You may have caught Charles “Lil Buck” Riley back in April ’11 on Spike Jonze’s Opening Ceremony Blog. The featured video was a kickass collab between Yo-Yo Ma (maybe you’ve heard of him?) and the Memphis born, LA-based Lil Buck. About a month later, he became the official Artist-in-Residence at the Vail International Dance Festival.
Lil Buck’s specialty is a Memphis-based freestyle variant called Jookin. Jookin’s claim to fame is intricate footwork that creates a jaw-dropping, gravity-defying visual effect. Lil Buck has been enamored with Jookin since he was 13, and working hard to leave his mark on the medium ever since. After making a bit of a name for himself in Tennessee, he went for it in LA: arriving with a train ticket and $20. Yes, $20. His goal? “To show that Memphis is more than just barbecue and blues; to show that it has a very beautiful art that started from the street.”
Ho-ly wow, Mission accomplished. Check him out below. Happy Thursday!
“The Dying Swan,” Yo-Yo Ma and Lil Buck:
Rehearsing for LA Inner-City Arts with Cristina Pato (Galician bagpipes) and Mike Block (cello) of Silk Road Ensemble:
“Dying Swan” at Vail Dance Festival: