Nikkei Magazine interviews, Mikiko the Key person in charge of BABYMETAL's choreographies. Mikiko speaks in depth about the chogreographies process, the maturity of the girls and expains choreographies points of "META! Taro", "KARATE" and "GJ!". Full interview translated below.
Mikiko expains details of "META! Taro", "KARATE" & "GJ!" choreographies
Fascinating Audience with Performance Only Possible by the Three
Mikiko has offered choreography for various artists such as Perfume.
Taking on the name Mikiko-Metal when working with BABYMETAL, Mikiko is responsible for choreography and staging at live events.
"In terms of choreography, I make sure that the girls' movements are not overpowered by the instrumentals. I also hope to present a sense of wonder and strangeness (in a good way) through routines only the 3 girls can do. I strive to fuse yet contrast style and cuteness in each song, while visualizing the nearly instantaneous transition between the two.
Making live performances exciting is important, so I take special care when choosing points that rouses the audience. Some points in the songs are designated for the girls to lead the audience to do certain things, like jump. Now I'm sure there are established traditions and know-hows regarding such aspects in the Metal industry, but I try not to get caught up in that. I attempt to "sense" the impression of the metal in each piece and arrange it specifically for BABYMETAL."
-Willful Unawareness of Expectations by Foreign Audience
Although there have been many more performances abroad, I deliberately choose not to take them in to consideration. As always, I mute the audio and play back the completed routine to see if it adequately expresses the theme of the song and lyrics. I always remind the girls to communicate through dance the drama and message of the song, so I'd be happy if we're able to achieve that purpose - even with foreign audiences. Regarding the choreographing process - I first make a sort of "choreography score" with notes on the beats and patterns of a new song. If I listen to the song too much, I would easily get distracted by minor sounds. That's why I try to nail down the points on my very first listen. I then match those points with moves.
After referring to the lyrics and notes from Kobametal, I start the process of constructing the routine through movement of my own body. I film the process and stitch together the parts that give strong impressions.
Let's take "Gimme Choco" as an example. The "ATATATATA-TA ZUKYUUN!" part for Yuimetal and Moametal was something that came to me the immediately after listening to this song. Consequently the intro and bridge builds up to that point by having the dancer "pump" herself up by repeatedly pointing at her head with both hands. Well, that's how I generally go about things when making routines. The whole thing is done alone in a mirrored dance studio, so it's a constant fight against loneliness. (Iaughs)
Changes are made as the girls continue to grow and mature. As Yuimetal and Moametal grow closer to the same height as Su-Metal, I have the two girls squat and bend their knees more to create a difference in elevation and to preserve the triangular scheme. If we don't have the three look three-dimensional, it's difficult to emphasize each individual.
Jumping was a piece of cake for the girls in the past, but as they grew there were times when this became difficult. However, in those cases I deliberately do not make changes to the choreography. I am sure the audience would want to see at lives exactly what they expect to see from watching the videos.
The result was the girls adapting and developing muscles, allowing them to exude an impression of power instead of light-footedness. Indeed, they have developed muscles by attempting to continue jumping as they always have. The three really are professionals in that regard. The fact that BABYMETAL is garnering so much attention and support is largely due to the sheer potential of the three girls. They are performances that only can be achieved by those three. I always prepare routines that I hope the three can manage, but they always blow away all expectations. It really never gets dull on the job. (laughs) Tokyo Dome is bigger and more vast than one can imagine, but I think the three can brute force through it. I really hope this live will prove it true.
-Points on Choreographing Certain Songs in "Metal Resistance"
Point 1: META!-Taro
This was the first song in the album I choreographed. I was expecting a cool and stylish song, but this song clearly was not what I imagined. (laughs) It's more of a hero's theme song, much like "Yatta-Man." My wish is that the entire audience would join in on the dance.
Point 2: KARATE
I choreographed for the song with one intention - to tell the story of ones who practice karate to fortify themselves for the "fight against oneself." For that purpose, I've added straight up karate "katas" (forms) in various parts of the song.
Point 3: GJ!
This song features the fastest choreography we've ever attempted. This routine is designed to feature the maximum extent of Yuimetal and Moametal physical development thus far. These two take pride in their fine, accurate movements, so I tried to incorporate that here as well. They always complain saying, "This is way too fast!" but seem to enjoy it a lot.
Translation by: uberbroke
Nikkei Entertainment interviews Yuimetal, read here.
Nikkei Entertainmente interviews Su-Metal, read here
Nikkei Entertainment interviews Moametal, read here.
Nikkei Business: BABYMETAL: their Idol-ness is disappearing in Japan, read here.