As important as any other k-pop ingredient, 2017’s choreography deserves spotlight. From catchy point dances to complex formations, this year had plenty of striking performances to offer. Here are the very best:
10. BTS – NOT TODAY
The army of back-up dancers certainly helps, but even without the extra support, it’s a clean, powerful routine delivered in absolute sync.
9. ASTRO – BABY
Astro don’t receive nearly enough attention for their dancing, but Baby‘s light-on-its-feet routine attempts to change that. It may lack a defining point move, but it’s stll one of the year’s most underrated performances.
8. TAEMIN – MOVE
Blurring the lines between masculine and feminine, Move was certainly one of 2017’s more striking performances. Few artists could have carried it off as brilliantly as Taemin, who imbues even the smallest of movements with undeniable charisma and control.
7. SUNMI – GASHINA
Not a particularly complex routine, but one of the few point dances that really captured Korea’s imagination in 2017. In a year of cutesy girl groups, Sunmi brought a can’t-take-your-eyes-off-her sensuality.
6. NCT 127 – CHERRY BOMB
The song itself may have been a bit of a mess, but Cherry Bomb delivered NCT’s most iconic move yet in the climactic triangular splits formation.
5. GFRIEND – FINGERTIP
GFriend have long been known for their powerful choreography, but Fingertip was their most explosive yet. The routine allowed main dancer SinB the chance to really shine, unleashing a lethal dose of fierce charisma during the song’s instrumental break.
4. WANNA ONE – ENERGETIC
Delivering the year’s most iconic opening with their man-made piano formation, Wanna One successfully harnessed several memorable point moves for a fun and suitably “energetic” performance.
3. SEVENTEEN – DON’T WANNA CRY
Featuring a newly lyrical structure, Don’t Wanna Cry‘s choreography expertly conveyed the song’s emotional tone. It’s a beautifully diverse performance, transitioning from slow, almost mournful movements to a flurry of activity with impressive fluidity. There are moments that are absolutely breathtaking, like the human-knot formations in the second pre-chorus or the skyward gaze that marks Cry‘s climax.
2. NCT DREAM – MY FIRST AND LAST
This is just such a pleasure to watch. NCT Dream delivered 2017’s most whimsical, inventive choreography, which is all the more surprising given their young age. The formations are flawless, starting with the chorus’s “penguin dance” and culminating in the how-did-they-do-that human pinwheel around youngest member Jisung. It’s endlessly charming, impressive stuff delivered with absolute panache.
1. SEVENTEEN – CLAP
Seventeen continue to be the group to beat when it comes to choreography. Clap isn’t their most difficult or innovative routine, but its simplicity and cleanness prove to be completely beguiling. The thirteen members move as one here, with individual performers constantly pushing out from the group to offer finely-tuned moments of charm. All the while, the formations never slow or become overly repetitive, offering just the right balance of levity and power. There’s a ridiculous level of precision at work here that lends the entire performance an unmatched sense of polished fluidity.