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JYJ, SKK scandal, and Shinee

JYJ performed in HK the night that I came back from big China trip. I didn't go. Was this a bad decision? I saw clips and the English stuff (as a native English speaker) sounded kinda weird (I think it was also because it was them singing in English rather than Korean) .  But I am currently obsessed with SKK scandal and a lot of the music for that is also JYJ.  So if they had performed songs like Chajatta or Too Love, I would want to shoot myself for missing it. ARGH. Maybe I don't want to know what their playlist was.


So yeahhhhhh SKK scandal.  It's SOOOOOOOOOOOO good.  And omg the kiss scene. I want to kiss Yoochun.  the Japanese DBSK blogs have always been talking about how kissable his lips were but I didn't really GET IT until now.  OMG it must feel amazing to kiss him.  Sigh.... 

Other than that scene, though, I am not really fangirling Yoochun.  I think he's really cute with the girl but I can support them without getting jealous lol.  Geol oh is who does it for me. I have a thing for second lead males.   I like Mercutio more than Romeo if you get what I mean.  And the whole prickly on outside, soft on inside and kinda dorky is a guarantee home run for me.  Add dark, mysterious, brooding, and amazingly skilled martial artist/archer to the mix and you have me sold. OH WAIT! that's Aragorn of LoTR fame.  HAHAHAHAHAHA i am so predictable.  I got into fan fiction through LoTR.  I was a huge LoTR geek in college.  I memorized Elvish phrases and stuff.  But Aragorn was not dorky or all mushy on the inside so he didn't do it for me as much as Geol Oh. Aragorn was too perfect, too superhero.  Geol Oh is very human and I love that about him. 

Other than SKK scandal, I was obsessed with Shinee's Juliette dance pv for a while and had to see it at least 4 times a day or else I felt like I was going to go crazy.  Lydia can attest to this.  Problem was, we were in China during this period and youtube is blocked in China.  Until I remembered Tudou, I seriously thought I was going to lose it.   I don't see myself getting really into SHinee since their looks do nothing for me but I do love this song.  I watched it because a japanese blogger i really like likes them and i was floored by the guy in the blue pants.  Did some research, turns out his name is tae-min.  Whenever I watch the dance, i am pretty much just watching him.

Here, have a mv:
OMG i need to do a dance analysis of this.  SO good.   Well, why the delay! I will do it now.

First, some disclaimers:
1) everything I say will pretty much be about tae-min. sorry, rest of shinee lol.
2) i might be comparing taemin a lot to the other members (especially Key who is imo the second best dancer in the group) but please don't take that as hate towards the other members; it's just to make things easier to understand.  i think they all do a decent job, but taemin actually dances while the other follow the steps. It's a crucial difference.  
3) this analysis might be really hard to understand since I don't have a lot of the terminology for this kind of dance.  I only know ballet terminology since that is what i am primarily trained in, so sorry in advance for the vague descriptions.
4) since the other members of shinee are good dancers, the difference between them and taemin is really hard to put into words.  they don't do anything blatantly wrong like Arashi does, which is what makes Arashi dance critique relatively easy. 

second, some general notes:

- like all amazing dancers, what sets taemin apart is how deliberate and precise his moves are.  he is in control of every move his body makes and he never loses that control.  that's why his dancing is so much cleaner and well defined than the others.  He also has that energy thrumming him and beaming out of him that untrained dancers can't really get. 

