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Spike Jonze Presents: Lil Buck and Yo-Yo Ma!
by Spike Jonze


The other day, I was lucky enough to be at an event to bring the arts back into schools and got to see an amazing collaboration between Yo-Yo Ma and a young dancer in LA, Lil Buck. Someone who knows Yo-Yo Ma had seen Lil Buck on YouTube and put them together. The dancing is Lil Buck's own creation and unlike anything I've seen. Hope you enjoy.

FILED UNDER: spike jonze , yo yo ma , lil buck , video
36 COMMENTS
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36 comments
1.
THU, APRIL 14, 2011
22:38
this is pretty sick
- Ackime+Snow
2.
SAT, APRIL 16, 2011
00:50
This is absolutely wonderful! I'm so glad to have been introduced to Lil Buck (who at first I thought was Young Buck... *shakes head*). His dancing reminded me of ballet in a way but his style seemed to fit even better. Just seemed right, thank you for sharing this :)

http://blackteensread2.blogspot.com/
- Ari
3.
SAT, APRIL 16, 2011
05:01
Simply amazing! Enjoy...
- Peter
4.
SUN, APRIL 17, 2011
10:28
b-r-i-l-l-i-a-n-t collaboration.
If you feel it, you will feel it uplifting your spirit.

http://www.enjoymusic.com
- Enjoymusic Enjoylife Clothing
5.
MON, APRIL 18, 2011
08:20
To see the value of arts education, one need only listen to student reactions to this video. As this played in my classroom this morning students marveled at Lil Buck, exclaimed that his dancing was "sometimes ballet and sometimes hip-hop", pronounced that "his body is like spagetti", added "and the cello is the meatball!"

These are 8 and 9 year olds that are using metaphor spontaneously. Practicing analytical thinking as they categorize movement by its cultural background. Their wonder was not a departure from academic thinking, but an opportunity to use their academic thinking in the ways we do throughout our lives.

Waciuma Wanjohi
Grade 3
American School of Bombay

http://waciuma.com
- Waciuma Wanjohi
6.
MON, APRIL 18, 2011
13:30
Memphis Jookin' is what this fusion of hip hop and ballet is called. It's performed just beautifully here.
- Memphis
7.
MON, APRIL 18, 2011
21:39
SIMPLY AMAZING!
- FORBE
8.
MON, APRIL 18, 2011
22:10
Culture is in the eye and ear of the beholder. Absolutely brilliant collaboration by Mr. Jonze. Lil' Buck's feet must be attached backward or something. He is more graceful than some ballerina's with years of coaching and training. Awesome!
- Anjeffy
9.
TUE, APRIL 19, 2011
18:14
wow
- gibby
10.
WED, APRIL 20, 2011
02:41
There is something wonderfully succinct about this piece. I found it incredibly moving.

It is a great representation of what can occur when the boundaries between genres are broken down with a simple and clear collaborative vision.

I also love the impact this piece had on the school children mentioned below by Waciuma Wanjohi. That is a wonderful description of young minds interacting with an art piece.

Thankyou for sharing this.

http://www.flutterlyon.com
- Flutter Lyon
11.
WED, APRIL 20, 2011
11:41
Wow! Awesome! At 2:25, I yelled out "What!" after seeing that gravity defying, effortless and fluid like return to his feet! (Even the lady gasped!) His hand movements were also awesome in that, at times, I couldn't tell his left hand from his right. Beautiful combination of almost diametrically opposed music & dance.
- mados123
12.
WED, APRIL 20, 2011
14:26
Interesting to compare this with another interpretive dance @akadude (Chris Patras)links to on Twitter. Thanks for posting this. Still trying to decide what I think about the other one.
- Brooks Johnson
13.
THU, APRIL 21, 2011
08:51
Love unexpected collaborations! Sharing this with my readers and asking them what other types of music they'd place with this.

http://nouveauclassical.wordpress.com
- Nouveau Classical Project
14.
MON, APRIL 25, 2011
16:18
wonderful... there is beauty everywhere... when performed by Masters
- RAK
15.
MON, APRIL 25, 2011
18:23
His feet & movements are so smooth, it looks like Lil Buck is floating.
- Vanessa
16.
MON, APRIL 25, 2011
23:21
What a load of crap. The affluent apoplogists look on as they grudgingly grant this denizen of the ghetto his 3:46 of fame.
- VoxPopuli
17.
TUE, APRIL 26, 2011
13:52
Yo Yo Ma seems like a magnet for wonderful and sometime unusual artists. He has done some unexpected collaborations and they are always wonderful. If you enjoyed this, you'd be doing yourself a real service to search YouTube for an improvisation he did with Andrew Bird.
- Jim R.
18.
TUE, APRIL 26, 2011
19:03
Very inspiring. Two very different modes of communication in art playing at the same moment in time. Beautiful. Spontaneous.
- Lucretia Agostarola
19.
TUE, APRIL 26, 2011
21:00
what i loved about this was seeing what appears to be this austere setting, the audience almost with their gloves on, and this lovely unexpected mix of artists. Lil Buck's sense of phrasing was top notch. His obvious strength and physical prowess in his dance vocabulary was stunning to watch, inspiring actually. The Juxtaposition of the STREET with the REFINED is what made the work so interesting, but it was definitely Lil Bucks sensitivity, phrasing and his own take on the dying swan theme that was capturing. Yo Yo Ma's generosity as an artist willing to try something new, never ceases to amaze. Lucky... the two of them.
Bravo. For a jaded old dancer, this was rejuvenating. Thank you.

http://www.corningworks.org
- Beth
20.
TUE, APRIL 26, 2011
23:07
Amazing!!!
- Rachel
21.
WED, APRIL 27, 2011
15:59
What a wonderful outcome for these two men and for the arts. Synergy of cultures is what New Ballet Ensemble, the School and company where Charles learned of the Swan and where the Hip Hop Dying swan was developed, is all about. Charles unique gifts are not AS unique in Memphis where jookin' is embedded in the culture and talent is deep. What is rare is for a talent like Charles who comes from a disconnect to be connected to someone like Damian Woetzel and Yo Yo Ma. We are grateful to be the connector and hope that the many boys who study with us will have similar opportunities. Thank you for giving this effort a presence on such a platform as yours . . . Katie Smythe, Artistic Director, New Ballet Ensemble and School. The mission of NBE&S is to bring children together in a professional standard of training, regardless of the ability to pay.

http://www.newballet.org
- Katie Smythe
22.
WED, APRIL 27, 2011
16:03
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4dsMqfvtFE Here is where the ballet jookin fusion began. Charles walked in the door a gifted jookin' artist. He studied ballet, Graham technique, flamenco . . . at NBE.

http://www.newballet.org
- Katie+Smythe
23.
THU, APRIL 28, 2011
21:30
WOW, what a wonderful combination and unexpected joy to watch, thank you!
- Marjon
24.
MON, JUNE 6, 2011
21:45
- Vshiraz
25.
SUN, NOVEMBER 6, 2011
12:16
Grace in motion--truly extraordinary! Thank-you!

http://www,dreamcarver.org
- diana cohn
26.
SUN, MARCH 18, 2012
17:25
Thanks for sharing this! I am happy it made it onto wimp.com so I could happen to see & enjoy it!
- C
27.
THU, MARCH 22, 2012
18:32
I was at a Yo-Yo Ma concert on the Green in New Haven CT and after the second song he looked at me dancing and said "people are asking "Is the dancer part of The Silk Road Ensemble?" "Well, he is now!" one of my prouder moments indeed! I could hardly believe my ears!
- Eric Triffin
28.
MON, MARCH 26, 2012
01:44
holy christ. amazing.

http://www.piehole.net
- dan duderino
29.
MON, MARCH 26, 2012
01:45
amazing to say least.

http://www.piehole.net
- dan duderino
30.
SAT, DECEMBER 8, 2012
12:55
please give me more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- jay prague
31.
WED, JANUARY 9, 2013
21:08
Lil Buck needs to audition for Alvin Ailey.
- Grannie Cool
32.
WED, JANUARY 9, 2013
22:24
Breathtaking...the dancing in particular...the collaboration overall...thank you for making this available.
- Julia
33.
FRI, FEBRUARY 1, 2013
00:51
Just watch...
- Guest#17
34.
TUE, FEBRUARY 19, 2013
17:49
Lil Buck's style is incredible especially from a ballet perspective and the way he applies it toward this medium, and translating it through Yo Yo Ma is incredible. I did not know what to expect when first viewing this video, but I was truly impressed through the end.
- GeriS
35.
WED, NOVEMBER 13, 2013
08:01
Great great dancer !
Irritating cello (and cello player !)

LOVE
Gerald

http://geraldthomas.net
- Gerald Thomas
36.
SUN, DECEMBER 29, 2013
22:16
Watching this very physical art is an out of body experience. Hope it will take you out of that sick body for a moment's dance.! We've been thinking of you and hoping the drugs are sufficient.

Much love,
Linty
- Linda Leehman
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