By LazerKim: Kim Hyun Joong is a multi talented artist, a singer, actor, and dancer. Unlike other Solo singer, Hyun Joong dance while he sings. We watched him move his body to the rhythm of what he sings. But we do not have the slightest idea how it is to perform a 3minute piece of music, and how the preparation goes before we can finally see results. Let’s move in to the world of dancers and focus our attention to Kim Hyun Joong as a star dancer behind the scene.
To be a dancer is not an easy job to do, if I compare being a singer and a dancer, a dancer exerts more physical and mental effort than a singer. To be a good dancer takes a good body rhythm and coordination in all parts of the body, head to foot.
Before Hyun Joong steps on any stage, a lot of preparation has to be done, from concept, choreography, costumes, stage lights,effects, and his back up dancers the Artmatics. In terms of preparation, it may have the same process with SS501. Of course the big difference is that Hyun Joong has to occupy every single space of the stage by his presence alone.
Let’s get to the bottom of Hyun Joong being a dancer. Once his music had been composed, arranged, recorded with Hyun Joong, the ball starts rolling. It’s the turn of his choreographer Lyle Beniga to conceptualize the recorded music. Lyle starts to conceptualize everything before the main rehearsal starts. This includes the theme of the dance, choreography, costumes, props, and number of dancers needed.
Once everything had been set and planned out, Lyle starts with his rehearsals with the back up dancers first. Once the choreography had been done for the back up, that’s the only time Hyun joong starts his rehearsals. Lyle works on separate dance routine for Hyun Joong on certain parts of the music, then rehearse in unison with his back up dancers.
I believe Hyun Joong can easily pick up dance routine since Artmatics had been with SS501 for some time, therefore Hyun Joong and the Artmatics had already developed rapport. It’s important that dancers in a group should move, coordinate, breath, and project all at the same time, to come up in a perfectly harmonized performance. Timing and musical cue is vital to the dancers.
In the case of Hyun Joong, since he sings and dance at the same time, he knows how to calculate between his breathing and his movements, knowing when to boost energy on dance routine, and when to tone down his movements. It’s not easy because Hyun Joong tends to exert beyond his peak during performance. Although in fairness, I’ve watched almost all his performances and he never go flat or out of tune, despite the demand of effort to exert on his dance routine.
Choreographers get their inspiration from his dancers, specially if they’re good and fast learning dancers. Sometimes choreographers tend to go beyond with dance routine, and a lot of time forgets that Hyun Joong will be singing too!! And since Hyun Joong loves dancing, he would execute anything his choreographer tells him to do, can’t blame him, he’s a professional.
Hyun Joong is an inspiring material for Lyle, because of his passion for dance and passion for his music. Hyun Joong’s working attitude matured drastically. I can compare his current rehearsals from his previous SS501. He’s currently learning a different style in choreography, plus the fact that he’s doing everything on stage by himself could be the reason why he had matured.
Hyun Joong would rehearse for seven hours a day, hit the gym for two hours and back to the recording studio for his singing. He did this everyday when he was preparing for his first two albums. As a dancer, Hyun Joong would spend all his waking hours memorizing dance routine, that he should be able to attain a certain point that when he hears his music right on the dot he should know the music cue and his routine. That kinda feeling, because on big stages will his audience cheering on top of their voice can create immediate distraction to any dancer. Of course presence of mind is important, so is his routine.
Once he’s 105 percent sure of his song and dance, dress rehearsals comes next. As you can see from the photo above, he’s wearing his most comfortable clothes for rehearsals, so as he can freely move and execute his dance routine comfortably.
Dancing in light clothes is different from dancing in costumes or his outfit for the show. Dancing in actual costume tends to feel heavier and there’s a bit discomfort. He wears a different shirt, different shoes, and as you can see even during rehearsals he’s already wearing his dark glasses and his microphone. He has to get use to it as if his glasses and microphone are parts of his body.
Now that everything is set for show time, Hyun Joong is prepared to go out there to fight his battle. But not too fast, we’re just half way there. When Hyun Hoong launch his first album, his choreographer had considered his flexibility, meaning he’ll be performing in different stages, big or small stage, choreography has to be flexible.
Before each performances of Hyun Joong, he has to work on stage blocking. This is positioning the dancers making sure they occupy the entire center stage without bumping to each other while dancing, whether performed on TV station stage which is smaller or concert stage which is much bigger.
There are many types of elevated stage but mostly the main stage of a theater is usually rectangular shape with provision of connecting ramp, or the usual concert hall in Seoul with multiple connecting ramps. Everything has to be considered when dancers are to perform on stage. And that is why there’s always the SOP kinda technical stage rehearsals and technical dress rehearsals before the actual performance.
During the technical stage rehearsals, microphones, stage lights and effects should be in place with the dancers blocking. Lastly, there has to be technical dress rehearsals,and rough run through. At this point everything should be in place, before the actual performance without audience. This part can be most tiring, because lights and effect designs are done in actual rehearsals together with the dancers. Lights and effects are computerized and so production set up can be much easier. Finally, Hyun Joong and his back up dancers step on that stage bringing his 100 percent confidence to perform.
It’s been a fantasy dream of every dancer to be able to perform in a big stage well equipped with good quality sounds lights effects surrounded by enthusiastic audience. And this fantasy dream is no difference from Hyun Joong’s dream. Even he had experienced a lot of times to perform on big stage, he still dreams of Tokyo Dome on his solo concert in the near future.
The long process of preparation of every performance Hyun joong does is no joke. In every 3minutes piece of his music cost money and hard labor of love. As Hyun Joong climb up his career ladder, every step he goes up, the higher his quality standard gets. And it’s true when he said whenever he hears his fans cheer for him his adrenaline rise up beyond control. Dancers do get carried away by his audience specially on concerts that boost their energy to step up.
Now, you can imagine the hard work a dance singer has to undergo before he can perform on stage. Hyun Joong exerts even extra effort making sure of attaining perfect performance consistently in every stage he steps in. And whenever he performs he always has something new either in his repertoire or in his image.
Hyun Joong is gifted with a lot of ideas in mind, and all he will do is to execute those creative ideas. Any dancer including himself would only dream of sharing the joy of entertainment to his audience. This is the world of KIm Hyun Joong as a star dancer.
LazerKim here writing
Photo credits as tagged thanks!