Joy is not a complicated emotion. Yet, as always, the Fort-Lee-based Nai-Ni Chen company offered more than razzmatazz in this program dubbed “Year of the Black Water Rabbit.” Nai-Ni Chen herself died in late 2021; notably, the show’s program included a revival of the choreographer’s “Movable Figures,” a masterfully constructed contemporary work. The event also featured a collaboration with hip-hop artists Ana “Rokafella” Garcia, Gabriel “Kwikstep” Dionisio and their Bronx-based company Full Circle Souljahs. Appearances by the FA Youth Dance Group and by Chinese pipa soloist Chen Fan rounded out the traditional portions of the program.
It’s 1988 and the New York breaking legend Kwikstep is on tour. “Here’s this Puerto Rican kid from Brooklyn in the middle of an arena in China,” he says, recounting the memory in a thick Nuyorican accent. He recalls popping and locking through his routine and then finishing off his performance with a series of mind-blowing headspins, inciting roars from the crowd. “Then I hear what I think are explosions. So I get up out of my headspins and the explosion was people breaking the barriers to come down onto the arena floor,” he remembers, eyes wide. Naturally, Kwik assumed he was going to have to fight someone. “But then I realize in their eyes is love. They start throwing me up and down and hugging me and kissing me.”
Back in New York, Red Bull championship spotlights how breakdancing has changed
In the quarterfinals of Red Bull’s world championship break-dancing competition in Gdansk, Poland, last year, American Flea Rock battled the defending champion, Japanese B-boy Shigekix. After an arsenal of gymnastic moves from Shigekix, Flea Rock responded with a witty retort: making his hands into the shape of guns, he fired off shots as his feet moved to the beat. Then he wiggled down to the floor and army crawled toward Shigekix, guns still blazing. The crowd erupted and a judge jumped out of his chair.
The B-Girl's Battle for Equality in a Male-Dominated Style
It was the late ’90s, and breaking pioneer Ana “Rokafella” Garcia was in rehearsals for a major theater production with a crew of male breakers. A popular b-boy began making comments dripping with sexual innuendo about the only other woman in the group.
NYC Hip Hop Legends Rokafella and Kwikstep Beatbox Side by Side
This four-part series spotlights generations of New York City Latine hip hop artists, each of them trailblazers in their respective elements. Featured artists: Kid Freeze, a b-boy pioneer who got his start in the 1970s and the inventor of continuous headspins and a range of power moves; Lady Pink, a legendary graffiti artist known for painting NYC subway cars in the late ’70s; Kwikstep, founder of the Full Circle breaking crew and a mentor to some of the best break dancers in the U.S.; Rokafella, one of the most iconic b-girls in hip-hop history; D-Stroy, an MC from the Arsonists, an underground ’90s hip-hop collective, ; and Jiggz Star, Bongo Roc, and Ken Fury of the world champion break dancing crew, The Supreme Beingz. This eclectic mix of hip-hop leaders inspire their communities and keep the roots of hip hop culture alive through their art forms.
A brief interview with Rokafella and Kwikstep on BronxNet Open BxRx show about their upcoming Hip hop variety show entitled "Kwik2Rok".
The origin story of Kwik and Rok and the ethos of Breakin in NYC.
Rokafella is interviewed by DJ Trails at the 25th anniversary of the Pro Am Dance and DJ Expo Miami June 11, 2022.
A brief interview with Rokafella and Kwikstep on BronxNet Open RX show hosted by Rhina Valentine about grant award and National Vanguard Culture project.
A brief interview with Rokafella and Kid Glyde about the world finals of Red Bull BC One happening in November 2022 in NYC- the birthplace of Hip hop.