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I'm Jon M. Chu. And I'm not a dancer, I'm not a choreographer -- I'm actually a filmmaker, a storyteller. I directed a movie two years ago called "Step Up 2: The Streets." Anybody? Anybody? Yeah! During that movie I got to meet a ton of hip-hop dancers -- amazing, the best in the world -- and they brought me into a society, the sort of underground street culture that blew my mind. I mean, this is literally human beings with super-human strength and abilities. They could fly in the air. They could bend their elbow all the way back. They could spin on their heads for 80 times in a row. I'd never seen anything like that.
When I was growing up, my heroes were people like Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Michael Jackson. I grew up in a musical family. (Laughter) And those guys, those were like, ultimate heroes. Being a shy, little, skinny Asian kid growing up in the Silicon Valley with low self-esteem, those guys made me believe in something bigger. Those guys made me want to, like, "I'm going to do that moonwalk at that bar mitzvah tonight for that girl."
And it seems like those dance heroes have disappeared, sort of relegated to the background of pop stars and music videos. But after seeing what I've seen, the truth is, they have not disappeared at all. They're here, getting better and better every day. And dance has progressed. It is insane what dance is right now. Dance has never had a better friend than technology.
Online videos and social networking ... dancers have created a whole global laboratory online for dance, where kids in Japan are taking moves from a YouTube video created in Detroit, building on it within days and releasing a new video, while teenagers in California are taking the Japanese video and remixing it with a Philly flair to create a whole new dance style in itself. And this is happening every day.
And from these bedrooms and living rooms and garages, with cheap webcams, lies the world's great dancers of tomorrow. Our Fred Astaires, our Gene Kellys our Michael Jacksons are right at our fingertips, and may not have that opportunity, except for us.
So, we created the LXD, sort of a -- the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, a justice league of dancers that believe that dance can have a transformative effect on the world. A living, breathing comic book series, but unlike Spiderman and Iron Man, these guys can actually do it. And we're going to show you some today. So, let me introduce to you, some of our heroes right now. We got Madd Chadd, Lil' C, Kid David and J Smooth. Please be excited, have fun, yell, scream. Ladies and gentlemen: The LXD.
(Video): Madd Chadd: When people first see me, I get a lot of different reactions actually. Sometimes you would think that maybe kids would enjoy it, but sometimes they get a little freaked out. And, I don't know, I kind of get a kick out of that a little bit.
J Smooth: When I'm in the zone -- I'm dancing and free styling it -- I actually visually kind of picture lines, and moving them. I think of like, Transformers, like how panels open and then they fold, they fold in, and then you close that panel. And then another thing opens, you close that.
Kid David: It's kind of like, honestly a lot of times I don't really know what's going on when I'm dancing. Because at that point it's just really like, it's my body and the music. It's not really a conscious decision, "I'm going to do this next, I'm going to do this." It's kind of like this other level where you can't make choices anymore, and it's just your body reacting to certain sounds in the music. I got my name just because I was so young. I was young when I started. I was younger than a lot of the people I was dancing with. So, it was always like, they called me Kid David, because I was the kid.
L'il C: I tell them to create a ball, and then you just use that ball of energy. And instead of throwing it out, people would think that's a krump move, that's a krump move. That's not a krump move. You're going to throw it out, you throw it out, and you hold it. And you let it go, and then right when you see the tail, you grab it by the tail, then you bring it back in. And you just got this piece of energy and you just, you're manipulating it. You know, you create power, then you tame it.
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The LXD (the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers) electrify the TED2010 stage with an emerging global street-dance culture, revved up by the Internet. In a preview of Jon Chu’s upcoming Web series, this astonishing troupe show off their superpowers.
The LXD (the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers) are building an interactive web series that represents the next evolution of dance.
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