ZE:A, TVXQ, Catch Me, SHINee, Why So Serious, VIXX, Hyde, EXO, Wolf
Dance Revolutionized Through Storytelling: SHINee – Zombies, EXO – Werewolf, Etc. Dance has evolved to now tell the story of the song's lyrics.
ZE:A's performance has transformed from "choreography" to "storytelling."
Shinhwa, the 1st generation of idols, put a stamp on choreography with their precise dance moves. Since then, a myriad of idol groups have followed in their footsteps, such as INFINITE and Teen Top. However, "storytelling performance" is coming to light as more and more boy groups are making the change.
The first group to make this change was TVXQ. Their song "Catch Me," which was released in September, attracted a lot of attention when one person transformed into "Hulk" on stage. Similar to the blockbuster movie "Hulk," the member took a potion and became violently angry, transforming into the Hulk. The song made the comparison of the pain of a breakup to Hulk's anger, and shocked audiences everywhere.
SHINee's song "Why So Serious," released in April, tells the story of a zombie who falls in love with a human being through dance. VIXX's song "Hyde" tells the story of Dr. Jekyll, who turns into a monstrous Hyde, made apparent by the members' smokey makeup, color lens, and dance.
More than any of these groups, EXO stands at the apex of storytelling performance. Their song "Wolf" tells the story of a werewolf who loves a girl. The 12 members each play a different part in the storytelling; some are the trees in the forest and others make up the wolf's cave - all through dance. EXO was able to captivate their fans with this story of a murderous werewolf who unexpectedly falls in love with a girl.
In addition, groups such as Boys Republic, BTS, and B.A.P have also incorporated storytelling dances through modern dance and ballet.
This novel dance style was born through competitive performances among the male idol groups.
In the latter half of 2000, Wonder Girls, Girls' Generation, KARA, and other girl groups dominated the idol market with their "point dance." But in the past few years, boy groups have upped their game, and competition grew more intense. For a while they went head to head, but the male idol groups pulled ahead by doing something different; instead of boring choreography with no agenda, they decided to tell stories with their dance. A rep from SM Entertainment stated, "A new level of performance has been created with the efforts to come up with more intense and difficult choreography."
Thanks to this new trend, performance directors are gaining more attention. Performance directors don't simply create new dance moves, but are now expected to utilize the whole stage for the song choreography. One noteworthy performance director includes the duo Hwang Sang Hoon - Shim Jae Won, who is responsible for TVXQ, SHINee, EXO, and other SM Entertainment artists' performances.