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Disney’s ‘Us Again’ to feature Fil-Am couple Keone and Mari Madrid's brilliance in choreography

By Brooke Villanueva Published Mar 04, 2021 8:32 am

The brilliance of Fil-Am married couple Keone and Mari Madrid as choreographers is set to be showcased in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animated short Us Again, which will be screened in cinemas before Raya and the Last Dragon on March 5.

Keone called it one of his dream projects as he shared the news on Instagram. “There are so many levels to which my heart explodes with joy when thinking about this coming to life, particularly that we can watch our daughter watch this,” he wrote in a post, expressing his gratitude for the incredible team who believed in their craft. “The Disney dork in us is floating on animated clouds above space mountain.”

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Told through a score composed by Pinar Toprak (Captain Marvel), the piece “tells the story of an elderly man named Art and his young-at-heart wife Dot who rekindle their zest for life through dance one magical night,” according to Entertainment Weekly.

Writer and director Zach Parrish (Big Hero 6) worked closely with the talented duo, who “recorded their choreography based on Parrish’s own recordings of himself talking about each scene, and they’d go back and forth in this process." 

In an interview with the same website, Mari said, “Story is something that Keone and I are really drawn to in movement, and we love to do that without words all the time so that’s why this intersection was so perfect.”

“There’s something so magical being able to bring that kind of relationship and make it physical and make it visual,” she continued. 

How did they make it work? “The key for us was having as much context as possible because one little sound could influence us differently, one little move can make an impact later on in the piece,” explained Keone. 

Us Again, which will go to Disney Plus in June, is produced by Brad Simonsen (Alice in Wonderland) and executive produced by Jennifer Lee (Frozen).

Keone and Mari have been making waves in the international scene. Apart from Disney, they have also worked with big names like Justin Bieber, BTS, Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran, and Kendrick Lamar, among others.

Article thumbnails from the subjects' Instagram accounts