Watch Keone and Mari Madrid's Stunning Dance Tribute to Immigrants

The dance world already knows that Keone and Mari Madrid are brilliant storytellers, choreographers who can create narrative movement that moves us. But we especially love it when they use their choreographic voices to highlight important causes.

For this year's VIBE Dance Competition exhibition performance, the husband-and-wife duo created a beautiful homage to the immigrants who form the backbone of America. Inspired by their grandparents, "who came to America to make a new life for their families," and by "the many displaced humans around the world who are trying to do the same," We Are is an emotional exploration of the trials immigrants have faced—and continue to face today. Its message hits even more powerfully thanks to its innovative use of video projections (by Vibrvncy/Nick Kim) and some ingenious set design (by Brandon and John Arii).


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Photo by Brooke Fera

Enter the World of the Knicks City Dancers with 2 of Their Newest Rookies

Auditions rarely fail to deliver on suspense. But this? This was the nail-biter to end all nail-biters. Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey, both professional dancers based in NYC, had made it through what felt like endless rounds of cuts, both on Zoom and in person. Out of the nearly 500 dancers (from 30 states and nine countries) who'd answered the Knicks City Dancers' open call for video submissions, just 20 remained—McCloskey and Roh among them. "We were separated into six holding rooms, where we kept trying to figure out the math," Roh recalls. "How many girls are there in total? Who was called back?"

Finally, the women returned to the audition room to dance one last time—or so they were told. Instead, KCD head coach Alyssa Quezada dropped her bombshell: All 20 women had made the final cut. They would be 2021–22 Knicks City Dancers: the latest and greatest edition of one of the most prestigious NBA dance teams. "It was the biggest celebration and the coolest moment of my dance career so far," says McCloskey now. And that was just the oh-so-perfectly-dramatic beginning.

Chelsea McCloskey stands on her left leg while kicking her right leg up with her arms crossed, a smile on her face. She is auditioning for KCD. Chelsea McCloskey Photo by Tess Mayer


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