Monday, June 12, 2017

Genki Sudo and World Order

I admit that my tastes in popular music are eccentric. I tend to tune in and out of popular music--I missed most of the 70s through inattention but paid some attention during the 80s when I enjoyed The Police, Talking Heads and David Bowie. Then I tuned out again. Lady Gaga almost pulled me back in with "Bad Romance" which I still think is a great pop song. But she didn't follow up with anything I found interesting. But these days, we can discover not only the mainstream of pop music, but also some that comes from elsewhere. South Korean pop had a big hit a while back, but let's try and forget about "Gangnam Style"!

There is one Japanese group that are so unusual that I find them interesting. I have mentioned the leader, Genki Sudo, before, but it was a while back and I find they have a bunch of new videos out. The group is called World Order and this is basically electro pop with dance. But it is the dance that is so original. Genki Sudo was, in his earlier life, a mixed martial arts champion. After retiring from that he published books of essays on Buddhism. A few years ago he started writing songs and lyrics and choreographing the videos. Here is a sample:

Unlike most music videos there are no special effects: what you see is simply the group, filmed live in various locations. Here is another, more recent video:

The music is pretty standard stuff, but I believe the elements of the choreography are somewhat unique and come from his background in martial arts. For comparison, here are some highlights of his martial arts career including both clips from various matches as well as his uniquely choreographed entrances to the ring, in costume. Blogger won't embed so click on the link:

None of the usual elements of dance are present in the World Order videos, but there are a host of arm-movements that seem derived from martial arts. The other remarkable element is the strict discipline of the dancers either moving in total unison or in strict sequence. Here is another video with an interesting political subject. That phrase on the sheet of paper at the very end, "we are all one" is from Genki Sudo's Buddhist belief and he often held up a banner to that effect at the end of his matches.

So there you go, another group of artists showing that the world of music and dance has a multitude of houses.

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