We hear from many of you about how much you love our quarterly publication artsLife, an in-house magazine available before shows, at the Concierge Desk or online. We want to highlight some of the great articles in each edition here on the blog. Click on the link following this article to take a look at the summer edition of artsLife.
The hit ABC TV show Dancing With the Stars pairs celebrities — athletes, actors, anchors and even a septuagenarian astronaut — with professional dancers, who compete as teams for a coveted mirror-ball trophy.
Guest competitors come and go, but since its premier in 2005, the show has made real stars of its own dancers — many of whom return year after year and do double duty. They train their sometimes-awkward protégés, and then perform with them before a panel of judges and a TV audience of millions.
Few dancers have become more popular with viewers than Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, a pair of hunky Ukrainian-born siblings whose style combines technical mastery with raw athleticism and smoldering sex appeal.
The frequently shirtless Chmerkovskiy brothers — did we mention that they’re good-looking? — are fan favorites, no matter who their partners are. Now, for the first time, they’re touring together, accompanied by a troupe of top-tier professional dancers.
Maks & Val Live On Tour: Our Way will leap and bound its way into the Walt Disney Theater on Wednesday, June 22. Showtime is 8 p.m., and tickets start at $39.50.
There are also several meet-and-greet packages that include premium seating, autographed merchandise, a pre-show party and even a visit with the brothers in their dressing room.
Maks, 36, who joined Dancing With the Stars in its second season, won the competition in 2014 with Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis. He also boasts two runner-up and two third-place finishes. Although he then left the series to expand his chain of dance studios and to study acting, he has since returned as a guest judge.
Val, 30, has been on Dancing With the Stars since 2011. This season he'll be paired with Ginger Zee, Good Morning America’s chief meteorologist. He won the competition in 2011 with singer and ac-tress Rumer Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. He has also been a runner-up and notched two third-place finishes.
“Val and I have pushed each other to be better dancers every day since we were kids," says Maks. “This show fulfills a lifetime dream to perform on the same stage together across the country. We want to connect with our audience and take the performance to a whole new level. There’ll be no holding back on this tour.”
Adds Val: “The essence of this show will be the story of two brothers and the passion we have for life, family, opportunity and, of course, dance. It’ll be the most honest we’ve ever been to an audience. We want to entertain with incredible choreography, and inspire while sharing our story, our way."
The Chmerkovskiy family immigrated to Brooklyn in 1994. Two years later, Maks and his father, Sasha, opened a youth-focused dance studio in New Jersey. They trained Val, then 16, and Diana Olonetskaya, then 15, to win a world junior championship title.
As a dancer, Maks and partner Elena Grinenko were ranked second in the U.S. and seventh in the world among Latin dance couples. Val is a two-time world Latin dance champion (junior and youth) and a 14-time U.S. Latin dance champion. Both brothers have won numerous other titles in an array of genres.
But for Maks and Val, the fame they’ve earned through their accomplishments in dance, and the fan following they’ve developed through exposure on Dancing With the Stars, isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about inspiring.
“I hope I can reach some kid in the audience who’s going through hard times, being bullied in school,” Maks says. “I was 6-foot-2 when I was 14, but I was still a ballroom dancing boy who didn’t speak English in a Brooklyn public school with 5,000 kids.”
Event: Maks & Val Live On Tour: Our Way Date: Wednesday, June 22, 8 p.m. Venue: Walt Disney Theater Notes: The Chmerkovskiy brothers of Dancing With the Stars fame are touring together for the first time, telling their inspirational story through dance. Tickets: Prices start at $39.50 814.513.2014 • drphillipscenter.org