- between Yunho and Ohno, he is definitely the Ohno type.  By that I mean, Yunho is really tall and has amazing body proportions that make him look even taller (small head, very long limbs).  So he has this majestic, towering presence on stage and that benefits him a lot.  even if he weren't as good a technical dancer as he is, he would still be amazing.  Ohno, on the other hand, is very small and doesn't exude that same aura that Yunho has.  So he needs to be a more technically skilled dancer to achieve the same, awe-inspiring effect.  Tae-min is like Ohno in that he is short (i dunno how tall he is but he doesn't look very tall) and doesn't have a strong presence (probably partially due to his young age).  But his technique is amazing.  It might even be better than Ohno, although I don't know if he has the same flair and choreographic skills that Ohno or Junsu have.  To judge that, I'd have to see some of his improv or something choreographed by him. 

third: a random comment - i look at taemin in the first half of the video and all i see is chinen.  Dunno why but can't help it and it makes me lol at imagining this being chinen instead. (ha! as if he can do such a difficult dance so well)

Okay, onto the moments of amazingness:

0:02-0:07: i can already tell how good taemin (blue pants on the far left) is by how he walks. this guy is a dancer.

0:11: the move where they move their center of gravity to their right foot while straightening their left arm down towards the floor.  the other members just sorta just move their body over to the right but taemin does this shoulder hitch and really snaps his whole body to the right.  this is what i mean by his movements being more precise and sharp.

0:30-0:32: the choreography during the word "boneun" -> i love the headsnap.  I especially love how Taemin does it.  I can't quite place my finger on what makes his so much better than the others, but i think it's a combination of the following: 1) timing (not too fast like key but not too slow like Minho (pink pants) or Onew (yellow pants)); 2) how his axis (his neck) says perfectly plumb. Like his head doesn't tilt at all but revolves cleanly with his jaw parallel to the ground at all times; 3) his hair just flairs out in a cool way lol.  hey, dancing is not ALL about technique.

0:34: the move in the pause between "machi" and "neol" where they step out to the side with their right foot.  i love how taemin really slides his ribcage over to this right and snaps it back in (difficult considering how quick the move is) whereas the other members just step their foot out without really following the move with their upper body.

0:44: ack ninja dancers in black! it's like magic, they appear out of thin air!

0:50:  the see-sawing move in which taemin comes forward while the others go back. this is SO cool and taemin executes it really well.  he really lets his center of gravity jump from side to side, which is what lets him get his legs out from under him, allowing him to really get off of the floor and cover distance.  the other members are a bit heavy on their feet and it's because they can't control their torso as much as taemin.  like, they are afraid to let their hips move that much because they are afraid their legs will fly out from underneath them and send them sprawling.  that IS what would happen if the move is uncontrolled, but taemin can manage it.

0:55: there is something about how taemin does this shoulder shrug/neck tilt with hands clasped in front (awfully wordy description sorry) move that really kills me (in a good way). i think the key is the non-working shoulder (the one that's not coming forward to meet the ear).  the other members are a bit lazy about the other shoulder (take key (green shirt) for example) so both shoulders are both moving up around the neck, diluting the effect of the working shoulder.  but taemin keeps the other shoulder immobile, stretching it far away from his neck so that the shoulder that is moving up to meet his ear really stands out.  dancing really is not about the moving part but the contrast between what is moving and what is not and he does this very well.

0:58: the hip thrust. it's awesome even though it's just a hip thrust. i think it's because his arms are lowered to the sides and tucked close in as well as his legs which are straight and tucked under him. usually, hip thrusts are accompanied by arms up over head or in the "show off my biceps" pose and legs in a second position plie (legs apart, feet either turned in or out) so i think it's why it looks so cool.  i also like how his necklace bounces up from the thrust lol.

ooh set and costume change.  taemin (vertical stripe pants on the far right); minho (rapper with green jacket); key (baseball cap); onew (grey pants); jonghyun (black and blue pullover)

minho's rap: since he's tall and lean, minho looks good in skinny jeans and highcut sneakers. oooh his jeans have sparkly knees. weird but looks good on him. at the end when he's saying "ppalgan sinho" and he does that arm thing - i like that move. i also like how he looks with his back turned and his legs straight and spread. nice, long, straight legs and pointed finger. mmm. oh wait this has nothing to do with dancing. focus, self, focus.

