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The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers

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Title: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers  
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The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers

The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers
225px
Genre Web series
Dance
Action/adventure
Drama
Interactive
Written by Jon Chu
Directed by Jon Chu
Scott Speer
Ryan Landels
Charles Oliver
Christopher Scott
Presented by Roger Aaron Brown
Composer(s) Nathan Lanier
Paul Dateh
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 30
Production
Executive producer(s) Jon Chu
Scott Ehrlich
Hieu Ho
Larry Tanz
Location(s) Los Angeles, California
Cinematography Alice Brooks[fn 1]
Running time 10 minutes
Production companies Agility Studios[2]
Distributor Paramount Digital Entertainment[2]
Broadcast
Original channel Hulu
Original run July 7, 2010 (2010-07-07) – September 22, 2011 (2011-09-22)
External links
Website

The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, commonly called The LXD, was a 2010–2011 web series about two groups of rival dancers: The Alliance of the Dark who are the villains and The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, the heroes, who discover they have superpowers referred to as "the Ra" through their dance abilities.[3][4] The entire story takes place over hundreds of years, beginning in the 1920s up to the year 3000.[1]

The series was written, directed, and produced by Jon Chu[4][5] who says he was inspired to create the series by Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and "Smooth Criminal" music videos and by the dancers he met while filming the movie Step Up 2: The Streets.[6][7][fn 2] He has described the show as "balletic", "operatic", "high quality"[6] and a "Justice League of dance."[3] The series was choreographed by Christopher Scott and Harry Shum, Jr. with assistant choreography by Galen Hooks.[2][4][8][fn 3] Members had a wide variety of specialties including hip-hop, krumping, contemporary, tricking, popping, b-boying, jazz, tap, and ballet.[1][4][8] All of the choreography and stunts were real; there were no special effects or wire work[6] and the entire series was shot on location without the use of green screens.[1]

50% of the sales of the official LXD t-shirt went to support the work of the non-profit organization Invisible Children, Inc..[13][fn 4] PUMA was the lead sponsor for The LXD.[15] As of 2010, an official soundtrack was in production.[16] The first LXD theatrical release was presented as a 3D short film, screening before the director's fan cut of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.

Members and cast

Sources:[17][18]

  • Roger Aaron Brown as The Narrator
  • Jaime "Venum" Burgos, Ivan "Flipz" Velez,
    and Josh "Milky" Ayers as The Observers[fn 5]
  • Wilbur "Wilpower" Urbina as Joe Drift
  • Luis "Luigi" Rosado as Trevor Drift[fn 6]
  • Carly Lang as Alice Wondershaw
  • Daniel "Cloud" Campos as The Illister[fn 7]
  • Jeremy Marinas as Justin Starr
  • Travis Wong as Jimmy Angel a.k.a. Shado
  • Nicholas Braun as Cole Waters
  • Chadd "Madd Chadd" Smith as Sp3cimen
  • John "J Rock" Nelson as Jasper James a.k.a. The Dark Doctor
  • Marie "Pandora" Medina as Autumn
  • Shelby Rabara as The Dark Nurse
  • Richard "Steelo" Vazquez as Spex
  • Vivian Bang as Miss Harlow
  • Oscar Orosco as Tendo
  • Aaron "Duece" Cooke as Dante
  • Christopher "Lil' C" Toler as Z
  • Galen Hooks as Ninjato
  • William Wingfield as Katana
  • Harry Shum, Jr. as Elliot Hoo[fn 8]
  • Aja George as Stereo
  • Terence Dickson as Minijack
  • Straphanio "Shonnie" Solomon as Phono[fn 9]
  • Christa Lewis as Parvine
  • Sean "Fresh" Redding as Polo
  • Diva Zappa as Ruth
  • Nick Demoura as Murray
  • Robert Rich as Gus
  • Charlie "VZion" Schmidt as The Prophet (season one) and The Ringmaster (season three)
  • Christopher Scott as Copeland
  • David "Kid David" Shreibman as Karen a.k.a. The Kidd[fn 10]
  • Stephen "tWitch" Boss as Dr. E
  • Harmony Costa, Antwan Davis, and Khalid Freeman as Beat Bullies
  • Caity Lotz as Taylor Jensen
  • Adedamola "Nugget" Orisagbemi, Nicholas "Slick" Stewart, and Marc "Marvelous" Inniss as The Eaters
  • Jesse "Casper" Brown as Peetie a.k.a. Fangz
  • Anis Cheurfa as Achilles[fn 11]
  • Carey Ysais as Karey[fn 12]
  • Ricardo "Boogie Frantick" Rodriguez as The Wave
  • Josue "Beastmode" Figueroa as Stakka
  • Danni "Danni G" Gutierrez as Dreads
  • Cuong "Tony Styles" Ly as Waru
  • Marie "Maryss from Paris" Courchinoux as Scales[fn 13]
  • Rino Nakasone Razalan as Teethe
  • Maya Chino as Gills
  • Chanel Malvar as Finns
  • Brandon Philips as Umbra
  • Bryan Tanaka as Umbra
  • Dondraico 'Draico' Johnson as Umbra
  • Giovanni Watson as Umbra
  • JD McElroy as Umbra
  • Mykal Bean as Umbra
  • Brandon Shaw as Umbra
  • Cassidy Noblett as Umbra
  • Johnny Erasme as Umbra
  • Beau "Casper" Smart as Ox
  • Luke Broadlick as Ox
  • Ryan "McLovin" Houchin as Ox
  • Tara Macken as Ox
  • Cameron Boyce as [Young] Jasper James a.k.a. The Dark Doctor
  • Johnathan "Johnny 5" Malstrom as Experiment 2A2
  • Peter "Smurf" Quintanilla as Experiment 4K8
  • Jefferey "Machine" McCann as Experiment 9S2
  • Lorenzo "Devious" Chapman as Experiment J4E
  • Patrick "Pakelika 10" Wesley as The Exterminator
  • Terrance Harrison as Gimpspark
  • Ron "Tempo" Evans Jr., and Soh "Tetris" Tanaka as Rabids
  • Adrian "Lobo" Miramontes, Joshua "ACE" Ventura, Mike Song, and Anthony "Anflowny" Lee as Shadows
  • Nancy "Asia One" Yu as LXD Elder: The Countess
  • Rueben Lucky "Flat Top" Hall as LXD Elder: Groove Guardian
  • Andre "Boppin Dre" Diamond as LXD Elder: Black Diamond
  • Jerry "Flo Master" Randolph as LXD Elder
  • Roger "Orko" Romero as LXD Elder
  • Ceasare "Tight Eyez" Willis as LXD Elder: Style Ripper
  • Kendall Glover as Lil Rina
  • Angelo "Lil Demon" Baligad as Dark Nurse's son

