8 Unforgettable Contemporary Dance Performances by K-pop Stars
From NCT’s Ten and WinWin to BTS’ Jimin and Twice’s Momo, these idols took the time and effort to explore various facets of performance art
In addition to performing their own original tracks (solo or with their respective groups), K-pop idols take the time and effort to explore various facets of performance art, with some choosing to explore contemporary dance. Whether presented as a special video gift for their fans or as part of a reality dance show, here are truly unforgettable contemporary dance performances by K-pop stars.
WayV/NCT’s Ten and WinWin
Ten and WinWin surprised their fans earlier this month by dropping a smooth piece of choreography set to “Lovely” by Billie Eilish and Khalid. Fluid and elegant with effortless pirouettes and leaps, the duo–who choreographed and conceptualized it all together–explained the dance represents the corruption of something pure by the bad forces that exist in the world and in society. They do add that fans are welcome to interpret it in their own way as well.
In addition to performing select pieces of detailed choreography within VIXX’s music videos, N releases solo performances to display his skills in contemporary and interpretive dance. He begins the performance with a touch of darkness, presenting jerky but controlled and powerful popping set to traditional percussive instruments. The mood changes drastically as the track transitions to veteran singer Lee Sun Hee’s 2007 ballad “Fate,” taking a more elegant route with flowing, soft and detailed movements.
Twice’s Momo and Mina
Twice’s main dancer Momo presented her gut-wrenching take on mental health and domestic abuse through this piece on the dance reality show for idols, Hit The Stage. Recruiting her bandmate Mina for the performance, Momo shocked audiences with a haunting but compelling portrayal of an abusive relationship set to Beyonce’s “Dangerous in Love.” Not only did it reveal a side of her we hadn’t seen before, but it also created conversations around topics considered taboo.
Seventeen’s Jun and THE8
The two Chinese members of Seventeen came together to choreograph this touching piece to go along with their self-written track “My I.” With Jun in black and THE8 in white, the two vocalists hint at representing yin and yang, dark and light, or two warring aspects of one’s inner self. They perform the entire track bound together by a single ribbon around each of their wrists (which some fans think signifies two souls bound together by the string of fate) and incorporate it creatively into various dance steps.
The choreography for “Lie” blends Jimin’s two greatest strengths, contemporary and popping, to create a hybrid that suits him immensely. With the song being a deeply personal one he wrote himself, the piece is full of pain and sadness and he conveys each of these emotions clearly through his facial expressions–despite being blindfolded for a large portion of the track. It’s a performance from BTS’ Wings era that’s pretty impossible to forget.
Ex-Infinite member Hoya was joined by One Million Dance Studio’s Choi Hyojin on Hit The Stage for this particularly emotional performance set to Nick Jonas and Tove Lo’s “Close.” The two left the audience breathless thanks to their outstanding chemistry and being able to perform a section of the choreography with blindfolds on.
Undoubtedly one of the best dancers in K-pop, Taemin is known for his versatility and creativity, which he doesn’t compromise on in the performance for his 2016 single “Goodbye.” The moves run from aggressive popping, smooth pirouettes and graceful lines, signifying inner anguish. This particular rendition for Hit The Stage (which he won that season) was modified to suit a duo and Taemin brought in the piece’s original choreographer, Koharu Sugawara, to perform it with him.
Various artists, 2016 SBS Gayo Daejun
The 2016 opening of awards show SBS Gayo Daejun saw some of the biggest collaborative stages in K-pop, one of which included a contemporary/ballet-inspired performance featuring BTS’ Jimin, VIXX’s N, Twice’s Momo and Mina, Cosmic Girls’ Cheng Xiao and Lovelyz’s Yein. Dressed in black, the six K-pop stars presented graceful leaps, aerial flips and turns set to classical piano instrumentals.