K-Pop’s ever-evolving world of music and dance never fails to keep fans on their toes. However, with the latest episode of Street Woman Fighter, fans have voiced a growing concern about the future of K-Pop choreography.
The contention? Choreographers are now too intently fixated on mirroring the dance movements to lyrics rather than syncing with the rhythm.
For those out of the loop, Street Woman Fighter is an exhilarating South Korean dance competition very popular among K-Pop fans. The competition shines the spotlight on eight dynamic female dance crews, all battling it out for the revered title of Korea’s best female dance crew and the honor of symbolizing street dance nationally.
The rift in choreographic perspectives came to light during the competition’s second mission. The talented Latrice, one of the crew leaders, decided to pave her own path and choreographed a piece that resonated purely with the rhythm, sidestepping the typical focus on lyrics.
— 스우파2보는계정 (@SWF_2023) August 29, 2023
This audacious move did not sit well with her counterparts. Many of her fellow dancers, including Redlic, found her approach to be “lazy,” “irresponsible,” and even “unprofessional.”
Further context from the show. So seems like there's was tension from Latrice choosing to make choreo thats purely rhythm based instead of using the lyrics and the other dancers thought that was lazy + she forgot some of her own dance and messed up when trying to teach the dance https://t.co/NMLZEHFGsf pic.twitter.com/GbCflTsia2
— Ryn ⟭⟬ᵇᵉ (@howtobeacrab) August 30, 2023
As the debate eventually reached the ever-vocal K-Pop fandom, fans began to draw attention to what they perceived as the Achilles heel of K-Pop choreographies in recent years. According to them, the excessive emphasis on lyrics over rhythm has diluted the overall impact of many performances.
Them giving latrice crap for not choreographing to the lyrics had me so confused cause since when was that ever a priority?😭 dancing is about musicality and moving to the rhythm and that’s exactly what latrice did. My blood was boiling when they called her lazy. https://t.co/LCJ4IA26v8
— ًً (@jkdazed) August 30, 2023
Latrice is no newbie to the scene. She’s been at the forefront of choreography for artists like EXO‘s Lay, impressively designing movements for his track “Lay U Down.” Fans might recall Lay and Latrice performing this number together during his 2019 tour.
On the flip side, Redlic, one of the choreographers criticizing Latrice, has made her mark choreographing for K-Pop sensations like Red Velvet Seulgi‘s “28 Reasons”, aespa‘s “Dreams Come True,” and BoA‘s “Forgive Me.” Her tracks are undeniably catchy, but fans argue that her choreographies often look cluttered, attributing it to her propensity to fixate on the lyrics over the song’s rhythm.
Twitter, as usual, was abuzz with opinions on the clash. One fan noted how the lack of connection between the choreography and the beat must be the problem with K-Pop choreographies as of late.
I feel "dance to the beat not the lyrics" used to be choreo making 101 what happened to that recipe?
— 📸Jay📸 (@SoneAngelJay) August 30, 2023
Meanwhile, another fan made a particularly scathing remark about Redlic’s past choreographies.
this explains why choreography by redlic looks messy because she’s too focused on hitting the beat of the lyrics and less on rhythm do any of the contestants apart from latrice recognise the importance of being able to freestyle..? https://t.co/Kad65962z3
— vote pinned (@yeojinniess) August 30, 2023
However, it’s essential to remember that every coin has two sides. While many fans rally behind rhythm-focused choreography, there’s also a considerable portion of the fandom and professionals in the dance community who advocate for lyrically matched dance moves.
Dancing to lyrics is called musicality and it works completely fine if it’s executed well. Rover has choreography that relates to the lyrics and it’s great. Musicality for your point dance is pretty standard for kpop cause it just makes it more memorable and easier to replicate. https://t.co/pJdMf12za7
— ✵ ＥＸＩＳＴ ✵ (@kaylabop88) August 31, 2023
They argue that dancing to the lyrics often tells a story, bringing a deeper connection and understanding between the song and its audience.
i completely disagree with this opinion tbh not that im a professional dancer or anything but i get really satisfied when a dance flows well with the lyrics https://t.co/LgwpsTQGQ6
— dan🥤 (@dietvanillacola) August 31, 2023
The debate surrounding rhythm versus lyric-centric choreography underscores the dynamic nature of K-Pop and its ever-evolving standards. As Street Woman Fighter brings this discussion to the forefront, it highlights the various creative approaches in the industry. At the end of the day, both styles have their merits and serve different artistic purposes.