Series history

The first two seasons of The LXD were released in 2010 while the third premiered in August 2011.[24] Shooting first began for the series in February 2009.[1] It took 18 months to complete filming for the first two seasons.[1]

The Uprising Begins

Season one focuses on the back story of the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, the "good guys".[25] Each episode introduces each of the characters and their specific dance ability.[6] The season premiered July 7, 2010 on Hulu.[17][26] The first two webisodes (Chapters in the series), "The Tale of Trevor Drift" and "AntiGravity Heroes", were both released July 7. The remaining eight were released every Wednesday afterward.[17]

Chapter (Episode) Character(s) introduced Dance style(s) showcased Date released
The Tale of Trevor Drift Trevor Drift
The Observers
The Illister
Alice Wondershaw
Brendan Broman
B-boying July 7, 2010
AntiGravity Heroes Jimmy Angel
Justin Starr
Cole Waters
Tricking
Robot Lovestory Sp3cimen
The Dark Doctor
Autumn
The Dark Nurse
Invalid
Shadows
(Ro)boting
Popping
Tutting
Ballet
July 14, 2010
The Uprising Begins Miss Harlow
Spex
Tendo
B-boying July 21, 2010
The Lettermakers Z
Dante
Krumping
Duet Ninjato
Katana
Contemporary July 28, 2010
The Dark Doctor Deal Popping
Elliot's Shoes Elliot Hoo Hip-hop August 11, 2010
Fanboyz Stereo
Phono
Minijack
Krumping
Popping
Hip-hop
Boogaloo
August 18, 2010
I Seen a Man Copeland Tap dance
Waving

Secrets of the Ra

Season two tells the back story of the villains of The LXD[25] which consist of Organization X—called The Ox—and The Umbras. The second season also premiered with two chapters, "The Legion" and "Lessons", which were released October 26, 2010. The remaining webisodes were released every Wednesday after with the exception of Wednesday, November 24 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Chapter (Episode) Character(s) introduced Dance style(s) showcased Date released
The Legion The Kidd
Elder Jack
Dr.E
B-boying
Popping
October 26, 2010
Lessons Beat Bullies
Taylor Jensen
Stepping
Tap
Popping
B-boying
The Rising The Eaters
Fangz
Flexing
B-boying
October 28, 2010
Mark of the Ox Karey
The Wave
Achilles
Waru
Dreads
Stakka
Tricking
Waving
Fire dancing
B-boying
November 2, 2010
Tails of War Scales
Teethe
Gills
Finns
(Ro)boting
Jazz
Jazz Funk
Popping
November 9, 2010
The Greater of Two Evils The Umbras Jazz
Free running
Krumping
Tricking
Jazz Funk
November 16, 2010
Origins Hip-hop
B-boying
December 1, 2010
Experiments Experiment 2A2 (Energy Manipulation)
Experiment 4K8 (Force Displacement)
Experiment J4E (Matter Disruption)
Experiment 9S2 (Gravity Distortion)
The Exterminator
Ballet
Popping
B-boying
December 8, 2010
The Good, the Bad and the Ra, Part 1 Gimpspark Tumbling (gymnastics)
B-boying
Krumping
Tricking
Popping
December 15, 2010
The Good, the Bad and the Ra, Part 2 The LXD Elders (Ro)boting
Popping
Tutting
Waving

