The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance
Feb 11-13 2016
“Each moment of my life and each moment I’ve spent dancing on many stages around the world went into creating this work.” Raphael Xavier
“Artful and mesmerizing, Xavier transforms a bravado dance style into an introspective meditation.” Dance Magazine
An autobiographical dance–theater work that looks at a time when the new became old very quickly.
Breaking down the art form of breaking, The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance takes the audience on a journey through the life of a longtime practitioner of the hip hop aesthetic. Drawing on a lifetime of hip hop dancing, choreography, music, lyrics and poetry, the award-winning Philadelphia-based artist guides the audiences through an art form—so much at the core of his being—designed to leave maturing artist behind.
Xavier plays a substitute teacher who had a life as an artist and is a little pissed off because he had to finally take a job. The audience members are the students. Xavier shows them versions of himself as a teenager and young man, at the height of his physical “powers,” when as a breaker he had to live up to the expectations of his peers in the battle world. He takes apart the movement, freezes it, slows it down, examines moves in close up. He recreates the old moves anew for himself, making a new kind of movement, a new kind of story to tell.
A self taught hip hop dancer and breaking practitioner since 1983, Raphael Xavier has forged an exceptional approach to performance and improvisation, creating new ways to expand the vocabulary of the dance form. His extensive research in the breaking form has led 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 active alumnus of the world renowned Rennie Harris Puremovement, Xavier’s choreographic dance works (solo and ensemble) have been performed worldwide.
Xavier is joined on stage by dancers Cameron Beckham and Jerry Valme and poet Leigh-Mrlei-Nelson. Featuring original music by Xavier.
Original support for The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance was provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
The Process of Making The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance
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