Keone and Mari Are Thinking Way Beyond the Fourth Wall

February 23, 2016

Grab a friend and get ready to spend some time together—with your smartphones. Why? The latest dance video from husband-and-wife choreographic duo Keone and Mari Madrid requires two devices to view. For the last several years, their heartfelt and nuanced hip-hop videos have racked up millions of views on YouTube. And since Dance Magazine profiled the couple back in July, their choreography has been nominated for an MTV Video Music Award and they starred in the video for Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” garnering over 336 million views.

Now, the couple has taken a step back from viral stardom to work on a more experimental project. They created a “dual dance music video” in collaboration with the YouTube channel called Field Day, which welcomes different YouTube personalities each week to make their dream video scenario a reality. It’s partly conceptual but mostly fun.

To check it out, grab a friend and load the left and right screens of the dance, one on each phone. You’ll be instructed to sync up the videos and press play on both simultaneously. (Warning: Pressing play at the same time sounds like a piece of cake, but it may take some fiddling to sync your phones’ playback due to different buffering speeds.)

Once you’ve started the left and right videos, you’ll be brought into Keone and Mari’s fantasy world, where one person’s dancing controls another, as well as the lights, props and confetti. While you could technically watch this on two desktop browsers, you’d miss out on the audio: The music floats between the devices as controlled by Keone’s and Mari’s separate movements.

While I must admit that, choreographically, this isn’t Keone and Mari’s most riveting work, it’s promising to see that they’re willing to try out more abstract concepts. To me, that’s where the heart of a choreographer lies.