key's part: i like how he comes skipping out. like he's skipping but manages to look bad ass while doing it. the hat grab helps. and i LOVE that part in the "oooh ah" during the pause between "nal" and "milgo" where he stretches his arms out and then clasp above his head.  he did it well, angling his neck and really stretching his hands out.  he pulled his whole body taut and then pulled everything in tight and quick, giving that really awesome "shooop!" effect (does that make any sense?)  in combination with what everyone else is doing, it is a wonderful moment, gets me really high tension.  i also love the way the rest of the line is sung high and quickly with no background music.  it's the musical high point of this song for me.

taemin's part: i LOOOOOVE how he comes out.  he hops out to the side and then does this amazing slinky walk over.  i think it's a move that would look absolutely hilarious if done by someone who couldn't make it so smooth yet springy.  it could look lazy or really jerky, neither of which are good. i also love how at the end of his line, when he is extends his right hand out, he rolls and snaps his whole body (like a wave that starts at his left foot and travels up his body and leaves his body out of his outstretched right hand) to accent the end of his line.  because he's so good, you can see the wave travel through him, making it look really cool but it could easily look like some weird convulsion if done poorly.

2:30: after jonghyun's ridiculously long note, all of the members come to the front each in their own way, and the over all effect is really cool. but look at taemin!  he does that sliding thing (again, no knowledge of terminology) that Ohno likes to do sometimes. it's where you slide across the floor propelled only by the rolling motion of your ankles.  it looks really cool too since he changes orientation. his shoulders face our right first and then our left, so his body looks like some coiling snake and it's really awesome.  i also love how he comes to this clean stop and doesn't move for a split second, right at the end of the "hoo" after "juliette".  it's timed really well with the music and makes a great contrast with the other members, who are still moving. my eyes zoom right to him here, i can't help it.

2:37: the step touch move is a really basic and kinda boring move.  but taemin combines it with a body roll, shoulder shrug and finger snap and resists the urge to swing his arms around too much (really easy to do since your center of gravity is shifting during this move so your body naturally wants to counteract it by swinging the arms) so it looks really cool. i aspire to do my next step, touch like him.

2:40: the move where they take two steps but the moving leg is kept stiffly straight. i think the way taemin does this move is the best way to make this somewhat awkward step look good.  he keeps his body super stiff and really slams his working leg down. if you are kinda dainty about it like jonghyun, it just looks uncomfortable and indecisive. 

3:06: the move during the dadada-s is really fun and i love it.  for some reason my eye is drawn to min-ho during this.  could be that his arms are the longest so there's just more to swing around and draw the eye (the advantage that taller dancers always have).  but i think it's more because compared to key who doesn't put any emphasis anywhere, when min-ho pulls his arm up and back so his hand is by his ear, he really pulls his arm back and opens his chest up and adds a bit of a neck tilt in there and lets his arm linger back there for a tiny lag.  that kind of emphasis is important - it works as a punctuation mark in what would otherwise be a long run on sentence, if  you get what i mean.

3:07: during the side steps, tae-min really shows his skill. side-steps, like step touches, are really basic steps and can be boring as hell. but taemin makes it interesting by leaving his center of gravity behind till the last minute and then whipping his whole body over to follow his foot,  so instead of just swaying back and forth, he zips from one side to the other.

3:14: AHHHH i think this is my favorite dance moment in the whole pv. i call it my favorite because the other moments are made up of taemin's awesome moves, but this moment only works because they're a group, so it really shows off the group well.  the whole shifting your position by using the momentum of swinging one leg around while your upper body does something else entirely is a really cool move, but it looks especially cool since there are 5 people doing it at once but in opposite directions. i love how they just seem to be moving randomly but then all of the sudden they align and as soon as they do that, they stop doing the move.

ending: i love how taemin ends the song, lifting one heel off the ground as he revolves another foot inwards by putting weight on the toe and revolving his heel around it. 

