Yes, Keone and Mari Madrid were dance-world superstars long before they choreographed and starred in the video for Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself." But many non-dancey people—i.e., everyone from your third-grade BFF to your Aunt Linda—first fell in love with the duo after watching the Bieber vid, which currently has a casual 1.2 billion views on YouTube.
These days, Keone and Mari are busy charming even more fans as contestants on NBC's "World of Dance." And when Cosmopolitan sat down with the couple recently to talk about competing on the show, we also got some very interesting details about how the "Love Yourself" video came to be.
Well, that was perhaps the fastest hour of television ever.
We knew that NBC's "World of Dance" competitor lineup was stacked, but the show's premiere episode last night gave us just a taste of the deep talent field, with performances by only seven acts. None of them disappointed. But in the words of J.Lo herself (spoken, in her case, about a gorgeously understated routine by Kinjaz): We want more. Can we have some more?
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.
We've swooned over all of their incredibly inventive videos (Exhibit A. Exhibit B. Exhibit C.)—and now husband-and-wife choreography duo (and former DS cover stars) Keone and Mari Madrid are working on a new project: a live, interactive horror story. Um, what?
Produced by HIDEAWAY, a Brooklyn-based production and circus company, the show—titled Slumber—will combine elements of dance, burlesque, circus and theater as it follows "a girl squad of circus performers and dancers on the last night of their lives." ?
It sounds like a terrifying, dance-y Haunted House-type thing, and tbh we're all for it. 'Tis the spooky season, am I right? Plus, with Keone and Mari on board, it's guaranteed to be #fierce.
In an interview with BroadwayWorld.com, Keone said the goal of the show is to make "audiences feel a little bit of an uneasy suspense, but very excited about what's going on." He added, "there's also a sense of survival within the show." YIKES.
In terms of movement, the couple—known for fusing hip hop with genres like contemporary and lyrical—is trying something a little different. "You won't see this style of dance anywhere else," says Keone. "What we really like to do is work with different kinds of movers—like a circus performer for instance. We don't want to force our movement on them; we're trying to utilize their movement in a more musically rhythmic way."
Bonus: The cast includes another DS fave, commercial dancer Bokyoung Park, who modeled in our "Dancers of New York" fashion story earlier this year!
The show officially opened this past weekend and runs through Nov. 6. If you're brave enough to attend (and over 21), get tickets here. And if you're too young (or too chicken) to see Slumber live, check out the rehearsal video below to get your thrill on:
You read that right, folks—Keone and Mari Madrid, aka the cutest dance couple ever, aka our flawless November 2015 cover stars, will be releasing 15 new videos (one a day!) from June 15–29. This might seem too good to be true, but leave it to the Madrids to deliver. The first handful of videos are out already, and they're obviously incredible, featuring lots of classic Madrid moves and styles. It's amazing and inspiring to watch these two continue to evolve as choreographers and artists, and this project is no doubt going to be stunning to watch. Check out the videos already released, and make sure to follow along for the next 15 days!
Keone and Mari Madrid celebrated Earth Day in the danciest way possible with the release of their latest short video, "Sound and Color." Set to the song by the Alabama Shakes, the vid honors Mother Nature and all her beauty, with the Madrids embodying planted seeds: They literally emerge from the dirt and "grow" into some gorgeously realized choreography.
Screenshot via Vimeo
They end up covered in mud from head to toe—but leave it to our fave husband-and-wife choreographic team to make dirt look like the coolest accessory.
Screenshot via Vimeo
Check out the full video below, and let us know how you celebrated Earth Day!
Keone and Mari Madrid are one of the cutest dance couples around (and if you need a reminder why, refer back to our November 2015 cover feature on the two insanely talented dancer-choreographers). So, understandably, we get pretty excited when they release a new project. Their latest video, however, is unlike anything they've made before—and we're obsessed.
