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Rokafella Interview: Young Roots Performance Series: Still Standing

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About

Directed by Rokafella (renowned Hip-Hop breaker and co-Artistic Director of Full Circle Productions),Still Standing is a dance theater work created with students from Hostos Community College that fuses club and street dance styles, along with song and poetry, and incorporates the students' personal photographs to tell their inspirational stories of "going through and getting through" life's challenges. The work celebrates the mixed consciousness of first- and second-generation youth, because "if we don't tell our stories...who will?"

This production is the seventh in the Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture's two-year project, The Young Roots Performance Series, that showcases emerging artists experimenting with the artistic roots of Afro-Latino traditions to create new branches that reach into the future.Sponsored by the Hostos Community College Foundation with funds from the Rockefeller Foundation's NYC Cultural Innovation Fund, 2010-12. Additional support provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Young Roots Performance Series project grew out of the two rotating biennial festivals produced at Hostos Center: BomPlenazo, which focuses on the bomba and plena traditions of Puerto Rico, and Quijombo, which focuses on the congo, salve and guloya, which continue to be extensively documented by the media center BronxNet. BronxNet produces programs that globally connect one of the most diverse and culturally rich places in the world: the Bronx – and the TV station’s award winning production team will produce a series of Young Roots docu-concerts.


The Young Roots Performance Series at Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture showcases emerging artists experimenting with the artistic roots of Afro-Latino traditions to create new branches that reach into the future. The series was made possible by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation’s highly selective New York City Cultural Innovation Fund, which supports creativity and the arts, with an emphasis on innovation.

In May of 2011, The Young Roots Performance Series presented The Mermaid’s Feet, a collaborative effort between East Harlem-based vocalists Catarina dos Santos and Raquel Z. Rivera who draw on roots music of the Afro-Ibero-American world, highlighting women's experiences. The project title makes reference to the female-centeredness of dos Santos' and Rivera's music, and to the ocean that touches all the countries whose musical traditions they draw from, in a innovative collaboration with Brazilian, Portuguese, and African musicians.

The Young Roots Performance Series project grew out of the two rotating biennial festivals produced at Hostos Center: BomPlenazo, which focuses on the bomba and plena traditions of Puerto Rico, and Quijombo, which focuses on the congo, salve and guloya, which continue to be extensively documented by the media center BronxNet. BronxNet produces programs that globally connect one of the most diverse and culturally rich places in the world: the Bronx – and the TV station’s award winning production team will produce a series of Young Roots docu-concerts.

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