From “Cobu 3D” to “Make Your Move” with Love

Are you a fan of BoA, or Derek Hough, or maybe Wesley Jonathan, or Will Yun Lee? Have you been on a two-year watch, eagerly awaiting news about their film Cobu 3D? Have you referred to the film, calling it Cobu 3D, hundreds of time over these past two years in conversations with others?

Cobu Dancers

COBU Ensemble Group of New York

If you’re like us, the answer is a resounding,“Yes!” Like it or hate it, that name, Cobu 3D, is what we’ve called it. That’s the name that forums, Twitter sites, Facebook pages, blogs, news articles, etc., were built around. Even the director Duane Adler says that the producers call themselves, “Team Cobu”. And now……. all that has changed. No more Cobu 3D! What’s up? Let’s take a look.

Wallpaper 35

Wallpaper 35

Cobu 3D was the title that was first used when the film was introduced in late 2010. However, early in 2011, the New York Times printed that there was an alternative title: Cobu 3D: New York Nights. Interestingly, however, we never saw the New York Nights addition in the news again. Did that alternative title possibly get “leaked” by a marketing department executive eager to see if it would generate more buzz for the movie? If so, it didn’t work!

If that title ever truly existed, why the New York Nights addition in the first place? Quite possibly the alternative title was attempting to combine the two plotlines of the movie: the Cobu dancing theme, along with the dramatic plot about the rivalries of the two underground nightclubs in the city of New York, nightclubs owned by Nick (played by Wesley Jonathan), and Kaz (played by Will Yun Lee? If this was the case, the title just didn’t do the job, the movie continued to be called Cobu 3D.

The title, Cobu, generally, has to be explained, and this is the most probable reason for its demise. Where did it come from exactly? What does it mean? In reality, COBU is the actual name of a New York performing arts ensemble that was started by talented choreographer Yako Miyamoto (who also stars in the film as one of the Cobu Girls). Her group of female dancers and drummers offers up a unique style of entertainment… taiko drumming and tap dancing combined.

COBU founder Yako Miyamoto, Actor Rich Tine, BoA, and Cobu Girl Actress Allison Holker

COBU founder, Yako Miyamoto; Actor, Rich Ting; Cobu Star, BoA; and Cobu Actress, Allison Holker

Yako’s group intrigued Duane Adler, the director and screenwriter of Make Your Move, who saw the group over 8 years ago. His creative vision was to craft a story around this unique art form. Yako’s choice of name, COBU, for her group combines two concepts in Japanese. The CO refers to drumming, and the BU refers to dancing. She says it means stirring up the mind to the point that when dancing, you want to drum, and when drumming, you want to dance. So Cobu in effect is, “drum like dancing, dance like drumming”.

Yako and COBU

Yako Miyamoto and her Cobu Ensemble

When Duane saw the COBU group perform, he envisioned incorporating that artistic genre into a dance film, and he knew who he wanted to star in that movie, Korean Pop star, BoA Kwon. Kwon plays Aya, a Korean born girl living in Japan, but transplanted to New York. In the Juliet-type role, Aya falls in love with Donny, a Romeo-type New Orleans tap dancer (played by Derek Hough), and teaches him a style of dance he’s never seen before. And of course, Romeo and Juliet…that is to say…Donny and Aya, fall in love. But wait!………There’s far more to the story than that, and that’s what Cobu refers to.

For over two years, the title Cobu 3D, when spoken, has imparted a vision for those of us who are eagerly awaiting the movie’s release. In our mind’s eye we see the two lovers; we see the dance rivalries and the club rivalries, and we especially see a vision of the variety of dance styles being showcased inside the two New York nightclubs: contemporary, hip-hop, tango, tap, and acrobatic style dances. Those four little letters, C-o-b-u have come to mean all of that to us.

Yako and BoA

Yako Mikamoto and BoA

Yet, in the early part of this year, the fans got wind of the fact that the title was probably going to be changed. Changed! At our Twitter account @Cobu3dTweets (now @MakeYourMove3D), we tweeted a survey to find out what fans thought of this idea. The results were highly mixed. (See the comments at the end of this blog.)

In April of this year, Duane Adler confirmed, what some of us feared, that the title had indeed been changed. For marketing purposes, Make Your Move, is thought to be an easier sell to US audiences. “Drum like dancing, dance like drumming” was just too hard to explain in a two-minute trailer.

Rich - Camera

Actor Rich Ting (Oku) on set.

A trailer has to do a lot of things, but primarily its job is to convince people to want to be in their seats at a movie theatre once the film is actually released. Minds who do this kind of stuff for a living, said that Cobu 3D couldn’t do that. So the marketing executives settled upon Make Your Move to do the job.

Cobu Advertisement

Cobu Advertisement

The title Make Your Move actually has precedence. In Germany, it was part of the title of Duane Adler’s last Step Up movie, Step Up 3D: Make Your Move. You will note, however, that the new Make Your Move title has lost the “3D”, even though this movie is using 3D in a unique way to draw audiences in, to make them feel as if they are inside those underground nightclubs, along with Aya (Kwon) and Donny (Hough). The reason why it is no longer in the title is unknown.


Kaz (Will Yun Lee); Raphael (Michael Mando); Donny (Derek Hough); and Nick (Wesley Jonathan)

At this point, does it matter what they call the film? As so many of our followers have said, “No, it doesn’t!” We just want to see it……..right? We’ve fallen in love with the plot lines, and the expectations for seeing our favorite stars in the film. So, whatever the motion picture is called, we’ve already decided…haven’t we?……..We’re gonna love it. 🙂


Twitter Comments
We asked our Twitter followers what they thought of the title “Make Your Move”

Cobu Comments

Article written by MakeYourMoveFans


One comment on “From “Cobu 3D” to “Make Your Move” with Love

  1. Pingback: What Have You Missed? – Recent and Popular Posts on Our Website | MakeYourMove3D Fans

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