Who needs Left Shark when you've got Left Vid and Right Vid?! (via YouTube)
Appropriately titled "Dual," the video is split into two, with a "Right" side and "Left" side. To get the entire experience, it requires two screens (or if you're on the computer, two windows open and placed next to each other). Once the videos are side-by-side, you press play and let the magic unfold before your eyes. Keone explained to The Daily Dot: "I haven’t seen a video that actually forces a user to create the experience for themselves in order to experience it correctly. We want people to see dancing as more than what you normally see." We don't want to spoil too much—experience it for yourselves by clicking both videos below!
Hello, friends! Last night the Top 18 performed on "So You Think You Can Dance," and that means we had to narrow the group down from the super great to the incredibly, phenomenally great. I won't lie: Letting two contestants go was a little painful. But there were plenty of things to enjoy along the way. Here are my top five moments from last night's episode.
The Top 18 in Pharside and Phoenix's "How It's Done"
(photo Adam Rose/FOX)
1. The crazy-brilliant Elizabethan chessboard opening number. Top 18 dancers in funkified corsets and neck ruffs? Yes, please! The delightful little piece was choreographed by Pharside and Phoenix of Academy of Villains, and if that last name sounds familiar, it's because AOV is one of the finalists in this season's crew battle. (Speaking of the crew battle—can we get a Syncopated Ladies–choreographed number next week? But seriously?)
Jacque LeWame and Zack Everhart, Jr. in Keone and Mari Madrid's "Stay with Me"
(photo Adam Rose/FOX)
2. Keone and Mari are back! Oh my goodness, we cannot get enough of hip hop's cutest couple ever. Loved their routine for Jacque and Zack, who may or may not have nailed all of its technical intricacies, but definitely captured its earnest, joyful spirit.
Emilio Dosal and Bridget Whitman in Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev's "Happy"
(photo Adam Rose/FOX)
3. Oh hey there, jive. There are few things better than a really, really good jive. Luckily for us, "SYT" superstars Anya and Pasha returned to choreograph a super-cute one for Bridget and Emilio. Since the jive is the happiest dance in the world, naturally they set it to Pharrell's "Happy," which made us feel...well, you know. And while Bridget and Emilio's leg action wasn't perfect, their performance was totally wonderful. (Shades of the fabulous jive Anya did with Danny during Season 3, am I right?)
Ricky Ubeda and Valerie Rockey in Lacey Schwimmer's "I Won't Give Up"
(photo by Adam Rose/FOX)
4. Ricky and Valerie dominated the Viennese waltz. Yes, I felt a faint sensation of dread when I heard that these two were doing the Viennese waltz, which in past seasons has been the kiss of death. And yet Lacey Schwimmer—in her first time choreographing for "SYTYCD"!—pulled some amazing magic out of her ballroom hat. The routine was just lovely, and this charismatic pair sold the heck out of it.
Rudy Abreu and Tanisha Belnap in "Sing, Sing, Sing," choreographed by Warren Carlyle
(photo Adam Rose/FOX)
5. War-ren Car-lyle (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap). Look: When you hear that Warren Carlyle, the 2014 Tony award winner for best choreography (that'd be for the showstopping After Midnight) is going to make a piece for "SYT," you know it's going to be darn good. But holy mother of Broadway, it was fantastic! Tanisha and Rudy lit up dancing Carlyle's soft-shoe-inflected number. They roared through the '20s, those two, and we loved every minute of it.
Hello, Cat Deeley in that fabulous jumpsuit. Goodbye, Stanley and Jourdan. We'll miss you!
(photo Adam Rose/FOX)
In the end, Stanley and Jourdan went home. I don't know about you all, but I am legitimately sad to see these great performers go. Particularly Jourdan—I've witnessed her fabulousness in person many a time at Complexions Contemporary Ballet. But [*sob*] I know they'll both go on to great things. You have bright futures ahead of you, Stanley and Jourdan!
What did you all think? Did the right people get booted? Let us know in the comments, and come back here next week for the recap of the Top 16 episode!