortlessly turns the toy into a sleek prop.
"Touch It" - Cross Gene
Graceful and elegant yet sensuous, Cross Gene features scarves that they use throughout the entire dance and as a key movement in the chorus. Attached to their wrists the scarf flows through the air to catch our eye at whatever movements they make.
"Swing" - Super Junior M
The stage is meant to represent an office setting with each member having their own desk, stool, and stacks of paper (that admittedly are thrown to the floor). The choreo is full of energy and creativity as the members themselves rearrange the tables throughout the dance. In the end, they have another trick, towels that they pull from their pockets for a short dance break.
"What U" - Speed
Known for their unique choreography and acrobatics, Speed was a group that never disappointed. Combining their athletics, this stunning choreography featured Heelys used in a completely graceful and captivating way.
Hopefully, going forward we will get more interesting choreography that makes use of props as they can be used to create memorable performances. There is a sense of drama that can’t be replaced, such as when members of a group whip out a fan right on the beat or manage to make Heelys look cool!
Prop choreography can be a breath of fresh air and catch potential fans’ attention to WOW them with creativity. The possibilities are endless, what group will create a new concept using props next?
Cover Image: KNK (YNB Entertainment)
Written by Anniki Leppa