“…Artful and mesmerizing, Xavier transforms a bravado dance style into an introspective meditation.” - Dance Magazine
Dates Available for Touring
Fall 2017-Spring 2018
Performers: 5 dancers
Production Staff: 1
Repertory Available 2017/18
Point of Interest
Choreography & Sound Design: Raphael Xavier
Crackling with his signature bravado and high-energy physicality, Raphael Xavier shares the stage with a multigenerational cast, performing a series of solos, duets and quintets in his newest evening-length work. The work features a soundscape of beats, spoken word poetry and musical rhythms. Shining a light on the natural, humorous and at times painful change of the maturing Breaker dancer, Point of Interest ventures into the “mature” space for hip-hop dance, following the standard of traditional Breaking aesthetics while pushing the boundaries of a culture and dance form commonly associated with youth.
“I am a performer. I want to discover, break and change things. By definition, ‘breaking’ means to separate into pieces; become inoperative; break down; malfunction and crash. Its success is in taking it apart – if I can take this apart, I have succeeded in Breaking. And this has been evident in my philosophy and practice of the Breaking form since my introduction in 1983.” -RX
The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance
An original work that deconstructs Xavier’s songs/rap lyrics and the art form of Breaking, The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance takes the audience on a journey through the life of a maturing practitioner of the hip-hop aesthetic. The cadence of the stories/songs allow him to speak to the audience in theatrical conversation instead of performing them in the traditional form of rapping. This acts as an interface between the dance and the audience, providing insight into the journey they are experiencing, as the title suggests. The text, which includes songs and poetry written over the course of 20 years, helps align the project as autobiographical. This intergenerational cast and interdisciplinary collaboration creates opportunities for reaching a variety of communities and audiences.
Rooted in Xavier’s own Ground-Core technique (a Somatic dance technique) the class allows for each participant to identify and strengthen his/her own core, creating an awareness of how it shifts and moves throughout space. The instructor deconstructs various breaking movements which participants are then taught to perform. By making this movement accessible to any body type, the class helps create a new vocabulary for the practitioner, allowing for a better understanding of the body within all dance forms. Master classes can be tailored to participant demographic depending on age and dance capabilities/training.
Student Performance/Schooltime Matinee
Raphael Xavier and his group of talented dancers offer an engaging, high-energy show for young audiences with a focus on the extreme physical form of Breaking and its origins in hip-hop culture. Xavier and his dynamic dancers give students a behind-the-scenes look as they warm up and illustrate a selection of moves from the Breaking vocabulary through demonstration and audience participation. The performance includes excerpts of his newest work Point of Interest and culminates in a Q&A session with students.
Artist Talk/Panel Discussions on identity, hip-hop culture and black identity in the media as well as Pre and Post performance discussions available upon request.
Raphael Xavier, Artistic Director and Choreographer
An Award-winning artist originally from Wilmington, Delaware; Raphael Xavier is a self taught Hip-Hop dancer and Breaking practitioner since 1983, Raphael has forged an exceptional approach to improvisation. Brenda Dixon Gottschild deemed Xavier, ‘A fine rhythm technician who transforms a bravado dance style into an introspective meditation.’ A self-described Innovative Movement Conceptualist, Xavier creates new ways to expand the vocabulary of the dance form. He draws not only upon the culture but also his equally important visual background as a Hip Hop magazine photographer and musical artist. As the sound designer for his works, Xavier’s understanding of movement and musicality allows him to structure beats, noises and sounds into captivating music that draws upon emotion and coincides with his choreography.
His extensive research in the Breaking form has lead to the creation of Ground-Core, a Somatic dance technique that gives the practitioner a better understanding of the body within all dance forms. As an active alumnus of the world-renown Hip Hop Dance Company, Rennie Harris Puremovement, his solo and ensemble choreographic dance works have been performed world-wide. Xavier has been awarded numerous accolades including a 2013 Pew Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellow in 2014 and most recently a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship for Choreography. He currently lives in Philadelphia and is a second year Guest Lecturer in Dance at Princeton University.
His dance works have been performed at REDCAT Los Angeles, Kennedy Center in Washington DC, ART (American Repertory Theatre in Boston), Dance Theatre Workshop in NYC, the Dance Center at Colombia College Chicago and Painted Bride in Philadelphia, PA among others.
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