When it comes to MV concepts, pretty much every idea has already been done. It can be hard to come up with something new, but sometimes a killer choreography is all you need to make a great MV. Especially in K-pop, dancing can sometimes be everything that will make or break your MV.

Highlight – “Alone” 

Right from the beginning of Highlight’s MV, the setup with the backup dancers is immediately captivating with its intricate design. The dance routine continues to be great throughout the MV with mirrored dancing, the continued use of backup dancers, and other methods that help each member stand out during their verses.

With such a technology-based theme MV, you would half expect the chorus to break down into a trap beat or the use of auto-tune to give it more of a robotic feel. Instead, we are greeted with Gikwang’s natural and raspy vocals which take the song in a completely different direction. Instead of a gritty song, we have more of a dance-pop single that will lift up your mood in spite of the moody lyrics. Overall, this is a decent comeback for Highlight proving that they are still a force to be reckoned with. 

Choi Hyun Suk x Yoshi x Haruto (Treasure) – “Volkno”

The use of flickering lights, shaky cameras, and overall chaoticness is the perfect match for this fast-hitting hip-hop song. With a song about volcanos, obviously, there is a lot of fire and explosions in this MV. Unlike the other MVs on the list, there is no clean-cut choreography for this MV. However, there is plenty of movement and action that fit well with the beat and overall concept of the song. 

This MV does use the typical visuals for a hip-hop song like a hype crew, cars on fire, and lots of jumping around. However, the use of semi-trucks as horses is fairly unique and one of the best parts of the MV. The members hold on to their reigns and walk them around like real animals. This all leads up to a great action scene where they hook up the semi-truck to an old car and are driven around like a horse and carriage. If you are sick of the same concepts in MV, then this theme might be just the thing you need for a breath of fresh air.

B.I. – “Keep Me Up”

There is not too much to analyze in this MV with its basic concept. The song’s voice speaks about not being to sleep because his mind is stuck on someone they love. As such, the MV is appropriately an all-night scene with only some foggy lights that shine down on B.I. and his dancers. Overall, it gives the scenes a dreamy-like feel that again links up with the song’s theme. 

While B.I. dances with his male dancers in the beginning, for the second verse, B.I. takes a step back and allows his female dancers to take center stage. It makes sense to give the female dancers their own time before introducing them to the group since the MV is setting up a theme of males versus females. When they unite, the male and female dancers move together sensually, with a sort of pull-and-tug flirtatious routine. While there may not be much to the MV’s theme, the smooth choreography definitely takes center stage and helps set the overall angsty mood of the song. 

Boa – “Forgive Me”

Even the Queen of K-pop can sometimes fall into MV tropes with long tables, street scenes, and simple visuals. However, she makes sure we know her crown will never fall off when it comes to her choreographies. While B.I. used his dance routine to create a flirty tone in his MV and blended in with his dancer’s aesthetics, Boa takes the opposite approach by standing out among her dancers. This is because the dancers are there to elevate her but never outshine her. On top of her wardrobe, Boa’s own approach to her dance routine, with lots of energy along with fierce facial expressions, lets us know that she is the star of the MV.

The rest of the MV is filled with black-and-white retro aesthetics that simply show off Boa’s visuals. While the long table is a common trope, Boa at the head of the table helps keep the audience’s eyes on her. The overall point is that Boa is the center of everything, and in every scene, the audience’s eyes should quickly go to her. Again, despite the simple concept, the choreography and song definitely deserve some recognition.  

Kang Daniel – “Nirvana”

Despite being joined by the dance crew from Street Man Fighter, WDBZ, the dance was not the center of the MV for “Nirvana.” Instead, the ocean view, bright sunlight, and colorful flowers help create a carefree tone. The summery elements are contrasted by all the literal trash in the scenes which actually sets up the symbolism within the MV. Flowers growing out of an old truck, a soda can, and trash bags create a sense of hope among the ugly. While the imagery is simple and does not elaborate too much, it fits with the song’s topic. The lyrics of the song are equally inspirational as the symbols in the MV:

Hold your breath
Take you to Nirvana
We’ll be free to fly high
Close your eyes for a moment
It’s not too far away
So don’t you wanna fly around the world with me?

The choreography is kept surprisingly simple and repetitive. However, just because they keep it simple does not mean it is not without its talent. Initially, Kang Daniel is dressed in similar street attire to be seen as being a part of the dance crew. However, the routine switches to a different setting where Kang Daniel stands out in an all-red suit placing more emphasis on him. Ultimately, though, the MV is centered more around the happy mood versus making it into a choreography-based MV.

(Youtube [1][2][3][4][5]. Lyrics via LyricsTranslate. Images via SM Town Konnect Entertainment.)