It's baaaack! Season 2 of NBC's "World of Dance" will return to living rooms everywhere on May 29. Also baaaack? Well, judges Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, and Ne-Yo, and host Jenna Dewan, for starters. But some fan favorites from last season's stellar cast will also take to the show's stage again. And they'll be facing off against a slew of new competitors—although many of those faces will probably be familiar to dance-world folks, too.
Got a case of the Mondays? Well, we've got a cure for you:
Last fall, the new teen hip-hop group WeAreToonz released its first song, "Drop That NaeNae," which inspired the viral #NaeNae Dance. Everyone from college sports teams to high school dance teams (to random YouTube-fame-hopefuls) began posting videos of themselves "dropping that NaeNae."
Last month, Dragon House Crew's Brandon "Bam" Morales released a video of four Disney characters—Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy—dancing their version of the #NaeNae.
Don't know about you, but we think it's pretty hard to be grumpy while watching Goofy whack and drop it low:
Consider your case of the Mondays officially cured! And if you're still not satisfied, consider posting a #NaeNae Dance video of your own. (Remember to hashtag #NaeNae...and get creative with it!)
You know, it's funny: We're so used to seeing the brilliant animation of the Dragon House Crew dancers and their ilk set to aggressive dubstep that "animation" and "dubstep" have come to seem like a milk-and-cookies pair. They're just right together.
But there's so much subtlety and nuance in animation that it can actually benefit from more complex music—like, say, great classical pieces. Case in point? An awesomely unexpected Nutcracker concert given a few days ago by the California Philharmonic. Masterminded by CalPhil maestro Victor Vener, who came up with the idea back in July, the performance combined Tchaikovsky's genius score with the—as it turns out—totally compatible genius of three world-class animators, including our fave Cyrus Spencer.
Cyrus, James "BDash" Derrick and Kevin "Konkrete" Davis thoroughly embraced the Nut-y challenge, performing in spiffy military jackets to five pieces from the ballet: the first-act March, the Spanish, Chinese and Russian dances, and (of course) the Sugar Plum Fairy variation. They gave nods to traditional Nutcracker tropes—lots of Soldier Doll references throughout!—while putting their own witty, unusual, often hilarious spin on the oh-so-familiar music. The crowd, unsurprisingly, went nuts.
I mean, here's the opening to the Sugar Plum variation—even without hearing the music, you can see every note:
Give it a second and I bet you can figure out what Sugar Plum snippet this is illustrating, too:
It's all-around awesomesauce. Take a look at the full clips:
Animator Marquese "Nonstop" Scott has come up with a brilliant formula for success. Step one: Find a striking and/or picturesque setting. Step two: Choose a dubstep or pop song that's super earworm-y. Step three: Film himself performing an impossibly seamless display of superhuman control in that setting, to that song. Step four: Post the clip to YouTube. Step five: Watch the internet explode.
Rinse and repeat.
But seriously: Scott, who's also a member of Dragon House Crew, routinely racks up hundreds of thousands of views on his vids. (The most successful, set to Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks," has 118 million and counting.) So we’re always excited to see his latest.
This morning, Scott released another mind-bending clip—but he tweaked his formula slightly. Rather than opting for high-energy dubstep, he chose "The Jacka*s" by No More featuring Lime Kid—a chillstep track that's, well, chill, almost dreamy. To echo its mood, Scott slowed down his typical rapid-fire, tick-tick-tick style. Half the time, it literally looks like a slo-mo edit; if there weren't a fountain running in the back of the shot, people would probably assume the footage had been altered.
The result is an animation meditation. There's always a stream-of-consciousness logic to Scott's phrases; when they're slowed down this way, we can see how each movement "thought" leads to the next.
Animation sensation Marquese "Nonstop" Scott is at it again. (You might remember the mesmerizing video of Scott dancing to a remix of John Legend's "All of Me," or this video, which went viral in 2011.) This time, he's bringing his reality-bending style to Coca-Cola in a new commercial that's all about dance. Scott works it alongside some of his fellow Dragon House Crew members, all performing his stellar choreography. There's also an awesome all-girls section—they kill it!
Pepsi has long been known for its dance-inspired commercials (like Beyoncé's alter-ego dance-off), but it'll have to majorly step up its game if it wants to compete with this one.
Want to see more of Scott? Enter here to win a free copy of Enemy Within, a new dance film he stars in alongside ballerina Tiler Peck, modern-dance master Matthew Rushing and contemporary ballet dancer Samantha Figgins.
Back in October, we told you about all the gloriousness that is Enemy Within—you know, the United Artists Initiative dance film featuring New York City Ballet's Tiler Peck, Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Samantha Figgins, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Matthew Rushing, and Dragon House Crew Member Marquese "Nonstop" Scott? Yeah...it's kind of a big deal.
At the time, the film was still in the fundraising stage. But now we're delighted to announce: Enemy Within is available for download on iTunes! And you guys, it's everything we've hoped for, and more. These four powerhouses—each from a distinct movement background—come together seamlessly, blending their superhuman abilities to communicate something very human: insecurity. Best of all? The film totally relies on dance to tell the story. The dancing isn't an accessory—it's everything.
For example, Matthew Rushing dramatizes the insecurities surrounding love:
And Tiler Peck juxtaposes her effortless technique with raw emotion to demonstrate insecurities of appearances and beauty:
Now, before you rush off to download your digital copy, check out a few beind-the-scenes interviews: Find out what it was like for a ballerina and a contemporary dancer to learn and rehearse a pas de deux, and hear from Rushing and Peck about why dancers, in particular, struggle with insecurities.
But wait—there's more! We're giving away 10 digital copies of Enemy Within. Click here for a chance to win. Happy watching!
Marquese "Nonstop" Scott (photo by Drew Crozier)
Not too long ago, we asked: What is animation dance? Thanks to some expert instruction, we now know that animation is about bending reality, about making people stop and think, Wait...what did I just see?
Well that's just what we thought after watching this new video of animator extraordinaire Marquese "Nonstop" Scott (RemoteKontrol & Dragon House Crew). We were stunned by Scott's almost inhuman control—his ability to isolate every part of his body with seemingly impossible fluidity.
Yet there is something very grounded about it. Set to a remix of John Legend's "All of Me," the movement comes from a place of real human emotion. Scott showed us pain, joy, and love without moving beyond a three foot radius. He doesn't need any extras—no special lighting, no changing scenery, no flashy effects. The juxtaposition of (extremely) unfamiliar movement with emotions we can understand was enough to hold our undivided attention for the entire five-minute video.
In short, we were mesmerized.
Want to learn more about Marquese "Nonstop" Scott? Check out this 20-minute YouTube documentary, where he explains how he found dance (or how dance found him).
Did you know that "sign flipping" is a thing?
No, really. Apparently there are people out there doing crazy stuff with road signs.
Awesome animator (and Dragon House Crew member) Marquese Scott discovered "Flipper j" doing his thing on the side of the road a few days ago. He posted a video showcasing the guy's strange, wonderful talents, which are essentially a cross between dancing, pizza tossing and, uh, hitchhiking. About a minute into clip, Scott himself shows up, and things get even more dancetacular.
It's random. It's weird. It's amazing. It's pretty much the perfect Friday video. Enjoy!