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.
Don't be fooled by the sound of Parris Goebel's voice. The 25-year-old choreographer and dancer from Auckland, New Zealand, speaks in sweet, soft tones, her demeanor almost demure. But listen carefully to her words and you'll realize that Goebel, who recently relocated to L.A., fully embodies the take-no-prisoners attitude that makes her larger than life on-screen. From her effortless cool in Justin Bieber's "Sorry" video to her explosive performances with the Royal Family and ReQuest crews, Goebel goes full-out in everything she does—and says.
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":
July/August cover guy Ian Eastwood performs an angsty dance serenade for his real-life gf, Megan Batoon, in "No Pressure":
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 severalvideos.) 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.
When you think of things dancers dance on, the obvious answers might include pointe shoes or the stage. Well, you can officially add segway to the list. As Josh Killacky, Evan Moody, Alex Ditommaso, Damien Lavergne and Jake Deanda demonstrate, it's more than possible—these five guys absolutely nailed a routine choreographed by David Moore, all while masterfully balancing on segways. Is this a future style of dance? It's hard to say, but one thing's for sure—it's so cool to watch. Check it out below:
Justin Bieber is coming to "So You Think You Can Dance" this season—and we're not just talking about a one-off musical performance.
The Biebs, who according to Nigel Lythgoe has been a huge fan of the show for a while, will be introducing a new "SYTYCD" component involving dance crews. During the first four episodes of Season 11, when the main competition is in the audition stage, there'll be a sort of mini "America's Best Dance Crew" showdown, with two crews facing off. Audiences will vote for their favorite crew via Twitter. And Bieber? He'll be on crews control (see what we did there?), presenting the whole shebang.
It's definitely nice that "SYTYCD" is shining this kind of spotlight on dance crews. They're incredible, and have been sadly absent from our television lineup since the demise of "ABDC" (RIP). Never realized Bieber was quite so into "SYT," but...OK then!
"SYTYCD" premieres May 28, which oh my gosh is next week, you guys. Be sure to check in here after each episode for our recaps!