The Kpop world is full of colorful choreographies that define and enhance the music artists create. Whether simple or complex, the choreography of your favorite songs is often memorable – but which seven routines set themselves apart?
I know what you’re thinking. If choreography is such a key element of Kpop, how could I possibly narrow down the best to only seven? I agree that there are dozens of amazing routines out there that I could have put on this list (which is one of the many reasons I love Kpop!). However, as the spirit of this series is to highlight how varied Kpop is, I have selected songs that feature choreography that is unique in some integral way.
Growl (으르렁) – EXO
For six years EXO has been delivering eye-catching routines, and Growl is one of the most cleverly arranged. Initially the MV features six members, using sharp, defined steps to showcase their skills, and then flips to the other six to give them a chance to shine before ultimately bringing both groups together for maximum impact. As a bonus, the dance playfully uses two hats – red and white – to draw attention to different members.
Energetic (에너제틱) – Wanna One
True to its name, Energetic is full of quick movements and enthusiastic jumps that require a great deal of stamina. Each section of the choreography features a series of distinct formations – from tight triangles to infinity shapes and waves – that create engaging patterns to draw you in. The most impressive aspect, however, is the Wanna One members combining themselves into a human piano to form an unforgettable focal point for the piece.
Black Widow – PRISTIN
There is something incredibly satisfying about synchronization, especially on a large scale, and PRISTIN delivers abundantly. Throughout a routine full of smooth level changes, the group members bend, twist, and twirl gracefully while matching each other and each beat of the song with perfection. Living up to the song’s name, the style of the gestures and steps echoes that of a real spider, providing just the right ambience.
So, Dangerous (위험해) – UP10TION
Although synchronization is a cornerstone of many Kpop dances (see above) – and UP10TION does it very well – the strength of this choreography lies in contrast. So, Dangerous is full of moments where members move in opposing directions to form a dynamic whole, such as with the coordinated circles during the chorus. The success of this technique lies in each member carrying out their part with a precision that keeps the routine from feeling chaotic.
Move – Taemin
Throughout his career, Taemin has proved himself to be a dancer with incredible musicality, and he has carried this over to his solo work. Move may seem simple at first glance, but this is a result of Taemin’s ability to take this elegant choreography and instill his artistry and expertise into each detail. His fluid lines and seamless transitions ultimately make for a mesmerizing visual experience that will captivate you from start to finish.
The Eye (태풍) – Infinite
Known for their synchronization and tight choreography, the members of Infinite are always delightful dancers to watch. They have an incredible awareness of each other while dancing – so much so that they almost look like they are being controlled by one consciousness rather than seven. This clean and cohesive style is particularly noticeable in The Eye, where elements such as slowly turning circles and sweeping drummer’s strokes are used to create beautiful tableaus.
My I – Jun & The8 (Seventeen)
Seventeen always brings high quality to their dancing, but My I – a contemporary piece from performance unit members Jun and The8 – is truly exceptional. These two talented dancers take a simple ribbon and transform it into a story, with symbolism, sweeping movements, and small details all woven in. Wearing black and white, they alternate between mirroring each other and moving in parallel, as if one is the shadow of the other.