A few years ago, a friend introduced me to an awesome webseries: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers
I love not only the incredible choreography and dance talent, but also the concept behind the series. Jon M. Chu “discovered” all the dance talent in the series by watching videos people posted showing what they could do and dance. All the moves are physically possible – no wires or special effects are used in the episodes. Chu chose all the talent with one premise: the belief and understanding that there are extra-ordinary dancers in the world with power as yet untapped and believed. He wanted to bring them together to do what they did best, what my friend Swil Kanim calls The Thing They Were Made To Do. Didn’t matter if they were famous or not, a working dancer or not. What mattered is what Chu saw in the videos and the stories that could be created from those dance talents.
Although the dancers in the early episode are in that sweet 16-25 age range, The Tale of Trevor Drift features a young boy of about age 7 doing a back flip from the height of a chair, and a man in his 40s who could do the hip-hop moves of a younger generation. The cast is mixed in race, gender, and physical appearance. Not all are dancers, but the dancers are exemplary. The episode writing reminds me of graphic novels, the heightened tension, camera angles, tight and helicopter shots, and above all, a nod to Kung Fu theater.
My favorite quote so far, though, comes from the third epi in the series, Robot Lovestory.
“Life is not fair, but fair has nothing to do with who you are inside, what you dream about, who you love, what you stand for. Life cannot touch that. War cannot touch that.”
I often think that if I just do things right then everything will work out in my favor, but I lose sight of that sense of what’s inside, the thing I was made to do, the story I’m made to tell. It’s there. I lose sight of it, though, in worry and the pressure to please. Because I want to be noticed, want to be acknowledged and I realized after hearing this quote, that what I’m really trying to do is express what’s inside, my dreams, who I love, what I stand for.
And life won’t be fair about it, but that doesn’t matter. Because it’s about love and love is timeless and endless.
I still have to put my butt to the chair to do the work, but the work matters because I finally figured out who my audience is. It’s me. I’m telling this story to myself because no one else can and no one else will and it’s a story that I need to hear.