Super Ballet

There is episode titled "Super Ballet" that was supposed to be presented as part of the series narrative. It was left out of season two because Chu felt it didn't fit into the storyline. He eventually released it in 2012 when The LXD became available on YouTube.[27] The dancing performed in the episode is a mix of ballet and tricking.

Rise of the Drifts

Season three tells the back story of how the LXD was formed and what led to the Ox and the Umbras uniting to become the Alliance of the Dark. I.aM.mE, a dance crew from Houston, TX who won season six of America's Best Dance Crew, makes an appearance in season three as the Reanimators.[28] Ceasare “Tight Eyez” Willis, the creator of the dance style krumping, also appears in season three[28] as the character of Style Ripper, one of the LXD Elders. Season three premiered on August 11, 2011 with two chapters: "The Extraordinary 7" and "Ashes". With the exception of September 1, the rest of the chapters in the season were released weekly on Thursdays.

Chapter (Episode) Character(s) introduced Dance style(s) showcased Date released
The Extraordinary 7 Annabelle
Black Diamond
The Countess
Groove Guardian
Joe Drift
The Mignifisick
Sir Swoop
Style Ripper
Ringmaster
Winston
Bollywood dance
Roboting
B-boying
Krumping
August 11, 2011
Ashes Locking Goons Locking
Forbidden Flamenco August 18, 2011
Can't Dance Vivienne Rhythmic Gymnastics
Burlesque
Hip-hop
Vogue
August 25, 2011
Salvage Robots Roboting September 8, 2011
Reprogram Roboting
Popping
Tutting
RA Games B-boying
Mess in Aisle 7 The Rinas Ballet
B-boying
September 15, 2011
Alliance of the Dark Reanimators Popping
Rise of the Drifts Contemporary
Jazz
B-boying
Popping
Ballet
September 22, 2011

Reception

The LXD is the most viewed original web series on Hulu.[29] AdvertisingAge.com gave the series a favorable review stating "...each episode of 'LXD' packs a wealth of narrative sophistication into its eight or nine minutes. Combine this with the theater-worthy production values and a cast that exerts itself to an ungodly extent, and the end result is—pun time!—extraordinary."[30] Mashable.com called the series "...a game-changer in the way that web series—and the arts—are presented online. Oh yeah, and it’s stunning."[31] In its review of season one, PentacleBlogs.org praised the dancing but felt the acting was weak: "At best this Hollywood narrative approach makes The LXD series seem a bit clunky and cheesy, and at worse it detracts from the enjoyment of truly great dancing."[32]

After their performance at TED 2010, The LXD received the longest standing ovation in TED history.[33] In November 2010, The LXD won a Media Vanguard Award for "Best Original Web Series."[34] In January 2011, the series won a Digital Luminary Award in the "Original Web Content" category.[35] In February 2011, it was announced that Jon Chu would win the Pioneer Award at the International Digital Emmy Awards for the series.[36] At the announcement, IATAS President and CEO, Bruce Paisner remarked "Jon M. Chu is one of the most up & coming directing talents of our time and we look forward to honoring him for his innovative contributions to the field of digital entertainment with our Pioneer Prize."[36]

Live performances

The LXD has performed live for YouTube Live '08[37] and for the TBS Ellen DeGeneres special Ellen's Even Bigger Really Big Show at Caesar's Palace.[38] In May 2010, they were the opening act for the Glee Live! tour.[39] They performed by invitation[6] on season six of So You Think You Can Dance, the 2010 TED conference,[40] and the 82nd Academy Awards.[4][5] In October 2010, the LXD performed at YouTube Play in New York.[41] In December 2010, they performed on the Conan show.[42] In 2011, they joined the cast of Glee again on their second international tour.[43]

Footnotes

References

External links

Dance portal
Internet portal
  • Hulu
  • Internet Movie Database
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