I thought as my last post, I would post an extremely current and extremely unique music video. This video was just released this month. The singer is Junsu, the same idol who is a part of JYJ and was the main character is the video “In Heaven.” The song is called “Tarantallegra.” “Tarantallegra” is actually Latin and is a spell from Harry Potter that it used to make someone dance uncontrollably. I have no idea as to if they took the idea from Harry Potter or not, but I thought that it would be interesting to note the correlation. After watching the video, I can definitely say that they picked a suiting title; they all seem to be dancing uncontrollably!
There are so many things about this video that I don’t even know where to start! It is definitely one of the most interesting videos that I have seen in quite a while. So many things to mention! First, this video is very outwardly sexual, both when it comes to the men and the women in the video. The dance moves that Junsu and his male backup dancers do are highly suggestive and the female backup dancers can be seen shaking, gyrating, and dancing around Junsu and the male backup dancers and grabbing them. Junsu also has his shirt off for some of the time and his male backup dancers do as well. I also think that the rap track in part of the song, performed by Flowsik, a member of Asian American band Aziatix, adds an element of masculinity to the song. While there are, what I think, forcefully masculine aspects of the video, Junsu is also wearing a good deal of makeup, jewelry, and has his nails painted. Do you think these aspects add or deter from his otherwise masculine characteristics? I would say that they slightly deter from his masculine identity, but not enough to hurt him.
Something else that I thought was interesting was that all of Junsu’s backup dancers are Caucasian, something that I have never seen in a K-Pop video. And the women actually have a little bit of meat on their bones! They are still not ‘big’ by any means, but they are still larger than the traditionally thin Korean backup dancers that we usually see in videos. This is extremely refreshing and I am happy to see it in a Korean music video.
Another topic Sun Jung discusses is what she calls ‘manufactured versatile masculinity.’ She says that “it is multi-layered, culturally mixed, simultaneously contradictory, and most of all strategically manufactured.” I completely agree with her. The different types of masculinity that we see in K-Pop videos today is completely made up; manufactured; malleable. I especially agree with her when she says that masculinity is ‘simultaneously contradictory.’ ‘Tarantallegra’ is an excellent example of that. While there are many aspects of the video that show us Junsu’s manly and masculine side, there are plenty of others that do not. But that makes for a more interesting video and thought-provoking reaction, right?
I found this reaction video that someone made of them watching this music video for the very first time. It shows just how much people enjoy K-Pop videos and just how addicted they are to them and the idols. It is great!