The Diversity in “Permission to Dance” Makes the Song More Than a Top of the Charts

SEOUL, 20 July (Yonhap) – After reigning four times on one of the world’s most competitive music charts, BTS once again topped the Billboard Hot 100 with their summer bop “Permission to Dance”.

The upbeat song, which the South Korean septet says is something for everyone, on Tuesday became BTS’s fifth song to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s singles charts.

While the upbeat vibe and catchy melody of the song is in line with the group’s positivity seen in previous hits like “Dynamite” and “Butter,” what sets the song apart is its celebration of diversity.

BTS, known for their powerful group choreography in songs like “Idol” and “On,” opted for easy-to-follow dance moves inspired by sign language.

Big Hit Music, the band’s label, explained that the choreography incorporates international sign language for words like “joy”, “dance” and “peace”. Moving two fingers on a palm spread out like a stage means “dancing” while drawing the “V” sign with both hands is a symbol of peace.

This is not the first time BTS has expressed support for the deaf community. Members of the group often used sign language in their messages, and RM donated 100 million won (US $ 86,888) to a school for deaf students in 2019.

During a recent impromptu live session with fans on July 13, RM recalled how the band came to include sign language in the choreography.

“The idea was there but we put it in thinking we hadn’t really considered it,” he said during the V Live session. “It was fun work and it felt good to hear that a lot of people were touched by looking at sign language.”

As RM said, stories of people moved by the gesture have surfaced around the world.

Hamonthly, who describes herself as a Korean deaf YouTuber, is one of them.

In a video posted on July 10, the self-proclaimed BTS fan appeared amazed at how BTS incorporated international sign language into the clip. She also mentioned how the group looks quite natural when using it, adding that they’ve taken into consideration that facial expression is an important part of sign language.

“BTS expressed their lively feeling and happy expression very well,” she said.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization, also thanked the group for the idea.

“Thank you, BTS, for including sign language in your #PermissiontoDance clip. With 1.5 billion people worldwide affected by hearing loss, sign language can help them continue to enjoy music. that can bring joy to life, ”he tweeted on July 11.

In addition to sign language, the group – which has been an active voice in social campaigns, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, and has spoken out against violence against Asian Americans – brings elements of diversity. in the clip.

“Permission to Dance,” which has racked up more than 175 million views on YouTube since its release on July 9, shows people of various jobs and of different ages and nationalities smiling and dancing happily to music.

Fans also discovered details like the “disAbility Resources” sign on an office scene in the clip.

As BTS member Jimin said, the song is something anyone can enjoy.

“It’s not a great song. It’s a song anyone can easily enjoy,” he said in an online talk show, “A Butterful Getaway with BTS,” on July 9.

“It carries the message that everyone should dance freely even if they have had a difficult day in real life.”

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