Known for their onstage presence and stylish dance moves, Hong Kong boyband Mirror has taken the city by storm. In this interview, the band's choreographer Rock Fang talks to Tatler about how their dance routines come to life and shares what it's like working with megastar Anson Lo.
Since forming in 2018, Hong Kong boyband Mirror has sparked a resurgence for Canto-pop in the city. As well as selling out stadium gigs and delighting fans young and old, over the past twelve months the band's members, led by Asia's Most Influential honouree Keung To, have become the city's hottest commodity––appearing in advertisements for everything from luxury jewellery and fashion brands, to banks and fast-food chains.
But behind every great boyband is a team that helps make the magic happen, and for Mirror, Rock Fang is an integral part of that team. The renowned Hong Kong dance teacher and choregrapher has created many of the band's signature moves and fan-favourite dance routines––earning him the nickname "Rock Sir" with both the band's members and their fans.
In this exclusive interview with Tatler Hong Kong, Fang talks to us about choreographing for Hong Kong's hottest band, how he finds inspiration for new routines, and what it's like working with Anson Lo.
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Becoming the city's most in-demand choreographer wasn't always on the cards for Rock Fang. He originally planned to become a physical education teacher. It wasn't until he fell in love with dance in his second year of university that the course of his path changed for good.
Since then, Rock's dance skills have taken him from street dancing outside Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui to fulfilling his dream to open a dance studio, Studiodanz. He shares that the journey wasn't without twists and turns––the opening was almost thwarted by lease issues, alongside other challenges––but that owning the studio is a "dream come true".
Thanks to Mirror's success, and Fang's affiliation with the band, 2021 saw fans flocking to his studio to learn the dance moves of their favourite members. "Many people had never danced before, and this was their first class. [Mirror's] influence was clear in their decision to come––which was very touching. To see that their music was what had made people want to try a dance class for the first time; that was a good feeling".
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In addition to creating routines for the band, Rock Fang has also been instrumental in Anson Lo's solo success. Co-choreographing the dance moves for "Megahit" with the dance-singer, the two successfully set off a city-wide craze, propelling Lo to household-name status in the process.
The pair began choreographing "Megahit" when the song was a demo audio track without lyrics. Upon hearing the music, Rock immediately thought hooks like "Uh-oh Uh-oh Uh-oh", "Boom Boom Boom", and "Bang Bang Bang" would work for the track. But, confiding with Lo, he shared his concerns that he wasn't sure how to choreograph moves that worked with his ideas. He was also concerned that once the lyrics of the song were completed, the sounds would be sacrificed for their literal meanings.
"The lyrics are one of the most important elements of Cantonese songs. When a lyricist tries to put complex thoughts into a relatively short song, he needs to use many words to fill in the lyrics. This can cause some iconic dance moves to be lost." Fang explains.
Anson shared his concerns and discussed the dilemma with the famous modern Cantonese lyricist Wyman Wong. He asked Wyman to keep as many unique rhythms and sounds as possible. Wyman accepted, allowing Fang and Lo more space to play with the choreography. "This is just one of the many reasons the song was a success," Rock told us.
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