...and that ends my analysis.

it's very cool choreography and done very well.  i've checked out their other stuff but nothing has really grabbed my attention so far.  but i really like Shinee.  They are very good dancers and singers and remind of DBSK in that way.  If only they were as good looking.   Aw shit, i am going to get hate from Shinee fans for this, aren't i?  i think the other thing is how young they are.  they're even younger than DBSK so it's really starting to get into creepy territory if i were to be attracted to them as guys.

ok this took like 3 hours as these dance analysis posts always take and i am long past my bed time.  night night!






Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
oviparous
Nov. 5th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
dude, you are siao.
oviparous
Nov. 6th, 2010 07:02 am (UTC)
oh yes i forgot to say: this post is seriously the culmination of all your pent-up whatever, since you've been watching this juliette (ohh!) thing for weeks on end and finally it has translated into words on your blog. WELL DONE, YUKOPON.

i miss you.
aegistheia
Nov. 5th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
Disclaimer: I only know some of SHINee's music and none of what the boys look like.

So I think it's really interesting that someone as untrained in dance as me can still pick out the dancer who excels (who, when I read your post later, turned out to be Taemin) without much difficulty! I completely understand what you're saying about his similarity to dance with Ohno - they're both self-contained and concise. There's something in the way they hold their body and ease out their moves that I have no words to describe. Plus, I love their footwork; they must have such strong ankles. Taemin even silhouettes like Ohno does, too!

I also get pretty caught up by Key, especially in the second, darker half - it's the hip-hop attitude he puts into his arms. But maybe that's just me.

Truth be told I'm kind of awed by the synchrony and the sheer level of skill of SHINee's dance, especially the ripple of hipthrusts from the back to the front in 2:02. Precision, how I've missed you! I've been...used to J-Pop's (and especially Johnny's, woe) dancing, and watching them is a gust of fresh air.

So, really, thanks for posting this! It was a fun read!
satopi3104
Nov. 26th, 2010 04:58 am (UTC)
hey! thanks for commenting.

It's cool that you also see the similarities between Ohno and Taemin. And yeah, they both must have killer strong ankles. Are those ankle rolling moves called silhouettes?

and yes re Key's attitude. He's definitely got some hip hop flair and i love it.

yeah, as someone who is such a stickler for quality and talent, it's hard for me NOT to choose kpop over jpop. I still love Arashi, but they are more the exception and much of my love does not derive from their dancing/singing skills. even groups like snsd or wonder girls has something about them that draws me even though i don't think any of them are singing or dancing powerhouses like the members of dbsk or shinee.

thanks again for reading!
aegistheia
Nov. 26th, 2010 05:43 am (UTC)
LOL I have no idea what those ankle rolling moves are called. By silhouette I simply mean that if I were to hit pause at any given moment in the video, they tend to be holding themselves in such a way that show how well they know their bodies and how to move them.

I'm speaking more from an artist's perspective here, but think of it as them having really interesting (and disciplined) poses. Their structures are visually stimulating, and their motion even more so.

I certainly don't love Arashi primarily for their music or dance, either! (W-well, except for maybe Ohno.) I generally find the Korean pop stars more visually and musically appealing (though that doesn't say much because pop is emphatically not my musical genre of choice).

Thank you for sharing!
satopi3104
Nov. 28th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
oh cool - what is your genre of choice? I ask because pop isn't my genre of choice either. I am a huge classical music geek. to vastly simplify my tastes, i love mozart operas and beethoven and brahms symphonies.

and yes, i agree with you that they have very disciplined poses. i know they aren't ballet dancers so maybe words like line are not appropriate, but i think that is what you are getting at. They both have beautiful line and that is so key in being a good dancer.

aegistheia
Nov. 30th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC)
!!! Hello, fellow Classical music lover! To vastly simplify my tastes as well, Beethoven is one of my favourite, favourite composers. I adore Handel and Tchaikovsky, too. When it comes to the violin, though, I am very partial to Tartini. (I can go on and on and on about choral music and piano pieces and quartets...) My preferences in opera are currently being reshuffled, so there's not much I can say right now beyond the fact that I really love opera ♥ I also really love traditional music from non-Western cultures too, for example traditional Chinese music.

