Afro-Cuban folklorist and choreographer José Francisco Barroso and DREAM Dance Company, an Oakland-based urban dance company that grew out of Destiny Arts Center, collaborated to create Full Circle, an exploration of historic, social, and aesthetic links between Afro-Cuban Rumba and African-American Hip-Hop. The finished work, a 20-minute dance-theater piece, premiered in May 2006.
Although Rumba and Hip-Hop were born of different eras and lands, Barroso developed skills in both as a young man in Cuba and notes that similar social environments sparked their development. Barroso integrates Hip-Hop and the Afro-Cuban tradition within his solo movement vocabulary, and for years has choreographed group works within the Afro-Cuban tradition. However, “Full Circle” was the first time he explored with another dance company the intersections of the two distinct cultural forms.
Launched in September 2002 and led by Naomi Bragin, DREAM Dance Company of Oakland, focuses on bringing innovative urban folk art and culture to the stage to tell personal and collective stories of struggle, transformation, and inspiration. Central to its collaborative process is the ability of its dancers to contribute creatively to the artistic process.