You're obsessed with class videos. We're obsessed with class videos. The passion, energy, and talent showcased in these clips, which give us an insider-y peek at the commercial dance world's hottest classes, are totally irresistible.
But at what point does the phenomenon go from being a good thing to a bad thing for dancers and the dance world? Is the focus on filming distracting from the work dancers are supposed to be doing in class? Are overproduced videos presenting a dangerously misleading picture of the dance world? Is the pressure to be a class video star becoming too much for dancers to handle? These are some of the questions A-list dancer and choreographer Ian Eastwood—no stranger to the class video himself—has been asking on Twitter. And they've sparked a lively, important debate.
Week 2 of Misty Copeland as guest judge, week 2 of merciless cuts...How can the final episodes of "World of Dance" possibly live up to the sheer dramaaaaaaaaa of last night's episode? Well, based on the nail-biting results dished out by Copeland and Co. last night, the competition is only going to get fiercer from here. Without further ado, last night's results, as told by Kween Misty.
You're probably well aware that Ian Eastwood has spent 2015 putting out videos for his "Adultlessons" dance mixtape. We loved his Valentine's Day drop, featuring leading lady Megan Batoon, and he even mentioned the mixtape when we interviewed him for his July/August cover shoot with Keenan Kampa. Now, there are three videos out.
The latest is choreography set to Big Sean's rapping in Justin Bieber's "No Pressure." In the original music video, the camera cuts to Big Sean and away from Eastwood—which is kind of cool because you get to see Big Sean emphasize his lyrics with his own movements. But it's also kind of sad because who wants to tear their eyes away from Eastwood?
This video features what I can only imagine is Eastwood's insanely chill groove during the rap break—something he made while the camera was focused elsewhere. And of course, it looks amazing.
We can't wait until the next video comes out!
I say this publicly and without shame: I, Margaret Fuhrer, a fully-grown woman, spent much of my weekend watching Justin Bieber's "Purpose: The Movement" dance movie on repeat.
Look: I've had my ups and downs with Bieber over the years. We all have. He knows it. But you have to respect this insanely ambitious, insanely dance-y, insanely GOOD new project, which dropped Saturday. Leave it to Bieber to both over-promise and over-deliver on a premise that sounded iffy when it was first announced (dance videos for all 13 of the new album's tracks? Okaaaay) and now just seems brilliant (13 AMAZING DANCE VIDEOS AHHHHHH).
This isn't just a love letter to the Biebs, though. The person we should really be most in awe of right now is Parris Goebel, the genius 24-year-old choreographer who directed the whole thing. In addition to choreographing many of the tracks herself, Goebel pulled in an unbelievable number of dance stars to perform in and create for the various videos. There's a spirit of generosity to the project—she not only wants to show what she can do, but also what the people she admires can do.
Nobody disappoints. And much as we loved the cotton-candy happiness of "Sorry," "Purpose: The Movement" isn't all unicorns and rainbows. Several of the videos are genuinely dark—and genuinely moving.
November cover stars Keone and Mari Madrid create a gently heartbreaking portrait of one-sided love in "Love Yourself":
A fantastic cast of dancers, including our friend Janelle Ginestra, depict a searingly tragic love triangle in "The Feeling":
And that's not even the half of it. ("Sorry" fans, for example, will be happy to know that the lovely ladies of ReQuest and The Royal Family make appearances in several videos.) Check out the full dance movie here.
Also, THANK YOU, Bieber and Goebel, for crediting every single one of the choreographers and dancers featured in the videos. Note to the music industry: Let's make that a habit.
Eastwood draws people in with his inventive style, but he keeps them coming back with solid work ethic and passion for dance. So it's no surprise that his first major brand deal is with Ray-Ban, maker of those uber-cool sunglasses that have been worn by everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Michael Jackson. Classic elegance, combined with edgy modernity and longevity? Sounds like the way Eastwood might describe his own career.
(Photo by Alexandra Gavillet for Ray-Ban)
His interview with Ray-Ban is super-inspiring. A few nuggets: He loves to teach and takes it very seriously, and he quit the industry scene right when he was getting started because he believed in and wanted to focus on his own choreography.
Check out the video below:
High Strung is almost here, guys! The eagerly-anticipated dance film—starring, as you know by now, brilliant people like Keenan Kampa and Ian Eastwood—will hit theaters next Friday, April 8. That's right: In just one week, you and your studio besties will be able to see for yourselves just how dancetastic, and just how fun, this delightful romp of a movie is.
But there's even better news: You actually don't have to wait until next Friday for a taste of High Strung's delicious goodness. Because we have an exclusive clip of one of the film's loveliest dance scenes RIGHT NOW. Featuring Kampa—aka Ruby, in the High Strung world—at her ballerina best in a sun-soaked studio, it's a minute and fourteen seconds of classical heaven:
You're ready to buy your tickets now, right? We thought so. Click here to find a theater near you. And be sure to stay up to date on all things High Strung by following the film on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Photo by Erin Baiano
(Inspired by this.)
If Ian Eastwood were your dance partner, your hair game would instantly improve by about 100 points. So would your hat game.
If Ian Eastwood were your dance partner, he'd occasionally come into rehearsals with notes on the choreo...from Justin Bieber.
If Ian Eastwood were your dance partner, you'd already have blocked off the entire month of April for High Strung premiere parties. He'd have let you know the dates weeks in advance, because he's conscientious about "respecting your time."
If Ian Eastwood were your dance partner, he'd occasionally hide custom old-school mixtapes in your dance bag, complete with little handwritten notes. You don't have a tape player, but you'd cherish them anyway.
If Ian Eastwood were your dance partner, he'd have an adorable new nickname for you by the end of each rehearsal. On the anniversary of your partnership, he'd present you with a sweatshirt on which he'd artfully graffiti-ed all of them—even the ones you'd long since forgotten.
If Ian Eastwood were your dance partner, you'd suddenly find that jumpsuits looked amazing on you. Like, literally every jumpsuit, even the ones that no human body should realistically inhabit.
If Ian Eastwood were your dance partner, he'd end rehearsals by taking out his digital Leica and shooting casually incredible black-and-white photographs of you freestyling. He'd only post the ones where you looked REALLY pretty to Insta. No filter.
If Ian Eastwood were your dance partner, he wouldn't tolerate self-negging. He'd force you to stare at yourself in the mirror before every performance and repeat: "I am a goddess. I am a goddess. I AM A GODDESS." And with his support, you'd be able to do it. Un-ironically.
If Ian Eastwood were your dance partner, you'd expect to meet him at the indie coffee shop downtown to talk through choreo ideas. But he'd propose Dunkin Donuts. Because he's chill like that. (And he knows you like their coffee better, anyway.)
If Ian Eastwood were your dance partner, you'd find yourself sitting between Tricia Miranda and Dave Scott at The PULSE gala. For his sake, you'd keep yourself from hyperventilating until the subway ride home afterward.
Photo by Erin Baiano