‘Street Man Fighter’ Dancer Vata Denies that He Plagiarized ATEEZ’s Dance for His “New Thing” Choreography

Street Man Fighter Vata
Street Man Fighter Vata
Credit: Vata Instagram

Vata, the leader of We Dem Boyz, one of the crews of Mnet’s Street Man Fighter, finally spoke up about the plagiarism controversy surrounding his “New Thing” choreography.

Vata took to his Instragrm on the 14th and wrote, “I thought this was just a cold wind passing by, but now I’ve decided to write this post to avoid any further misunderstandings.”

He explained, “When I first heard the song, it reminded me of wilderness, and I made this choreography by mimicking (the movement of a character) appearing on a bike or a horse. So from the start, I made a big motion of starting a bike, giving a big kick with my legs, and getting off the bike – it had a story from start to finish.” He then stressed that the flow and the intention of his choreography are completely different from the one that he’s accused of plagiarizing.

Street Man Fighter Vata
Credit: Dispatch

“As one who loves the culture of dance, I believe that it is formidable to respect fellow artists and choreographers in the field. However, I do not think this is the case right now, which I find unfortunate,” he added.

Earlier this week, suspicions of plagiarism were raised as many pointed out that Vata’s choreography for Zico’s track “New Thing” and ATEEZ’s choreography for their 2019 track “Say My Name” were similar.

Soon, Anze Skrube, one of the original choreographers of “Say My Name,” addressed the similarities between the choreographies, suspecting that Vata’s sequence copied the “Say My Name” routine, heating up the debate. The choreographer wrote that what the crew had done was “not okay” and added “if you get inspired by something, [the] least you could do is credit the creators.”

Meanwhile, another dancer crew named YGX had previously come under fire for making fun of the choreography of “Hype Boy” by NewJeans.

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