Korean idol industry produces boy groups and girl groups with a very unique unspoken rule: All as one, one as all – that is, teamwork, uniformity, synchronization, and individuality of each member that creates a single figure of the whole group.
And Infinite is definitely one of the best example you can get to explain this.
Infinite, debuted in 2010, is a temporary dancing and singing boy band of 7 members that is cultivated by Tablo from Epik High. Once they debuted, the synchronization of their dance made them famous almost simultaneously. Here’s an example of their incredibly in sync dances – the dance practice for “Before The Dawn”:
I can barely imagine anyone that thinks their dance is not in sync. Not only the time they move is uniform, but also the angle they turn, the speed they open up their arms and legs, the distance of their hands and feet apart, the length of each movements, and even the power and acceleration they put into the moves are almost exactly the same. These boys dance in such a way that they are not 7 separate individuals anymore, they turn themselves into this powerful and stunning single artist called Infinite.
Some western audience get uncomfortable when watching these boy groups dance together in sync. “Oh, so gay!” So many of my American friends said that when I showed them the performances. This situation is pretty awkward to me since these dancers show nothing relative to homosexuality or else – they are simply dancing very uniformly. Actually, the fact that the western audience feel uncomfortable about this kind of group dancing is just the result of the promotion of uniqueness and the “different-from-everyone-else” doctrine in the western music industry – even the members from groups and bands are like that, trying to outshine the other members and make themselves stand out. Not that I think the western style of teamwork is inferior, it’s just that I think people need to see the difference of the meaning of teamwork before they judge. Once understand this difference, I believe that many western audience would appreciate these Asian – especially Korean – groups even more.
Above is the concept of “all as one”, now let me tell you about the concept of “one as all”.
The concept of “one as all” is easier to understand – that is, no matter where the group members are at – together or separated, or how famous the group becomes – unknown or popular, they are always the representatives of the name of the group at all times as long as the group still exists, and the members are always together by heart.
For example, L from Infinite left the team in Korea for a while and went to Japan for his first acting in TV series “JIU”. Infinite was shooting a series of real-life show called Sesame Player when L left, therefore he was absent for a couple episodes of the show. However, even when L’s away, the members keep mentioning him in the show, and when they are receiving interviews they even had this life-size cardboard model of L by them, representing the absent L as his spirit was still with the rest of the team – they even included L’s cup when cheering!
Furthermore, even though L acted in the TV show as an individual, his name still appeared with a special indication that he’s a member of Infinite – which isn’t even debuted in Japan.
So this is the meaning of “one as all”.
Altogether, the concept of “all as one, one as all” shaped most of the Korean idol groups such as Girls’ Generation, TVXQ, SHINee, Super Junior, Kara, Tiara, Beast, 2PM, TeenTop, ZE:A, After School…
More music and music videos from Infinite:
PS: Check out the channel “woolliment”, the official channel of Infinite’s entertainment agency if you are interested in Infinite.