Jacob Sutton: Lil Buck

Part One of Our Jookin’ Double Bill Starring the Rubber-Limbed Dancer

Game-changing American dancer Lil Buck displays his gravity-defying repertoire in director Jacob Sutton’s latest film, to breakout rap star Azealia Banks’ “Liquorice”. Following his cult LED-clad snowboarder piece for NOWNESS, Sutton wanted to push the unexpected, and enlisted his father and electronics whiz John Spatcher to build a giant revolving wooden cube in a barn in the Cotswolds. “I wanted to make an environment that didn’t really conform to normal gravity,” explains the fashion image-maker who has shot for the likes of The New York Times, Adidas and Y-3. “I liked the idea of an internal space where you don’t really have any point of reference. It’s a natural way of doing special effects.” Taking inspiration from 2001 and Inception’s weightless scenes, Sutton enlisted Buck to pit his gyrations against those of the dynamic set. Memphis-born Buck, aka Charles Riley, rose to fame when a Spike Jonze video capturing his inimitable fusion of Jookin’—a street dance evolution of Gangster Walking—and classical ballet training in an improvised performance with cellist Yo-Yo Ma went viral. Since then the young dancer and choreographer has appeared in Madonna’s celebrated Super Bowl XVLI half-time show alongside M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj, and is currently a principal dancer on the material girl’s new MDNA tour. "He could be standing in someone's driveway, porch or in the middle of the street," says Sutton of Buck’s magnetic presence, "and when he starts dancing he instantly has that magic. It’s a new way of moving."

Return tomorrow for Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied’s film of Lil Buck’s sublime talents on the streets of Los Angeles, exclusively on NOWNESS.

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