A brief look into the choreography of Permission to Dance
On July 9, BTS dropped yet another joyful bop in the form of Permission to Dance. Released as a gift to ARMY, it is a fun and happy song created with the intent that anyone should be able to dance and enjoy it. According to Big Hit Music, PTD is dedicated to anyone who is having a bad day or is discouraged in the face of reality.
The song and the music video celebrate the community as a whole, showing a diverse range of characters from across the globe drawing attention to frontline workers and people affected by the pandemic which posed unique challenges to many, including the differently-abled. In this regard, PTD created a spotlight on the deaf community during Disability Pride Month. There is indeed one detail that stands out in the music video; the choreography incorporates international sign language. In doing so, it promises that the message of hope conveyed through the song is extended to everyone without exception. The choreography is also relatively easy to learn, as it was made to ensure that everyone can enjoy it together when the pandemic is over.
In his recent VLive, RM discussed the conception of sign language in the choreography that came up when BTS was considering various ideas and concepts. After realizing that they had never used sign language in their dances before, they unanimously decided to try it out. RM described the entire process as a “really fun experience.”
During an interview with SBS News 8, j-hope also gave a breakdown of the hand gestures and their meaning in the choreography. While demonstrating the moves, he said, “First, spread out your fingers and bend them. Then make a scratching motion by your chest. This means it is fun.” He continued, “For the second sign, one hand should stick out palm-side up like a stage while the other hand's first and second fingers ‘dance’ on top. This sign means dancing!”
Explaining the last move, j-hope said, “Lastly, make two Vs with the first two fingers of each hand. This movement communicates peace.”
Big Hit Music also stated that when the choreography was created, they consulted with deaf people and sign language interpreters to confirm that the messages were delivered correctly. It was also mentioned that the boys took special care of the facial expressions and accurate gestures since the experts said facial expressions are vital in sign language.
In addition to this, PTD incorporates the characteristics of Country Western Line Dancing. Still practiced and taught in bars and dance halls, line dancing focuses on simple, non-contact moves quickly learned and replicated by large groups—mainly popular with flash mobs.
There is also another part in the choreo where they clap and tap front and back and then to each other singing, “We don't need to worry.” They then jump and touch the ground for the lyrics, “When we fall, we know how to land.” Those moves transmit so much peace and are so magical it feels like a hug to ARMY’s souls.
Music is not just for the ears; it ignites all of the senses. It is visual and emotional. Using dance and music to connect diverse groups, the PTD choreography reflects steps not meant to wow audiences, but rather to bring them emotionally together while still wisely keeping physical distance.
Permission to Dance is also a refreshing reminder that despite our current circumstances and situations, everyone inclusive of age, gender, ethnicity, and physical ability deserves to feel happy, and there is no shame in enjoying it.
Written by: Kathy
Edited by: Tori
Designed by: ThornToHisRose
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