Lee Sunmi is an idol that needs no introduction (but we will give one anyway). Sunmi debuted in February 2007 with “Irony” in the incredibly influential girl group Wonder Girls. With Wonder Girls, she released a great catalog of music that remains prevalent today as songs like “Tell Me” rise and trend on Tik Tok. In 2013, Sunmi debuted as a soloist with “Full Moon” and she has taken the world by storm ever since. This list will show off some of our favorite choreography moments from Sunmi’s solo career!
1. Heart Burn
“Heart Burn” topped lists of Summer Songs of 2022 with its flowy and intoxicating instrumentals and Sunmi’s light and breathy vocals. This beautiful stage is accompanied by backup dancers and props, but our favorite moment comes near the end of the song. The jump rope dance (timestamp: 2:06) is so different than anything we have seen on a K-Pop stage. This particular move reminds us of Tinikling, a folk dance from the Philippines, as they incorporate similar jumps and movements!
“Siren” was released in 2018 to great acclaim and 6 music show awards. This song follows a narrative of someone who feels that they are bad for their potential partner and lyrics about how it may be impossible to understand another person. The song title “Siren” is in reference to the mythical creature, similar to a mermaid, that was said to lure in its victims by singing beautiful songs. This context leads into our favorite part of the choreography for “Siren”: the post-chorus dance break (timestamp: 2:18). Sunmi utilizes flowy and precise movements to mimic both the waves of the ocean and a mermaid/siren with the floorwork. These direct references add a new layer to the performance and the song itself.
Next up is “Gashina” which swept music shows in 2017 and has remained popular as a dance cover song for its simple but effective choreography. The “gun dance” (timestamp: 0:59) has been covered by idols on most variety shows for the past six years. We love the depth of the lyrics for “Gashina”. The idea of being left by a partner and not letting that experience change or destroy her. She demonstrates this in the lyrics and in the chorus by presenting her own duality. She smiles and puts her hands on her face in the “flower cup” pose and immediately changes to holding a finger gun to the audience. We are always in awe of Sunmi’s facial expressions and talent!
“Tail” is one of our favorite Sunmi songs and one of our favorite solo releases of 2021. We had such a difficult time choosing which element of this choreography to choose as our favorite. This performance is so mesmerizing from start to finish. If we had to pick, we would choose the final few seconds of the performance (timestamp: 3:00). The cat tail motif comes to a crescendo after an insanely powerful dance break. Sunmi is given several tails by the backup dancers and then moves into the striking final pose, that of a cat. The theme of this performance is so incredible and perfect for the vibe of the song. “Tail” is a song that we can never get out of our heads.
5. 24 Hours
“24 Hours” is Sunmi’s most complex and intricate choreography and it was her solo debut. She set a very high bar for herself in terms of performance and vocal talent. The point choreography for “24 Hours” (timestamp: 1:12) is often described as one of the most difficult dances in K-Pop. The precise movement and synchronization required to perform the chorus is especially high. Her technical skill in this song is cited among “best of:” lists all across the internet.
In 2022, Sunmi completed her second world tour Good Girl Gone Mad following her latest single release “Heart Burn”. We hope to see more from Sunmi in 2023! Her incredible talent and passion for improving upon her own performance is so inspiring and we can’t wait to see what she does next.