In the age of MTV, or at least during the decades when said network still devoted the lion’s share of its airtime to music videos of recording artists, one sure indicator that a singer, group or band’s song – likely a single from an album – was a major deal, was if it had more than one version of music video being played. South Korean K-Pop boy band BTS had already released a music video last January for “Black Swan,” a single off their fourth and latest Korean-language album “Map of the Soul: 7.” Imagine the fans’ surprise this week when another video came out for “Black Swan.”
Inquirer.net reports that another music video for BTS song “Black Swan” from “Map of the Soul: 7” was released online this past Wednesday, March 4. There was already one MV for “Black Swan” that came out back in January 17, on the same day when its album hit music stands in South Korea; but that video was an “art film” where the (off-screen) boy band sang the song while the lyrics and music were interpreted via choreography by the MN Dance Company of Slovakia. This new video actually has BTS singing and dancing onscreen.
If anybody knew BTS then they would know that their performance in this second “Black Swan” MV is as intense as can be expected from a top K-Pop group. Evoking the performance art theme of the song, the boys do their own spin on the interpretation of the MN Dance Company, transitioning from being “white” to “black” swans in their clothing colors while sing inside a theatre. It is appropriate for the heavy themes of “Black Swan,” in how its words speak of the tragic consequences when a performer loses his love for his art.
Both BTS and the Slovakian dance group’s choreography for “Black Swan” in the two music videos get some inspiration from the similarly titled 2010 psychological horror film from then-Fox Searchlight Pictures, which starred Natalie Portman as a ballerina who begins suffering psychological hallucinations from the stress of portraying a dual lead role (white swan/black swan) in the ballet “Swan Lake.” Other dance-related performances of “Black Swan” was done live when BTS guested on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” on CBS last January 28, as well as in three South Korean TV music programs.
Meanwhile, the companion “Map of the Soul” concert tour got off to a bad start when BTS and Big Hit was forced to cancel the concert dates in Seoul, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak which has over 2,000 confirmed cases in that country. The rest of the touring dates, especially those in North America, look set to continue.
Image courtesy of Rolling Stone