Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.
University of South Carolina Lancaster
Choreography and costuming for: “Maximum”
Album: Keep Your Head Down
Album Release Date: January 5, 2011
Press Play to watch a live performance of “Maximum” by TVXQ.
“Maximum” choreography and concepts echo the traditional stepping performances of …)
Fraternity: Alpha Phi Alpha (AΦA) (the oldest African-American/Black Greek Letter Organization).
Founded: December 4, 1906 at Cornell University
AΦA’s signature stepping choreography: “Train,’” including synchronized hand or arm movements evocative of ancient Egyptian culture.
AΦA’s common performance elements, particularly for neophyte (new member) debuts: militarized or stealth-like costuming and/or masks/face coverings and hoods.*
Press Play to watch AΦA members perform a “train” step sequence (timestamp 2:51).
Press Play to watch AΦA neophytes (new members) debut on their campus.
ELEMENTS OF NOTE:
Introduction of individual members with ultimate group performance
- Performer entrance is intense with high drama
- All-male performers
- Presentation points are to manifest gravity and high levels of athleticism, endurance, and self-confidence
- Train step (footwork)
- Synchronized and staggered arm movements
- Hoods and covered faces, use of black military-like/stealth-like costuming
- Songs or chants center on challenging others and overcoming obstacles, male posturing is performed (see English interpretation of “Maximum” lyrics)
- Call-and-response performance
- AΦA’s Egyptian hand formations vs. TVXQ’s mostly neutral hands or closed fists (TVXQ’s choreography includes general index-finger pointing throughout and a quick Kung Fu salute at 4:21)
- AΦA’s call-and-response limited to fraternity members vs. TVXQ’s call-and-response with fans (who are not TVXQ group members)
- AΦA’s militarized costuming evokes Black Panther significance in African-American culture vs. TVXQ’s stealth costuming evokes history of martial arts reconnaissance and stealth in Asian culture.
*KPK recognizes that masks are also used in Kpop talent training to disguise the identity of company trainees (those who are “pre-debut”). We also note that masks are worn by Black Greek neophytes to protect their identity until they are finally revealed at their probate (debut) show.
Learn more about Alpha Phi Alpha.
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