'Madu' tells inspiring story of viral dance star

The new Disney+ documentary chronicles Anthony Madu's life after his viral moment

ByGina Sirico OTRC logo
Friday, March 29, 2024
'Madu' tells inspiring story of viral dance star
'Madu' on Disney+ tells the story of a young boy who went viral for ballet dancing.

LOS ANGELES -- In the summer of 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, when everyone was looking for some semblance of hope and happiness, a video of a young boy ballet dancing in the rain went viral. The joy on his face, the movement... all of it captured the hearts of people worldwide. And now, the story of Anthony Madu has been made into a documentary for Disney+.

Director Matt Ogens described the premise to On The Red Carpet.

"We follow a wonderful, passionate 12-year-old boy named Anthony Madu, who lives in a community in Lagos, Nigeria. And he is a ballet dancer. And he gets the opportunity of a lifetime and gets a scholarship to one of the best ballet schools in the world."

With the blessing of his family, whom he's never left before, Anthony took his first-ever plane ride to join the Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham, England. The documentary shows Anthony acclimating to his new life, making new friends and overcoming unforeseen obstacles.

Co-director Kachi Benson, who is from Lagos, helped build trust with Anthony and his family to help him open up and help the crew and tell a story belonging and acceptance, as well as impossible dreams being made real.

"I remember talking to him about, 'why do you do this? How did you find this?' And he shared his story with me. It was so inspiring to hear him talk about this and just his drive and his commitment," Benson said. "If you meet Anthony now you wouldn't recognize him from the Anthony that you saw in the first 10 minutes of the film - he's a totally different kid now and we're so proud of him."

"Madu" is streaming now on Disney+.