Middlebury College Museum of Art

News & Events

Rokafella Breaks Out Hip Hop for Haring

October 7, 2016

For immediate release: 10/7/16
For further information contact: Emmie Donadio, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, at donadio@middlebury.edu or (802) 443-2240

Middlebury, VT—In conjunction with the exhibition Post Pop: Prints of Keith Haring, on view at the Middlebury College Museum of Art, pioneering feminist breakdancer Ana “Rokafella” Garcia will give a lecture demonstration in the Dance Theatre of the Mahaney Center for the Arts at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 27. Her presentation is free and open to the public.

Rockafella breaking on the Brooklyn Bridge
Photo courtesy of Yu Wadee and B Fresh Photography

Like Haring, who frequented dance clubs and organized his first art exhibitions in them, Rokafella launched her career in the dance culture of New York. She will discuss the rise of hip hop and breakdancing and demonstrate some of its signature moves in her lecture/presentation. She will also give a public master class on hip hop and breakdancing Wednesday, October 26 at 4:30 p.m., in the Dance Theatre of the Mahaney Center for the Arts.

Born in East Harlem, Rokafella got her start in what she calls “temples of dance” after she first saw the extraordinary feats of B-Boys (breakdancers) on the streets. Developing her own take on their skills, she soon was dancing with the best, earning her stage name “Rokafella” and paving the way for other B-Girls to follow. As she told the filmmakers of the PBS documentary project Makers: Women Who Made America, “I’m letting people know you can be a woman and be a badass breaker. When you see me, you’re seeing excellence and you learn that men don’t have a hold on the word ‘excellence’ . . . I’m showing that hip hop is pure expression, freedom, and positive.”

In 1995, with her husband Kwikstep, who had coached her and directed her to audition for top crews, she founded Full Circle Productions, Inc., a non-profit that seeks to empower young dancers through the positive power of hip hop. Rokafella is also a faculty member at The New School and at the Peridance Capezio Center, New York.

Rokafella’s visit is co-sponsored by the Middlebury College Museum of Art, the Department of Dance, the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity, and Chellis House, Women’s Resource Center at the College.

The Middlebury College Museum of Art, located in the Mahaney Center for the Arts on Rte. 30 on the southern edge of campus, is free and open to the public Tues. through Fri. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sat. and Sun. from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed Mondays. The museum is physically accessible. Parking is available in the Mahaney Center for the Arts parking lot. For further information and to confirm dates and times of scheduled events, please call (802) 443–5007 or TTY (802) 443–3155, or visit the museum’s website at museum.middlebury.edu.