John Legend’s ‘Breaking Through’ Launches YouTube Star

EXCLUSIVE: Executive producer John Legend and writer-director John Swetnam (Step Up All In and Into the Storm ) have teamed with DanceOn, the multi-channel YouTube network co-founded by Madonna, on a unique casting call for the upcoming dance pic Breaking Through. Dancers will be selected from submissions to the DanceOn site to either perform at a live taped event this month or have their videos appear in the internet generation coming-of-age drama starring Sophia Aguiar and Jordan Rodrigues.

The casting call is the first initiative in the filmmakers’ partnership with DanceOn, a YouTube network created as online community for dancers and dance lovers. DanceOn’s 10 million-plus subscribers and over 2 billion video views also mean that in addition to being a source for undiscovered talent, DanceOn is a strategic promotional partner that’ll put Breaking Through in front of its target audience early on. The venture was founded by Madonna, Guy Oseary, Allen DeBevoise and CEO Amanda Taylor, who financed the network with investors including AMC Networks, So You Think You Can Dance‘s Nigel Lythgoe, and execs from Newscorp, MediaLink, Zefr, and Roku.

Swetnam and Legend, who will also provide original music, will film scenes for the Breaking Through at the live DanceOn Spotlight: The Ultimate Dance Experience Event on August 29 in Los Angeles. Lythgoe and choreographer/YouTube star Ian Eastwood will appear in person and performances by Beyonce dancers Les Twins, SYTYCD‘s Emilio Dosal, Poreotics, and other YouTube dance stars are already on the docket. In addition to performers discovered through the DanceOn casting call, select DanceOn video submissions will also be featured in the film. Here’s Legend and Swetnam’s call for submissions posted today:

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