As for other, less strictly codified forms of music, I veer mostly towards rock and metal, with a dipping in indie. Despite my love for Classical music, I don't actually listen to it as frequently as these genres, because the moment a Classical composition comes on I can't do anything but focus on it; therefore I need to specifically set time aside for Classical works. Rock and metal are my beloveds, too, so I just get the best of all worlds.

/music geek. (Music, and most other art forms, are of great personal significance to me, so I can get kind of blathery about them. I hope you don't mind!)

Ah, yes, the ballet line! That's definitely along the my line of thought, yes. I'm always so tempted to use them for gesture drawings.
satopi3104
Nov. 30th, 2010 07:35 am (UTC)
i totally know what you mean about not listening to classical as much as other genres because you get too focused on the music to do anything else. i am COMPLETELY like that too, which is why i end up listening to A LOT of arashi and k-pop even if it's not even a fraction of the experience of listening to, say, Mahler's symphony no. 2 <- one of my all-time favorite pieces probably partially due to the fact that i performed it.

i am a choir singer, so choral music is a whole different genre for me. i love being a choir singer because you really come to appreciate the structure of a piece when you are one of so many moving pieces that work together like clockwork. i especially feel this when i perform bach.

and ah, tchaikovsky. so because of my ballet background, i have a hard time just neutrally listening to tchaikovsky's music, and for that reason i tend to stay away. but i really should give his non-ballet music a shot. embarassingly enough, i don't really know what even his violin concerto sounds like, which is pretty bad since it's SO famous. any recommendations?

i also don't listen to much non-western traditional music. i would love to hear more about Chinese classical music. i am studying now in Hong Kong and visited China a bunch of times and am really interested in learning more about Chinese traditional culture.
aegistheia
Dec. 1st, 2010 05:10 am (UTC)
Wow, a Mahler symphony no. 2 performance! Applause. Were you part of the choir, or did you play an instrument? Which part did you like best?

Ahahaha, my musical experience tends more to soloist stuff, so I don't have as much exposure to ensemble music. Do you have any suggestions for me to explore?

As for Tchaikovsky, the Violin Concerto in D major should definitely be your first stop, followed immediately by Piano Concerto no. 1 as your second! I don't know what flavour of music you like, but personally I'm also very fond of June (Bacarolle) and Symphony no. 6 "Pathétique".

Speaking of which, what are your favourites to perform in ballet, and what would you recommend? I regret not attending more performances when I had the time to do so, so I really want to expand my horizons with this when I can again. Have you been dancing for long?

As for traditional Chinese music, hm...well, if you haven't, check out the 12 Girls Band - they use traditional Chinese musical instruments to play a large range of music; they're not exactly the definition of traditional, but they're a good gateway into the instruments and have some traditional selections in their repertoire. There's bound to be something there that'll attract your attention!

Personally I'm really attached to Chinese opera, but I personally think a lot of the beauty of Chinese opera is in the language that they use, and it's also a matter of personal taste; it's not the easiest genre to appreciate.

What do you think of Hong Kong? In my opinion, Hong Kong is a great place to check out Chinese culture; I don't think there's as much blatant censoring going on there compared to mainland China, at any rate. If you have time, visit the neighbouring island Macau too! Its Portuguese influences are a refreshing experience.

Okay I'm finishing this up before this gets too long, but seriously, thanks for talking with me about music! I really do love it so ♥
maiaide
Nov. 6th, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
I would read this, but I don't know which one Tae-min is. >_> I love that you're so hardcore into this. I miss Kpop sometimes. I've been in a huge hole since school started, no lie. Not cool!

Ps. HI!
satopi3104
Nov. 26th, 2010 04:50 am (UTC)
HI!!

But I point out who Tae-min is! He's Mr. Blue-pants/Striped Pants. Do check him out even if you don't read this lol.

You wouldn't miss KPop if you were to come over to the dark side *cue menacing music*

Yeah I hate how school = rest of your life stops.

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )