[Set Me Free Pt 2 - Dance Analysis Thread Pt 1]
Written by: Cat
Jimin gave an explosive performance in Set Me Free Pt 2 with hard hitting choreography mixed with classic Jimin elegance. Let’s take a closer look at some of our favourite parts.
This opening is not only a masterclass in theatrics and illusion, having Jimin appear instantly amongst the sea of bodies, but also a testament to his precision. He launches to his feet to get into position and there’s not a hint of readjustment or waver in balance.
This first part really sets the scene. The dancers are all moving in sync to the music as Jimin walks through them, ignoring the beats of the music. He looks like he’s prowling amidst the chaos and prison surrounding him, looking for the chance to take control.
When he surges to the front to lead, the choreo is largely fixed to the upper body. All arms, hands and head. The movements are quick and sharp, but incredibly clean. And the dancers moving behind him emphasize and amplify each of his movements.
This head movement in particular is so precise. It’s like his head is moving along a straight diagonal line before sliding back along the same line to his hand. Miming like this is a street dance style Jimin really excels at.
With shoulders up and head down, this pose is the opposite of ballet, which always looks for shoulders down and neck elongated. This posture looks simultaneously defensive and aggressive. The head is hunched, but the arms and chest are spread open as if daring someone to attack.
LOVE the way this circular movement seems to ripple through his body during the “repeat” line. You can see his other shoulder even rolling in response.
One of Jimin’s specialties is the amount of expression he can do with his head alone in dance. This rapid head shake is no exception, emphasizing both the lyrics and his voice as the music quiets in the background.
This spiral walk evokes a lot of different imagery but perhaps most pertinent is how he is walking into a smaller and smaller space. The spiral gets tighter and tighter, with no room left to move or breathe. Until he breaks free.
This butterfly move is masterful and takes elegance + coordination. Jimin has long been a master of quick in and out knee movements and he pairs them here with elegant fluttering arms and perfectly delicate hands. Not to mention his signature shoulder!
This head turn is subtle but powerful. The way he angles his body allows him to keep turning his head, seemingly beyond normal human range, before clicking into place. The stare he gives to the camera truly accentuates the moment and his resolve.
Not only does this movement illustrate the lyrics, it’s also quintessentially Jimin. The elegance of the movement, the turnout in fifth position, the delicate hands, open chest and gorgeous body lines. He’s a living sculpture and work of art.
“Raise your hands up for the past me” - illustrated by a defiant fist in the air. He’s honouring his past self and all the struggle he went through even as he acknowledges he has to break free and forge a new future. Note his impeccable lines, with the weight sitting on one hip.
This hopping move in the chorus needs to be DISCUSSED. Because it is oh so reminiscent of the hopping move in the chorus of Lie and yet completely opposite at the same time.
Notice the movement in Lie - how it looks so weighted down. He dances as if he is hopping against gravity that is actively pushing him down. He is struggling to get any air in the jump as the weight of his lie tries to crush him.
In contrast to the airiness, almost floating quality, of this hop. Both choreos have three hops and then a transition to the next set. But here, Jimin is practically bouncing with freedom, breaking away from whatever is shackling him. He won’t be held prisoner anymore.
In this next sequence, his moves suggest grasping at, hoping for or imagining his freedom. His hands are up, unshackled, free to wave and move unfettered.
By the way, Jimin’s iconic turnout is EVERYWHERE in this MV - whenever he walks, poses, breathes - it’s always there, reminding us of his incredible hip flexibility and ballet training.
The details of his hands here are incredible. First the tightly clasped hands that soften as one trails over the other. Then the shaking right hand - such detail down to his fingertips. And then each hand goes up, as if depicting the manacles and chains keeping him trapped.
A desperate escape for freedom follows. The run looks cathartic but the steps are also choreographed. Two quick and short steps are followed by a third long step that lunges more to the side. It looks desperate and fierce, but oh so satisfying being timed to the music.
This body wave is beautiful - notice the movement starting at the top of his chest and waving down his torso as he does some heel-toe footwork to rotate around.
One last look at the audience. He made a bid for freedom, but the guards grab him, pushing him back into captivity.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our analysis, written by Chim!