The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers
|The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers|
|Created by||Jon M. Chu|
|Directed by||Jon M. Chu
|Narrated by||Roger Aaron Brown|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||30|
|Executive producer(s)||Jon Chu
|Location(s)||Los Angeles, California|
|Cinematography||Alice Brooks[fn 1]|
|Running time||10 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Agility Studios|
|Distributor||Paramount Digital Entertainment|
|Original release||July 7, 2010– September 22, 2011|
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. The entire story takes place over hundreds of years, beginning in the 1920s up to the year 3000.
The series was created, directed and produced by Jon M. Chu, 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.[fn 2] He has described the show as "balletic", "operatic", "high quality" and a "Justice League of dance." The series was choreographed by Christopher Scott and Harry Shum, Jr. with assistant choreography by Galen Hooks.[fn 3] Members had a wide variety of specialties including hip-hop, krumping, contemporary, tricking, popping, b-boying, jazz, tap, and ballet. All of the choreography and stunts were real; there were no special effects or wire work and the entire series was shot on location without the use of green screens.
50% of the sales of the official LXD T-shirt went to support the work of the non-profit organization Invisible Children, Inc..[fn 4] PUMA was the lead sponsor for The LXD. As of 2010, an official soundtrack was in production. 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
- 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
- Ele Keats as Diane James
- 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
The first two seasons of The LXD were released in 2010 while the third premiered in August 2011. Shooting first began for the series in February 2009. It took 18 months to complete filming for the first two seasons.
The Uprising Begins
Season one focuses on the back story of the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, the "good guys". Each episode introduces each of the characters and their specific dance ability. The season premiered July 7, 2010 on Hulu. 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.
|Chapter (Episode)||Character(s) introduced||Dance style(s) showcased||Date released|
|The Tale of Trevor Drift||Trevor Drift
|B-boying||July 7, 2010|
|AntiGravity Heroes||Jimmy Angel
The Dark Doctor
The Dark Nurse
|July 14, 2010|
|The Uprising Begins||Miss Harlow
|B-boying||July 21, 2010|
|Contemporary||July 28, 2010|
|The Dark Doctor Deal||—||Popping|
|Elliot's Shoes||Elliot Hoo||Hip-hop||August 11, 2010|
|August 18, 2010|
|I Seen a Man||Copeland||Tap dance
Secrets of the Ra
Season two tells the back story of the villains of The LXD 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
|October 26, 2010|
|The Rising||The Eaters
|October 28, 2010|
|Mark of the Ox||Karey
|November 2, 2010|
|Tails of War||Scales
|November 9, 2010|
|The Greater of Two Evils||The Umbras||Jazz
|November 16, 2010|
|December 1, 2010|
|Experiments||Experiment 2A2 (Energy Manipulation)
Experiment 4K8 (Force Displacement)
Experiment J4E (Matter Disruption)
Experiment 9S2 (Gravity Distortion)
|December 8, 2010|
|The Good, the Bad and the Ra, Part 1||Gimpspark||Tumbling (gymnastics)
|December 15, 2010|
|The Good, the Bad and the Ra, Part 2||The LXD Elders||(Ro)boting
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. 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. Ceasare "Tight Eyez" Willis, the creator of the dance style krumping, also appears in season three 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
|August 11, 2011|
|Forbidden||—||Flamenco||August 18, 2011|
|Can't Dance||Vivienne||Rhythmic Gymnastics
|August 25, 2011|
|Salvage||Robots||Roboting||September 8, 2011|
|Mess in Aisle 7||The Rinas||Ballet
|September 15, 2011|
|Alliance of the Dark||Reanimators||Popping
|Rise of the Drifts||—||Contemporary
|September 22, 2011|
The LXD is the most viewed original web series on Hulu. 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." 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." 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."
After their performance at TED 2010, The LXD received the longest standing ovation in TED history. In November 2010, The LXD won a Media Vanguard Award for "Best Original Web Series." In January 2011, the series won a Digital Luminary Award in the "Original Web Content" category. In February 2011, it was announced that Jon Chu would win the Pioneer Award at the International Digital Emmy Awards for the series. 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."
