Lil’ Buck: Real Swan

  • Louis Wallecan
  • France, United States
  • 2019
  • 85 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Best of Fests

From “ghetto kid” to internet dance sensation and highly sought-after performer—that's Lil’ Buck’s career in a nutshell. As a boy he practiced his pointes (in sneakers) until his feet bled. Now he works with Madonna and Yo-Yo Ma. His version of The Dying Swan, combining classical ballet with jookin, has had millions of views on YouTube.

Jookin developed in the 1980s, in the underground hip-hop scene in Memphis. The dance combines bouncing movements with slides and turns on the toe, executed with a deceptive light-footedness. It echoes the flowing movements of the roller disco, where Lil’ Buck and his peers hung out.

For director Louis Wallecan and his team, Lil’ Buck returned to this location, and other places from his youth, such as the parking lots where he and his friends used to dance, his ballet school, and his mother’s home. In addition to archive material and interviews, the film includes many dance scenes on location, against the backdrop of the deserted sidewalks and alleyways of Memphis.


  • 85 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English
Louis Wallecan
Victor Lech for Lechinski, Jai Armmer
Machine Molle, Tanit Films
Mathieu de Montgrand
Etienne Gueriaux

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Best of Fests

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IDFA history

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