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).
You're obsessed with class videos. We're obsessed with class videos. The passion, energy, and talent showcased in these clips, which give us an insider-y peek at the commercial dance world's hottest classes, are totally irresistible.
But at what point does the phenomenon go from being a good thing to a bad thing for dancers and the dance world? Is the focus on filming distracting from the work dancers are supposed to be doing in class? Are overproduced videos presenting a dangerously misleading picture of the dance world? Is the pressure to be a class video star becoming too much for dancers to handle? These are some of the questions A-list dancer and choreographer Ian Eastwood—no stranger to the class video himself—has been asking on Twitter. And they've sparked a lively, important debate.
Week 2 of Misty Copeland as guest judge, week 2 of merciless cuts...How can the final episodes of "World of Dance" possibly live up to the sheer dramaaaaaaaaa of last night's episode? Well, based on the nail-biting results dished out by Copeland and Co. last night, the competition is only going to get fiercer from here. Without further ado, last night's results, as told by Kween Misty.
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.
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!
I'm just going to come out and say it: I want to see Keone and Mari Madrid choreograph a full-length narrative hip-hop show. They got their feet wet in January with Time for Love, but I think all of their adoring fans would agree with me when I say that we're ready for something bigger. They are such natural storytellers with their bodies, and they have hip-hop partnering on lock.
Case in point: Their latest performance at the En Dance Showcase in Tokyo, Japan, has a narrative arc and the emotional depth we've come to expect from their super-precise choreography. Enjoy!
Oh, and if they do end up creating a full length show sometime soon, you heard it here first!
P.S. If you love the Madrids, then you're going to loooove our November issue. Just saying...
You guys, I have goosebumps. And not because it's currently like 60 degrees in NYC. (C'mon, June weather. Where you at?) Nope, today's goosebumps are of the #chillz variety, because I just watched Keone and Mari Madrid's final performance with Choreo Cookies. *sob*
You probably remember this crew—which regularly dominates on the hip-hop comp circuit—from their 2014 Body Rock performance, "The Silent Cookie." We raved about the Cookies' ability to incorporate their substantial numbers (32 and counting, last we checked) into seamlessly coordinated routines. The crew is also noteworthy for its clean production; costumes, lighting and stage design are always on point. The fact that they have Keone and Mari Madrid on their side is just icing on the cake.
But the husband and wife team has made the tough decision to leave the Cookies, after eight great years with the crew. While they haven't given any explicit reasons behind their decision, Keone offered this statement on Instagram: "No need to go into into detail as of yet, but just know that this is completely a decision based on positivity and future aspects of life."
Choreo Cookies' 2015 Body Rock set marked the Madrids' final performance as Cookies. Set to John Mayer's "Gravity," the piece is about overcoming fear. The real standout was the lighting: The stage was quite dark for much of the performance, with faint, yellow light highlighting different sections at a time. In this way, the Cookies created a sense of isolation and disconnect, despite their substantial numbers.
"Keep me where the light is."
Spoiler alert: Toward the end of the piece, the lights come up and you see the whole crew, dancing in perfect unison. Prepare for the #chillz to hit you hard at that point. Check it out!
We can't wait to see what the future holds for both the Madrids and Choreo Cookies!
Get Dance Spirit in your inbox
These days, watching the news can feel pretty depressing. It seems like there's a lot of hate—between countries, political parties, even members of the same family. But just because hatred hogs most of the media spotlight doesn't mean we're living in a loveless world. One of the things we can do as artists is highlight the bond of shared humanity, (excuse the High School Musical reference but) the "we're all in this together" mentality that can be so much more powerful than any war.
You've probably heard dance referred to as the universal language. For example, at least twice within the last couple of years, we've witnessed U.S./Iraq communication through dance: first with the break-dancing diplomats of First Step Iraq, then with the Skype dance student Aadel Qies Aadel. But dance's power to bridge oceans can happen on a much smaller scale, too. Maybe you've danced with an international student at a summer intensive, or been one yourself. Or perhaps you've seen a company like Nederlands Dans Theater or Batsheva perform, or studied with a choreographer from outside the U.S. Point being, the dance world is super small, so chances are, you've already had at least one international dance experience.
This idea inspired Keone Madrid's most recent video, set to John Mayer's "Bold As Love." The video features members of Madrid's biological family (including his adorable baby sister), as well as members of his widespread dance family—namely members of the Japanese crew Stkgz. The message is powerful: The boldness of love overpowers hate. And the choreo is true to Madrid's distinctly musical style. Seriously, his ability to capture every single sound in a completely original way is ridiculous. Check it out!
Here's the thing about Keone and Mari Madrid: They're so talented, they don't need costumes, lighting, set design or storyline to entertain their avid internet audience. Exhibit A: Just last week, we raved about "Awesome Dance Couple," a video of the hip-hop duo beasting one of their combos at Urban Dance Camp. Their choreography—and the way they dance it—are the wow factors.
