Beauty and the Beast's Hip-Hop Sequel

A poster for a previous episode of "Avengers of Xtreme Illusions," also featuring Chachi Gonzales (via wfaxi.com)

Allow me to introduce you to the greatest thing ever.

The web series "Avengers of Extreme Illusions" (AXI) is the brainchild of Shawn Welling—dancer, choreographer, instructor, filmmaker, writer, photographer and actor extraordinaire. Welling is also the founder of Planet Funk Academy, a mecca for urban dance training in Houston, TX, and home to Season 6 winners of "America's Best Dance Crew" I.aM.mE. Phew.

But I digress. Back to the web series: Welling unleashed the first episode of "AXI" back in 2011. The series, which is now in its third season, is sort of "Once Upon a Time" meets "The Twilight Zone" meets insanely good hip hop—with a Tim Burton-esque quality that's just creepy enough. The series features the uber-talented members of I.aM.Me crew—including Phillip "Pacman" Chbeeb, Olivia "Chachi" Gonzales and Emilio "Millie" Dosal—plus other DS faves. (Les Twins, anyone?)

Welling recently dropped the latest episode of Season 3. "Gift" stars Chachi as the innocent but curious Zoe Croft. Zoe finds a mysterious camera that transports her back in time to a Paris ruin, where she meets a phantom piano player, whose face and hands have been disfigured by fire. The story plays out like a hip-hop version of Beauty and the Beast that replaces true love's kiss with sick dancing—and we're totally OK with that. Enjoy!

Hooked? Check out the rest of the episodes on "AXI"'s YouTube channel.

 

 

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