Sunday February 25th 2018



Spike Jonze captures Yo-Yo Ma & Lil Buck performance

Filmmaker Spike Jones says of this incredible piece of video :
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. –Spike Jonze

Lil Buck whose name is Damian Woetzel, a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, organized the event – and called it an “arts strike.” His Lil Buck’s performance is a contemporary interpretation of “The Dying Swan” from Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals.  The live musical accompaniment by the award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma is a poignant example of what art can create in the moment…especially from two highly trained professionals who had the benefit of extensive training…!  A tremendous reminder of how important it is to introduce art at an early age to our children.  See Inner-City Arts, the program that sponsored Lil Buck and Yo-Yo Ma’s performance, and look for programs in your area to support.

Please note update : Damian Woetzel is not Lil Buck, as formerly reported.

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70 Responses to “Spike Jonze captures Yo-Yo Ma & Lil Buck performance”

  1. Dominique says:

    Indeed…love this one!

  2. beautiful song and dance…

  3. Dominique says:

    hi david, lil buck says he specializes in jookin, a memphis-based freestyle dance characterized by intricate footwork, and his style is also influenced by the two years of classical training he received at the new ballet ensemble and school in memphis. he refers to jookin as “urban ballet,” noting a similar smoothness about the two techniques…no amount of modern ballet i do will ever make me dance like him…!

  4. seek says:

    That was not pop lock, and im guessing you don’t dance 🙂

  5. Elayne says:

    This was one of the most beautiful things I have seen in quite a long time. It’s amazing to see a classical musician like Yo-Yo Ma, and a new age dancer like Lil Buck to be able to join together and inspire. This goes to show that not all music has to be subjected to a specific genre and people of any culture, background, or interest can come together for a greater good.

  6. Bla says:

    I agree with Damion

  7. Dominique says:

    damion, there are 62 comments on this post and 100s of thousands of views, and you are the first to say the dancing doesn’t work…fascinating that it took this long! turns out lil buck does a style of dance birthed in memphis which is called jookin’, it’s not, like yo yo ma’s piece, classic. this video is definitely a mashup of styles, and can be viewed as discordant…but i still love it…thanks so much for your comment!

  8. Damion says:

    I liked the Yo Yo Ma part. The dancing seemed out of place and silly to me. I’m sure he’s a great ballet dancer but the pop and lock just didn’t really fit with this.

  9. It was THE MOST spectacular performance I have ever seen. Oh such fluidity of music site sound and visual pleasure of life! Thank you!

  10. Brian says:

    That was inspiring! It’s nice to see veterans and new bloods working together to make things like this.

  11. […] be remiss if we didn’t mention our most crowd pleasing post for the second month running : Spike Jonze’s capture of Yo-Yo Ma and Lil Buck which continues to enchant our readers, after which a number of eco-design posts held the top […]

  12. Giuseppe says:

    Lil Buck must use every muscle in his body to pull off those moves. I was waiting for him to fly. Well done.

  13. Marian McAfee says:

    I have watched this, come back & watched again & felt captured by the music, the beauty of the dance and felt the gift this has brought to me. Thanks for enhancing my life and keeping me grateful in the wonderment of it all. What a special rare treat! Bowing to you.

  14. wow. that was captivating. you have to have some SERIOUS mind and body control to do that. dope.

  15. […] got the video from this article. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Rage Against The […]

  16. Duecet says:

    I was very impressed with the creative talent of lil buck…it waz pleasantly entertaining…thank you for sharing thiz amazing video…i loved the music az well.


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