I mean, come on. #hot
But just because they can be amazing all on their own doesn't mean they shouldn't get fancy every once in a while. And man oh man, did they get fancy.
Last night—after much Twitter-prompted anticipation—the Madrids dropped their latest project: "Time for Love," an eight-minute dance short that pulls out all the stops. It's got a complex storyline, costume changes, camera angles, side lighting, backup dancers, props, time travel...everything you could ever ask for, and then some.
But the best part is, none of these added elements detract from what these two do best—dance. The choreography, which was inspired by classics like Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" and Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in The Band Wagon, holds up to the sky-high expectations they've set for themselves. It somehow manages to be smooth and sultry, while also impossibly fast and intricate. In short: #mindblown.
More jazz hands, please!
Once again, husband and wife hip-hop power couple Keone and Mari Madrid have blown our minds with their latest video, "Awesome Dance Couple." Filmed at an Urban Dance Camp showcase and posted earlier this week on YouTube, the couple's performance is simply delightful. Time after time, video after video, the Madrids amaze and surprise us. From rain romances to grocery-store soliloquies, no two clips are ever alike.
This week's combo is set to Royal Crown Revue's jazzy "Hey, Pachuco," which some YouTube commenters successfully pointed out is the song made famous by Cameron Diaz and Jim Carey in '90s movie The Mask. (For those of you born post Y2K, you can watch that clip here.) One thing is certain though, Keone and Mari absolutely crush any silver-screen competition. The choreography blends hard-hitting isolations with lighthearted theatricality—the Madrids at their best. Check it out below. It'll make you smile, I promise.
It's been a heck of a year for dance on the interwebs. Since it's about to be 2015, it's time to sum up the last 12 months with a good old fashioned "Best Of" list. So without further ado, here are the top dance videos of 2014.
15. Keone Madrid's turnip tribute. It was a pretty close call between this one and the more serious, tug-at-your-heartstrings video that he and wife Mari created together back in January. But while almost anyone can make a dance about romance, only a true pro can make vegetables appealing.
14. Glen Keane’s Duet. If this animated short doesn’t make you tear up even just a teeny, tiny, little bit, consider yourself a heartless monster.
13. Cloud's musical theater spectacular. It's like "The Office" meets "Glee" meets the Microsoft Surface Pro commercial. And Danny DeVito is everything.
11. Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake's "Love Never Felt So Good." It should've been called, "Love Never Looked So Good When You Put So Many Dancers Together in One Amazing Video."
10. The Company's second-place routine at VIBE. This is the perfectly synchronized hip-hop piece that took over your Facebook news feed back in May—and if you watch it again, you'll see it really is that good.
9. "The A–Z of Dance." Directed by Jacob Sutton—and highlighting 26 fabulous dance styles—this special project for Diesel and i-D will hold a special place in our hearts for years to come.
7. Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off." So cute. So fun. If only Taylor Hatala were in it...amirite?
5. The Australian Ballet's pointe shoe prep. Sure, pointe shoes are beautiful. But it's nice to see dancers beating the poop out of 'em once in a while.
4. Sia's "Chandelier." Yeah, yeah, yeah—everybody knows this one was great. Maddie Z's a pro. There's really nothing left to say.
3. The fabulously heeled Yanis Marshall. He even got a shout out from Beyoncé. #werk
2. Carrie Underwood's "Something in the Water." It's game over when Shaping Sound Dance Company's in your video.
1. Taylor Hatala. If you haven't seen this 11-year-old, who broke the internet in September, welcome back to Earth. No matter how many times you watch her renditions of "Anaconda" (or "All About That Bass" or "Shake It Off"), they just get better and better. And the world agrees—many of her videos are past the 10 million viewer mark.
Happy New Year, dancers!
Can I just take a second to say that Keone Madrid may be my all-time favorite dancer? (Or at least, he is today.) There's just something so clear and committed about his work. Everything is full out—from the frequent level changes to the intricate, almost-too-quick-to-see gestures. It's athleticism at its most pristine.
That's why, IMHO, it's been way too long since he released a video (three months, to be exact). And while the warm, fuzzy feeling I got post-"Make it to Me" lingered for some time, it's cold and rainy outside, and I need a new reason to smile.
BRING IN THE TURNIPS!
OK, let me take a few steps back: On Thursday, Keone released a new video to Trip Lee's "Manolo." At the beginning of the video, he pokes fun at himself for his long YouTube absence. Then he seeks out some inspiration—and where does he find it but in the grocery store produce aisle. Turn up for turnips, amirite?
All silliness aside, this video is everything we've come to expect from him, namely, absurdly good choreo. Enjoy!