The LXD has performed live for YouTube Live '08 and for the TBS Ellen DeGeneres special Ellen's Even Bigger Really Big Show at Caesar's Palace. In May 2010, they were the opening act for the Glee Live! tour. They performed by invitation on season six of So You Think You Can Dance, the 2010 TED conference, and the 82nd Academy Awards. In October 2010, the LXD performed at YouTube Play in New York. In December 2010, they performed on the Conan show. In 2011, they joined the cast of Glee again on their second international tour.
- Jon Chu met cinematographer Alice Brooks while in film school at the University of Southern California.
- Chu also directed Step Up 3D.
- Chris Scott, Harry Shum, and Galen Hooks are the main choreographers; however, other choreographers have been brought in throughout the series. Jonathan "Legacy" Perez choreographed season one's first episode, "The Tale of Trevor Drift". Jamal Sims choreographed season three's episode, "Can't Dance". Dee Caspery choreographed season three's episode, "Mess in Aisle 7". Kenneth "Free" Crawford and Mike Song choreographed season three's episode "Reprogram".
- Chu met Jason Russell, one of the cofounders of Invisible Children, while in film school.
- Venum, Lil Demon, Flipz, Cloud, and Luigi are all members of Skill Methods b-boy crew.
- Luigi was a competitor at Red Bull BC One 2010, a competition where the world's top 16 ranked b-boys battle each other.
- Cloud was a competitor at Red Bull BC One 2009.
- Shum also stars as Mike Chang on the FOX television show Glee.
- Shonnie's uncle is Samuel "Boogaloo Sam" Solomon, the man who invented the popping style of dance.
- Kid David was a competitor at Red Bull BC One in 2008 and 2012.
- Anis Cheurfa plays the role of Rinzler in the 2010 film Tron: Legacy.
- Carey Ysais is the co-creator of The Carnival: Choreographer’s Ball.
- Maryss from Paris and Rino are both members of Beat Freaks.
- Jean Oppenheimer (November 2010). "Lethal Dance Moves". NXTBook.com (American Cinematographer). Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- "Paramount Digital Entertainment to Launch The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers (LXD)" (Press release). PR Newswire. December 1, 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
- Bloom, Julie (June 24, 2010). "It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! No, It’s a Superdancer!". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
- Rolnick, Katie (April 1, 2010). "It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's The LXD!". DanceSpirit.com. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
- Grandy, Leslie (March 7, 2010). "The Legion Of Extraordinary Dancers Visit TED and Oscar". Technorati.com. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
- Harper, Rebecca (July 7, 2010). "Interview: The LXD’s Jon Chu". Hulu.com. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
- Julie Steinberg (October 30, 2010). "‘Glee’s’ Harry Shum Jr. on the Creepy Halloween-Timed ‘Rising’ Episode of The LXD". WSJ.com. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- Yamato, Jen (July 9, 2010). "On the Set of 'The LXD,' Where Dancers Are Superheroes". MovieFone.com. Archived from the original on November 25, 2011. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
- Choreographer: Jonathan "Legacy" Perez. "I Seen a Man". The LXD. Season 1. Episode 10. 9:05 minutes in. Hulu.com.
- Choreographer: Jamal Sims. "Can't Dance". The LXD. Season 3. Episode 4. 7:57 minutes in. Hulu.com.
- Choreographer: Dee Caspery. "Mess in Aisle 7". The LXD. Season 3. Episode 8. 8:18 minutes in. Hulu.com.
- Choreographer: Kenneth "Free" Crawford and Mike Song. "Reprogram". The LXD. Season 3. Episode 6. 5:13 minutes in. Hulu.com.
