Published in the Los Angeles Times
It's your classic western pastiche: The good guys saunter through the saloon's double doors. The bad guys put down their whiskey. The brawl begins.
But in this scene, rehearsed at Melody Ranch in Newhall a week ago, the two sides compete not with fists and guns but with flips and spins. "What if dance was actually a weapon?" asks the director, Jon M. Chu. "They can use it for good or for evil."
Chu was filming an episode of "The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers," a.k.a. "The LXD," a new Web series in which hip-hop dancers are portrayed as superheroes. It's dance crew meets "Fantastic Four" — ordinary people discover their exceptional powers and decide to join the Legion, which then faces off against mysterious enemies. But instead of specializing in firepower or invisibility, it's breaking, popping, locking, finger tutting or boogaloo.
"These guys have absolutely amazing powers — real powers, not fake superpowers," says Chu, 30, the series' creator, who also directed Disney's "Step Up 3D," which comes out in August. "You can show, in your living room, what they do."