Volume 75, Number 34 | January 11 - 17, 200


Choreographed by Anita Garcia and Gabriel Dionisio
Wednesday, Jan. 11 through Jan. 14
Dance Theater Workshop
219 W. 19th St., between 7 and 8th Aves.
(212-691-6500, www.dtw.org).

Hip hop duo defines dance through ‘Innaviews’

Full Circle dance duo Anita Garcia (a.k.a. Rokafella) and Gabriel Dionisio (a.k.a. Kwikstep) perform their new show, "Innaviews," at the Dance TheaterWorkshop Jan. 11- 14.

By Sara G. Levin

One of the characters portrayed by Anita Garcia (a.k.a. Rokafella) in “Innaviews” at Dance Theater Workshop this week, is a Ph.D.-touting dimwit named Yvonne D’noshet (just say it out loud). Choreographed and written by herself and her husband, Gabriel Dionisio (a.k.a Kwikstep), the piece satirizes painful interviews the dancers have endured. Humorously, they show that like the graduate student, many journalists and scholars who try to define hip-hop dance effectively don’t know *@&!.

The work-in-progress directed by Gamal Chasten also attempts to reveal an intimate side the dancers couldn’t reveal in other public appearances. By mixing dialogues, monologues and break-dancing over a span of 45 minutes, the veteran breakers separate themselves from superficial publicity and delve into the why behind the dance.

“I was a very shy kid,” Dionisio said, describing the Brooklyn foster homes he grew up in, a story he also references in the performance. “So when I started to dance, that’s when I spoke the loudest.”

“I was always the new girl, the good-bye girl,” Garcia said, explaining that her parents moved around a lot from Spanish Harlem to the South Bronx. It was the rush and camaraderie she felt in clubs that kept her going back, she said. “I was sixteen! I had a fake ID, my man was older than me… It just hit me, and I was like ‘I gotta go [dance].’”

After performing on opposite sides of the city during the 1980s, Dionisio and Garcia went professional without knowing each other. But by dancing in similar circles for groups like GhettOriginal and artists like Mariah Carey, the two eventually met, fell in love, and began Full Circle in 1996.

Like their full-length pieces, “Soular Power’d” and “Hip Hop to da Head,” “Innaviews” weaves movement and theatrical vocabulary together. While Garcia said that this piece is more heavily steeped in acting than their normal work, she considers it an adequate medium to relate their story, which is solely a duet for now.

“Later on it may end up with a full cast, but we’re happy with the piece right now,” Garcia said. The music will be a soundtrack of mostly R&B and soul, according to Dionisio. Other characters that are parodied include a journalist from the Midwest called M’il Merica, and a TV personality named Ill-B (after Billboard Charts).

Garcia described the experience of being interviewed on TV by someone who kept asking her about how much money she made and what type of car she drove. Perhaps, she thought, he didn’t realize that just because dancers travel with popular artists, their lives aren’t necessarily glamorous.

“No one really asks what’s it like being Latina and being into hip hop, what’s it like to navigate those two worlds. It could be as simple as trying to decide what shoes to wear,” she said, referring to a monologue in “Hip Hop to da Head,” in which she talks about her mother’s high heels. “But it also goes deeper because it’s like when I walk out of the house, what am I representing?”

“It’s about interviews that didn’t really get to the inner-view of who we are,” Dionisio said.

Garcia added she hopes the honesty of the piece can inspire others to trust their dreams. She noted her sense of a mission to inspire people through dance is a new way of wielding her art.

“Because come on, when I first got into hip-hop I really wasn’t trying to inspire nobody,” she laughed.

The Full Circle duo has performed internationally and live in New Jersey. After a brief appearance at DTW, Full Circle will head to Washington, DC in April perform “Hip Hop to da Head” at the Kennedy Center.

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