JOOKIN’ (jook·in): A street dance style that emerged from Memphis, Tenn. Identified by its extremely intricate footwork and propensity for improvisation, seen by many as a descendant of hip-hop and jazz, with elements of ballet and modern dance.
See what jookin’ looks like for yourself, when UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Lil Buck – A Jookin’ Jam Session—directed by Damian Woetzel, featuring Sandeep Das, Johnny Gandelsman, Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles, Cristina Pato and Wu Tong—on Tuesday, October 25, at 8 p.m. at The Granada Theatre (1214 State St.).
Named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch, Lil Buck has performed on Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour, in a highly-praised program at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, in a mesmerizing performance with Yo-Yo Ma to Saint-Saëns “The Swan,” with New York City Ballet, in Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: One and in numerous other high-profile collaborations.
“I think he’s a genius, ” says Yo-Yo Ma. The New York Times says, “Lil Buck has already carved out a niche that almost no other dancer can fill, bouncing from music videos (that’s him, slo-mo spinning through Janelle Monae’s ‘Tightrope’) to a Super Bowl halftime show (2012, with Madonna) to Lincoln Center.”
A Memphis jookin’ phenomenon who also received early hip-hop training from and studied on scholarship at the New Ballet Ensemble, this genre-defying artist is taking the world by storm.
Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 21, 2016.