Bruno Falcon, the choreographer mastermind behind one of Michael Jackson’s best moves, has died aged 58.
Also known as ‘Pop N Taco’, the hip-hop dancer passed away Saturday (02.07.22), according to close friends.
His sister Diana Wolgamott told TMZ on Sunday (03.07.22) he died at his home in Long Beach, California.
The outlet said the cause of death was cardiac arrest but it is understood no autopsy will be carried out.
Rapper Ice-T, 64, who worked alongside Bruno for the 1984 film, ‘Breakin’’, confirmed his friend’s death by tweeting: “Yep, just got a text. He was to young. Smh. (sic)”
Bruno was most famous as one of the dancers in Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ music video and as the creator of the ‘leaning’ dance performed in the video.
Deemed as one of the world’s most “impossible” dance moves, the apparently gravity-defying leans were achieved through a combination of Jackson and his dancers’ athlete-standard core strength and specially designed shoes.
Falcon also choreographed much of the late singer’s ‘HIStory’ tour in the 1990s, and worked with Lionel Richie, Chaka Khan, and other members of the Jackson family.
His 60-year-old ‘Breakin’’ dance partner, Popin’ Pete – real name Timothy Earl Solomon and father of the ‘popping’ dance style – posted a video of him hugging Falcon in his later years.
He added on Instagram: “Rest in peace my brother Popin n Taco, you will be missed.. can’t believe this. (sic)”
Born June 10, 1964 in Los Angeles, California, Falcon was a popular dancer in the 1980s, mixing popping, locking and breaking, before his break out role in ‘Breakin’’, about hip-hop culture, made him one of the most in demand celebrity choreographers.
He was also one of a few hip-hop artists of Mexican heritage in the 1980s, which he said left him facing hate.
Falcon said in an interview: “People couldn’t believe there was a Mexican who could pop. They would challenge me in front of the school or a party or a high school dance.
“They’d come out, right at you, right in front of your face.”
He also appeared in ‘Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey’ in 1991 and 1994’s ‘Thumbelina’, and can be seen in the music video for Chaka Khan’s ‘I Feel for You’ – one of the first songs to feature hip-hop – as well as 1983’s promo for Lionel Ritchie’s ‘All Night Long’.
In his later years he taught dance to the public.