BRKFST DANCE COMPANY
Saint Paul, MN
Photo by Adam Adolphus
BRKFST Dance Company, founded in 2014, is a collaborative ensemble of breaking choreographers based in Saint Paul, MN. BRKFST incorporates abstract, narrative, and pedestrian driven movement into their impressive and physically rigorous work by combining breaking with contemporary dance vernacular.
BRKFST’s egalitarian and virtuosic choreographic collaboration is deeply rooted in the Hip Hop adage, "Each One Teach One": regardless of class, race, experience, age or gender, everyone remains both teacher and student. BRKFST's lineage stems from breaking and hip hop culture: earning respect from battles, receiving real world critique and embodying inclusivity by passing down their knowledge to the new generation. The lived experiences of this collective who identify as working class, queer, femme and BIPOC, inform their compositions.
BRKFST performs regionally, premiering work at the Walker Arts Center, Southern Theater, The Cowles Center and Orchestra Hall with The Minnesota Orchestra, nationally in Belding Theater at The Bushnell with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and internationally to Dublin, Ireland in connection with Dance2Connect Hip Hop Festival. Their film “Dreamers” (2019) was deemed an official selection in 11 international film festivals receiving “Grand Jury Award'' (In/Motion Festival 2021) and “Best Experimental Film” (Tirana International Film Festival 2020). BRKFST has set repertoire and original work on dancers at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities 2021, Carleton College 2022, Dance2Connect Hip Hop Festival 2022, and Bates Dance Festival 2022.
Lisa “MonaLisa” Berman is the founder and Artistic Director of BRKFST Dance Company. She is the recipient of the 2019 Artist Initiative Grant, 2016 McKnight Dancer Fellowship, and 2008 Jerome Travel Grant. Berman, alongside BRKFST, has set repertoire and original works on dancers at Bates Dance Festival, Dance2Connect Hip Hop Festival in Dublin, Ireland, The University of Minnesota, Carleton College and Hamline University. She has performed in Minnesota, Connecticut, Florida, Washington DC, New York, Netherlands, and Ireland. Berman works as a Breaking instructor for Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and a resident Teaching Artist for The Cowles Center.
Joseph "MN Joe" Tran is a founding member of BRKFST Dance Company and a member of Knuckleheads Cali breaking crew. Tran is known for his signature moves which have earned him multiple victories in breaking competitions across the US, Europe, and South America. He is the recipient of the 2023 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship and the 2019 McKnight Dancer Fellowship, and has performed locally throughout Saint Paul/Minneapolis, nationally in Connecticut, and internationally in Ireland. Tran has set repertoire with BRKFST at the University of Minnesota, Carleton College, and Bates Dance Festival. Tran currently works as a breaking instructor for Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and Young Dance.
Ideas in Motion: 21st Century Dance Practices (2023)