Dancing is an art form where feelings, ideas and expressions are presented through body movement.
One of the most defining features of K-pop is the choreographies. K-pop groups practice for long days and hours to achieve perfect synchronization and precise moves. Their teamwork and passion are driving forces that make the group give their best to deliver a great performance.
fromis_9 is no exception. The wide range of choreography videos and dance practice behinds have given flovers and casual fans alike the opportunity to see the hard work and preparation that comes when they release a new album.
Dancing is composed of different components. For this Write-Up, specific choreography points of “Stay This Way” and “Rewind” will be used to visualize five dance components: Musicality, Grouping, Leveling, Domino and Energy.
Disclaimer: I don’t dance. I simply enjoy watching choreography videos and reactions about them, as they make me appreciate the effort and artistry to deliver the perfect performance.
When a dancer performs a song, they are expressing the music through their body movements. Heavy beats can be translated into big, sharp movements or soft melodies presented with feather-like motions. Musicality carries a very big role in a dance routine, as it heavily influences other dance components.
Undoubtedly, fromis_9 choreographies are an exceptional musicality display. More often than not, they also translate the lyrics of the song through the musicality of their movements. It gives more life and body to the music, allowing the audience to experience the song through not only their ears, but also their eyes.
The beginning of “Rewind” sets the melancholic mood of the song. The instrumentals match with the girls’ fluid movements and covered eyes can be interpreted as the persona drowning in their thoughts. This is nicely wrapped with Seoyeon’s intro line, “It was the last day of my life. Time to rewind.”
In “Stay This Way,” the key change at the final chorus is accentuated by the sudden floor choreography formation of the other members as Jiwon stands and sings in the center. Then, it proceeds to soft fluid movements that follow the melody of the song, especially during Hayoung’s part, when she sings “널 바라보며 stay this way (Look at me and stay this way).” Her hands move from her head, shoulders and hips, reflecting the sustained notes in each syllable, while definitely making the audience look at her.
Dividing a whole group into smaller groups during a choreography gives them a chance to show more diverse formations and transitions. It can make the audience switch focus from one group to another, or highlight a specific member during their part.
For a group with a large number of members, fromis_9 choreographies often have the girls separated into two groups, or one group is left dancing in the center while the other waits on the sidelines. These groupings are also used to define formations in certain parts of a song.
During Nagyung’s part in the second verse of “Rewind”, she stands in the center while the rest of the members are around her – the inner group and outer group. The two groups are divided by height, with the shorter members near Nagyung and the taller members standing far from the center. While standing at the center already allows the audience to focus on Nagyung, this group formation gives her the spotlight, especially with the members’ arms pointing in her direction.
An interesting grouping is done during Chaeyoung’s part in the final chorus of “Stay This Way.” At the beginning of her line, she is the only one facing the audience, while the rest of the members are facing backwards with their arms stretching to the sides. As her part continues, the rest of the members turn around, followed by only Saerom and Gyuri doing the arm choreography, directing the audience to continue focusing on Chaeyoung.
Leveling is when a dancer takes up different levels of space by moving their bodies higher or lower from the dance floor. Floor choreographies are considered as low level, while dances that include jumping or hopping are high level.
fromis_9 uses leveling to create more interesting formations, and this is usually done in groupings. Leveling can make the audience ask “what just happened?” because of the numerous movements executed at once. These parts often go by quickly, but make a performance more visually appealing and entertaining.
In “Stay This Way,” a great example for leveling is during Jisun’s “Fireworks across the sky.” The choreography mimics the lyrics – their arms raised up in the sky, their hands in constant motion, and the girls leveling in different heights show that each of them are fireworks across the sky.
The leveling displayed during Saerom’s part in the first pre-chorus of “Rewind” is an interesting one, as it was used to help with the formation transition. By the end of Saerom’s singing line, the melody goes to a lower tone as she descends closer to the ground. While this is happening, there’s a smooth transition where Jisun moves to the center and the members previously waiting at the sides rejoin back in the group.
The domino effect shows a chain reaction of movements within a group. It gives the performance a more dynamic appearance, while also directing the audience to focus on a certain direction or section in the choreography.
It’s always fun to see a domino effect in fromis_9 choreographies. Having a big group has given them the opportunity to create very eye-catching dominos that can make anyone want to watch it again.
“Stay This Way” probably has the most number of domino effects in fromis_9’s entire repertoire. The most memorable one is during the pre-chorus, when either Jiheon or Saerom is standing in the middle, and the rest of the members do a chain reaction of bending movements while looking at them in the center.
The domino effect can also enhance the musicality of the song. At the dance break of “Rewind”, the girls danced domino after domino, creating the build up the song needs right before it enters its final chorus.
A dance is not a dance without energy. It defines how the dancer will do their movements. This is heavily influenced by the musicality and emotion of the song.
fromis_9 always shows a unified and synchronized energy. In a song like “Stay This Way”, they’re seen with lively movements conveying the song’s excitement and bright energy that fits with the summer vibe. The girls can also pull off a performance with a 180-degree turn, as “Rewind” shows more fluid and smooth movements, matching the song’s mysterious atmosphere.
These five components are always connected to one another, and the choreography in the outro of “Stay This Way” perfectly captures this.
A bonus component to a fromis_9 choreography is Saerom’s hair flips. If she sees an opportunity to do it, best believe that she will!