You know when you suddenly get the confidence to like something, without feeling like you have to calibrate it around the general opinion about what's good in order to not be "wrong" about liking it? I just had that experience with dance. It doesn't matter what "is" good, objectively, technically or statistically, I will still think this is the best dance:
Whoever came up with this dance is a genius. There are no moves to look sexy or feminine, no moves to look trendy and cool, and almost no moves made for vibing to the music at all. It's just... whatever this is. Hundreds of different physically exhausting moves going in all weird directions, stacked up one by one after each other, which look very hard to memorize (because there are hundreds of them and they go in all weird directions), for a B-side song they only performed in its entirety a few times at all (please prove me wrong about this!). I understand why I never enjoyed dance as an artform, because I was waiting for something like this. It's hard to know what's good and less good when everything that's presented to you is below this level.
When you get the confidence to like something on your own, you can actually develop your own taste, and Steve Jobs once said that to create something good you have to have some kind of instinc of what you see, which I interpret as "you have to see what's good in order to create something good". Keep an eye on what's beautiful in the world and channel it through what you do? Maybe that's what he meant. I'm not fully sure. He said this:
"But aesthetics? I think aesthetics are a lot like singing. Joanie [Baez] has a beautiful voice, but the reason her voice is beautiful isn’t because her voice is just beautiful. It’s because she has an incredibly good ear. She can listen to somebody speak for thirty seconds and imitate their voice almost perfectly. Her ear is superb. And I think, in the same way, good aesthetics result from just your eye. An instinct of what you see, not so much what you do."
(The Steve Jobs Archive)
Back in the days I used to write more about things I like, in a way that didn't always give a deep philsophical or practical insight, which changed when I for 2023 decided to focus on creating things myself and not just talk about what others do. But, maybe it's still important to keep being a fan, even if you continue doing your own thing. And there's the philosophical and practical insight for you. (And here's a drum cover letting you enjoy the power of Red Velvet's music in a new way)
Parts I especially like, with timestamps for the above video:
- the "pose" positions in the beginning (0:05)
- Joy's "clenching her fist" (0:39)
- the general chaos in the chorus (0:45 and 1:41)
- the jump (0:50)
- them twisting their feet and moving their hands synchronized to the "ah-oh, ah-oh" vocals (0:53)
- Irene's smooth "body roll" (0:55 and more)