Fans have recently been upset due to a plagiarism controversy surrounding ATEEZ’s “Say My Name” choreography and Street Man Fighter Vata‘s viral choreography for “New Thing.” The starting choreography for “New Thing” consists of a motorcycle movement that fans claim copied from “Say My Name.” Vata has stepped up to deny the allegations.
When I first heard the song, I thought of the wilderness, and so I made the intro of riding a horse or motorcycle. That’s why in the beginning, there is a motion of kicking to start the engine and a sign of getting off the bike. These are parts of one move that transition from one to the other.
His statement only served to anger more fans, who demanded an apology from the choreographer. Fellow choreographer and Street Man Fighter contestant, Choi Young Jun from 1 Million crew, has stepped in to give his two cents.
Along with a compilation video of similar dance movements to the controversial move, Choi Young Jun explained that choreographers take inspiration from various places, including song lyrics and sounds.
Before I started this post, I hesitated a lot. Perhaps I wouldn’t have, usually, but right now, as a fellow participant on Street Man Fighter, giving an opinion was pressurizing.
As I think both parties deserve to be respected for their creation of choreography, I’m writing my thoughts with incredible difficulty.
This is my viewpoint, not as a dancer sunbae nor as 1 Million.
When choreographers make choreographies, they think about the overall vibe and how to express the lyrics. I believe this choreographer (Vata) had tried to portray the song through actions; within that, he chose the imagery of a motorcycle revving. And so I see that this process of performing the revving is becoming controversial as plagiarism.
— Choi Young Jun
According to Choi Young Jun, the leg movement is also a common technique used by many dancers. He concluded by asking for everyone to respect both parties involved.
As I see it, the relevant move for ‘New Thing’ involves a part of an essential legwork step, the Moonwalk technique. This technique is one that dancers and choreographers often use. I’ve attached videos to help your understanding.
I think that instead of arguing about who is right or wrong and who copied who, we need to respect both parties.
Movies and music also often play out the same materials in different ways. It might be different overall, but there are so so many instances where some of the content overlaps. I think that this is similar to such circumstances.
I love ATEEZ’s choreographies, so I often monitor them, which becomes a good form of stimulation. Similarly, although I am competing with WeDemBoyz right now, we’ve worked on many projects together previously. I think the current situation is unsuitable for both, so I’m carefully leaving a post. #althoughI’veuploadedit,nowI’msoscared
— Choi Young Jun
Choi Young Jun received praise from the public for bravely attempting to defend a fellow dancer and colleague. Vata is currently at the receiving end of criticism for the matter.