April 24, 2013

By Gabrielle. Video via It’s Nice That.

If you mixed a ballet master with a street dancer from Memphis, and threw in a pretzel for flexibility and weightlessness to make him float a few inches off the ground, I think you would end up with Lil Buck. Otherwise known as Charles Riley, or the dancer who has put jookin’ on the map.

The whole concoction achieves perfection with the addition of cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Breathtaking, isn’t it?

P.S. – Ever had a street performer blow your mind? Tell us about it! The world is a small one; maybe we’ve seen the same thing!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kirsten April 24, 2013 at 8:06 am



2 Lisa April 24, 2013 at 9:27 am

I love this! Some of the best street scenes I’ve witnessed are folks playing (what I think are) original songs on the sidewalks of Philadelphia. Some are even teenagers! Really amazing.


3 Grace@ Sense and Simplicity April 24, 2013 at 9:49 am

What an amazing dancer – so fluid and mesmerizing.

I think I’m easily impressed as I love a lot of street performers. We’ve seen a really good frozen statue in Montreal, a fellow that did acrobatics while keeping a ball in the air in Covent Garden, London, and a flash mob dance in front of Notre Dame in Paris. Loved them all!!!


4 KelliO April 24, 2013 at 11:15 am

Such great movement quality! Yes, weightless!

It reminds me of Legion of Extraordinary Dancers. This entire dance is my favorite. They strive to combine hip hop and ballet. Stunning.

I can’t tell if Lil Buck is part of them or not.


5 Anne April 24, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Anyone remember the paint bucket drummers in NYC in the mid to late 90s? They may still be drumming away, but they were one of my favorite parts of my summer spent working in New York.


6 Shannon { A Mom's Year } April 24, 2013 at 7:47 pm

This is amazing! I’m such an admirer of people who say “yes” (remember Tina Fey’s chapter on the “yes” rule of improv?) and Yo-Yo Ma’s like the Mr. Yes of Music. He does everything!

I have a little Yo-Yo Ma story, if that’s okay. I have a photo on my piano of him and my mom’s best friend, who was like my aunt, and they’re beaming joyously together into the camera like they’ve known each other forever. Except they’d only just met that night at a post-concert reception.

She passed away from cancer not too long after we brought Lily home, but I keep the photo up as a reminder of the power of being open and saying “yes.” You never know where it’ll take you and who you’ll meet. Which, to bring it back around, seems to be at the heart of this video!


7 lauren April 25, 2013 at 4:28 am

Some of the best street performers I’ve seen have been in Paris, particularly a guy on a teeny, tiny yellow bike. Maybe you’ve seen him?


8 Melissa Lehman April 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Our favorite encounter with a street performer happened outside of the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. His name was Dan Landrum, and he played a lovely instrument called hammered dulcimer. His music was hauntingly beautiful. My husband, Pete, was working with Yanni at that time and purchased one of Dan’s DVD’s to share with him. Yanni loved Dan’s music and invited him to be a musician on his Ethnicity Album and subsequent tour in 2003-04. Here is a link to a You Tube video of Dan playing his dulcimer during Yanni’s concert at The Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. You can see Dan about 2:30 minutes in on the video. I love Dan’s music and I am so thankful that we got to be a part of Dan’s story.


9 Shannon { A Mom's Year } April 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm

What a great story…and that he would end up on tour with Yanni?!? Amazing. And great video–I was expecting something dreamy, but it was rocking. :)


10 stephanie kraus April 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Could not look away from this video. loved it!


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