- "LXD T-shirt". InvisibleChildren.com. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
- "LXD premieres tonight". InvisibleChildren. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- Mark Hustvedt (April 6, 2009). "‘Legion of Extraordinary Dancers’ Steps Up With PUMA as Agility’s First Series". Tubefilter.tv. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- "New LXD Episode: Tails Of War". District78.com. November 11, 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
- "The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers to Premiere July 7 on HULU". Seat42f.com. June 25, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
- "Characters". LXDBeast.Blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- "Skillmethodz Crew Member Profiles". AbstrakDance.com. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
- "Final B-boy Announcement". RedBullBCOne.com. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
- "B-Boy Cloud". RedBullBCOne.com. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- Hanh Nguyen (September 29, 2010). "'Glee's' Harry Shum talks 'The Situ-Asian,' Asian Camp and The LXD". Zap2It.com. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
- "Meet the B-boys". RedBullBCOne.com. November 22, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
- "Video: Case Study on The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers". LXDInspired.com. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
- Brett Berk (October 26, 2010). "Justin Bieber Documentarian Jon M. Chu Pretty Much Owns the Internet". VanityFair.com. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- "'The LXD' Launches July 7 on Hulu". TheWrap.com. June 24, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
- Carrasco, Ed (October 19, 2012). "Jon M. Chu’s Never-Before-Seen LXD ‘Super Ballet’ Episode Finally Released [VIDEO]". NewMediaRockStars.com. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- "Jon M. Chu's Groundbreaking Original Series 'The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers' Returns for a Third Season on Hulu, August 11" (Press release). PR Newswire. August 9, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
- Joshua Cohen (October 11, 2010). "‘The LXD’ Season 2 ‘Secrets of the Ra’ Premieres October 27". Tubefilter.com. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- Dobrow, Larry (July 15, 2010). "A Web Series so Good, It (Almost) Makes Dobrow Want to Dance". Adage.com. Archived from the original on August 31, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
- Zachary Sniderman (August 6, 2010). "Why Hulu’s New Dance Show is a Game-Changer". Mashable.com. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- Nuse, Anna (November 2, 2010). "The LXD – A Review of Season One". PentacleBlogs.com. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
- McManus, Emily (February 18, 2012). "What’s it like to dance onstage at TED? Galen Hooks from The LXD". TED.com. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
- "Best Original Web Series". AdAge.com. November 29, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
- "National Association of Television Program Executives Announces Winners of 2011 Digital Luminary Awards". ttvmedianews.com. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
- "‘The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers’ Creator Jon M. Chu to Receive Pioneer Prize at International Digital Emmy® Awards at MIPTV 2011" (Press release). Business Wire. February 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-21.
Jon M. Chu, the creator and director of the web series The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers (THE LXD), is set to receive the 2011 Pioneer Prize at the International Digital Emmy® Awards, to take place on Monday, April 4th at MIPTV.
- The LXD (dancers) (November 22, 2008). Youtube Live! - Jon M. Chu (Multiple Cam Montage) (Television production). YTLiveRecaps. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
- The LXD (dancers) (December 26, 2008). Ellen DeGeneres + The LXD + Caesars Palace= RIDONCULOUSNESS (Television production). TBS. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
- MacKenzie, Carina (May 6, 2010). "'Glee' Tour update: LXD will join New Directions on the road". Zap2It.com. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
As announced via a YouTube video on May 6, LXD will join Shum and the rest of the "Glee" cast on the road for the 2010 Glee Tour. Opening night is May 15 in Phoenix. The tour will also hit Los Angeles and Rosemont, IL before wrapping up on May 30 after five performances at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
- "The LXD: In the Internet age, dance evolves...". Ted.com. March 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
- The LXD (dancers) (October 21, 2010). Seaweed: LXD - excerpt from YouTube Play at the Guggenheim (Live performance). YouTube Play. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
- Bleyeart, Aaron (December 10, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: The LXD Dance Battle Team Coco!". TeamCoCo.com. Retrieved 2010-12-16.
- "The Cast of Jon M. Chu's Original Web Series "The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers" to Make Special Repeat Appearance on Glee Tour 2011" (Press release). Reuters. May 17, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-31.