BRKFST Dance Company is a St.Paul/Minneapolis-based performance arts collective founded in 2014.
As a collaborative ensemble, BRKFST creates thoughtful, dynamic, introspective works combining highly physical breaking movement and contemporary dance vernacular to expand awareness on topics that address marginalized and underserved populations: the working class, queer identity, BIPOC identity, and their personal relationships to this country. BRKFST Dance Company articulates the lived experience of diverse and contemporary artists, contests society's expectations of their chosen form by placing breaking in unconventional environments, and complicates the medium of dance itself by incorporating abstract, narrative, and pedestrian movement into their impressive, rigorous, physically virtuosic compositions.
BRKFST teaches and performs in schools, libraries, museums, and concert dance venues, premiering work at the Walker Arts Center, Southern Theater, and Cowles Center. Their film “Dreamers” was deemed an official selection in ten international film festivals, receiving multiple accolades for Best Experimental Film and Grand Jury Award.
Lisa 'MonaLisa' Berman
LISA BERMAN is the Founder and Artistic Director of BRKFST Dance Company, recipient of the 2019 MRAC Arts Activities Support Grant for BRKFST, 2019 Artist Initiative Grant, 2016 McKnight Dancer Fellowship, and 2008 Jerome Travel and Study Grant for Choreography.
MonaLisa is currently working as a Breaking instructor for The University of Minnesota, Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, resident Teaching Artist for The Cowles Center, choreographer for Hamline University, and on the COMPAS roster as a performance group with BRKFST Dance Company.
Lisa has performed at venues locally, nationally, and internationally including but not limited to Florida, Washington DC, New York, the Netherlands, and Ireland.
Joseph 'MN Joe' Tran
JOSEPH TRAN is a professional breaker since 2005. He is a member of world-renowned crew Knuckleheads Cali and founding member of BRKFST Dance Company. Tran is a recipient of the 2019 McKnight Dancer Fellowship and the 2019 MRAC Arts Activities Support Grant for BRKFST.
His unique and dynamic movement helped him secure first place titles across Italy, Estonia, Colombia, France, the Netherlands, California, New York and Minnesota. Currently, he is a Hip Hop instructor at Concordia University, Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and a Teaching Artist for COMPAS, a non-profit education organization that teaches through art.
Previous experience includes dancing for the Minnesota Timberwolves with First Avenue Breakers and awards include; Outbreak World Finals 2011, Red Bull BC One Midwest 2014, Battle of EST Estonia 2016, Soundset FSS Minnesota 2017 & 2018, "Who got the Flower?!" France 2018, D2C Ireland 2020.
RENÉE COPELAND is a founding member, movement collaborator and sound composer for BRKFST Dance Company, co-founder of the dance/performance art duo, Hiponymous, and a member of Ananya Dance Theatre since 2010, a dance company in which she performs, studies and teaches the contemporary Indian dance form,Y orchha and its intersection with social justice issues.
Copeland is the recipient of the 2020 Artist Initiative Grantfor Music and 2018 McKnight fellowship for Dance.
Cheng 'Technica' Xiong
CHENG "TECHNICA" XIONG has been dancing and performing for over 15 years. He graduated in 2014 at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities with a B.A. in Dance. Xiong is a founding member of BRKFST Dance Company, member of Strong Movement and also performs with Black Label Movement. Working with Black Label Movement, Cheng was fortunate to go to Bangalore, India in April of 2015 for a bodystorming project at the National Centre for Biological Science (NCBS).
Travis 'Seqal' Johnson
TRAVIS JOHNSON has been dancing as a breaker for the past 20 years. Seqal is a founding member of BRKFST Dance Company with whom he has performed at local and main stage venues including the Walker Art Center, Southern Theater, Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Cowles Center. He has also performed for the Minnesota Timberwolves with the "First Avenue Breakers."
Sequel combines his early training as a martial artist to enrich his breaking aesthetic, which is exemplified in his unique style.