Distilling the art of breaking to its purest form, Raphael Xavier (pronounced ZAH-vee-ay) takes this movement vocabulary to uncharted territory. Expanding both dancer and audience expectations, Xavier has forged an exceptional approach to improvisation, clearing the path for those interested in breaking as an artform.  A multifaceted creator who draws inspiration from his many talents in dance, music, photography, and writing, Xavier’s original works are a transcendent mix of poetry, precision and spontaneity.

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Running time: 60 minutes
Conceived and Directed by Raphael Xavier

Forty years as a practitioner of the form, an aged Breaker will set out far beyond shallow waters in search of “The Big Fish.”

Skiff is a new, evening length solo work with a featured guest artist. 53 year old Breaker and choreographer, Raphael Xavier contextualizes his journey through the lens of Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” and Winslow Homer’s iconic painting “The Gulf Stream.” Created with original text and spoken word that is interwoven with Hemingway, Xavier draw parallels between the fisherman’s search and his own journey to build a dance career utilizing the artform of Breaking. Skiff features elements practiced by Xavier, merging story telling, spoken word and Breaking. Skiff features a transportable set, allowing the work to be performed on stage and in non-traditional spaces.


THE XCOPE (2021)

Running Time: 40-55 minutes, flexible to presenter’s needs. (Performed with live music)
Directed by: Raphael Xavier
Choreographer & Performed in collaboration with: Raphael Xavier and Local Performers
Music by: Tim Motzer

Local Performers audition and join Xavier in the creation process and performance.

A site-specific performance combining a live musician/vocalist and electronic technology with hip hop aesthetics that include Breaking, poetry, spoken word and rap cadences with an improvisational and intuitive approach. THE XCOPE embodies the experiences of each performer to create narratives – capturing a moment in time shared by performers and audience. Xavier offers a multi-day residency option where local performers in music, dance and/or poetry audition, rehearse and perform alongside Xavier to create a one-of-a-kind event with deep community engagement.



  • Technology: Zoom or other live streaming platform provided by presenter.

  • Company requires Presenter to provide virtual stage manager to run virtual activities. A tech rehearsal before every event with the virtual stage manager is required.

  • The company can adapt activities to meet the needs of each presenter/theater and their respective communities.


Raphael Xavier offers movement classes for Dance Departments or Community Organizations in: Breaking, Ground-Core (Xavier’s somatic dance technique), and Freestyle/Improvisation. Classes may be tailored and adapted as needed.


  • 25 Students max.

  • 60 minute zoom class plus 15 minute Q&A with Raphael Xavier.

A seasoned breaker, choreographer, performer and mentor, Raphael Xavier shares his breadth of knowledge, skill and experience with students, artists and non-dancers alike. Following is a sample list of offerings. Activities and workshops can be tailored and created in collaboration with presenter.


Ground-Core Technique
Rooted in Xavier’s own Ground-Core technique (a somatic dance technique) this class allows each participant to identify and strengthen his/her own core, and gain an awareness of how it shifts and moves throughout space. Various breaking movements are deconstructed and then taught to participants. Classes can be tailored to the participants’ ages and dance capabilities/training. By making this movement accessible to any body type, the class introduces a new movement vocabulary to the practitioners, giving them a better understanding of the body in all dance forms. Running Time: 60-90 minutes.

Breaking and Freestyle/Improvisation classes also available.

Engagement activities can be tailored in collaboration with presenter and community partners. Below is a sample of offerings created to enhance the experience and themes explored in Skiff.

Skiff: Movement & Story Telling Workshop
Exploring the themes in Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” Raphael Xavier leads this exploratory workshop where participants source personal stories of defeat, triumph and hope while tapping into their creative talents in a supportive and communal environment. The workshop will allow participants to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of how art and literature can resonate with our lived experiences. Running time: 60-90 minutes. Ages 14 and up.

Skiff: Movement & Spoken Workshop
Geared towards writers, poets and spoken word artists, Raphael Xavier will lead this combination writing and movement workshop where participants use movement and language to expand and explore their original text. Running time: 60-90 minutes. Ages 14 and up.

Raph’s Brown Bag Lunch & Conversation
Raphael Xavier extends an invitation for folks to come together and commune over a ‘Tuna Fish sandwich’ and a few pages of Hemingway’s story. Igniting dialogue, exchange and human connection through literature and performance, Raphael leads a conversation about the tragic tale of a Cuban fisherman’s quest for the greatest catch of his life. Running time 60 – 90 minutes. Ages 14 and up.

A Conversation: The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea is a story where perspectives can vary from reader to reader. In this conversation facilitated by Raphael Xavier, Participants are invited to share their personal perspective on Hemingway, the novel, and how they feel it does or does not resonate. Reading selected passages in the book and engaging participants in a lively conversation, Xavier invites participants to reflect, engage and be in community. Running time 60 minutes.

Skiff Mad-Libs with Q&A
As part of a preshow conversation & creative activity, Xavier leads a brief conversation around the themes and creative process behind his newest work Skiff and his inspiration: Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. The event culminates in a fun, creative activity with Xavier sourcing words from the audience and shares a Skiff Mad-Lib for participants to fill in and share out loud. Running time: 30 minutes. Start time: no later than one hour before the start of the performance.

THE XCOPE Creative Residency with Local Performers
Learn how to build your own creative toolbox! The Creative Residency with Local Performers for Raphael Xavier’s THE XCOPE, gives local performers an opportunity to learn and work under the direction and mentorship of Xavier. The residency begins with local performers auditioning to be a part of the public performances of THE XCOPE. Local performers may include hip hop and contemporary dancers, spoken word artists and musicians. Once selected, participants will engage in a multi-day residency and rehearsal. Performers will learn how to tap into and build their “creative toolbox,” working collaboratively with fellow performers while contributing their unique talents, under the creative direction of Xavier, for a one-of-a-kind public performance of THE XCOPE.

Artist Talk/Panel Discussions on identity, hip-hop culture and black identity in the media available.

Pre and post-performance discussions available upon request. 

  • Boston University News Source

  • Boston Globe (2016)

  • Boston Globe

  • New York Times

For more information, please contact:

Sandy Garcia

Sandy Garcia

Director of Booking

212.278.8111 ext. 3425