The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance

Raphael Xavier. Photo by Steven Gunther.

A practitioner of hip-hop dance since 1983 and a 2013 Pew Fellow in the Arts, Raphael Xavier brings a wide range of experience to the stage. He specializes in breaking (widely known as breakdancing), a street dance form he has taught to new generations of hip-hop enthusiasts for years in order to keep its history alive. “As a traditional folk art, it’s important to disseminate hip-hop dance and culture in as many ways as possible,” he says. His performance, The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance (TUGTAWP), is autobiographical and presents a running story in which Xavier is both narrator and dancer. Renowned artist and Bessie Award-winner Ralph Lemon acted as a guest rehearsal coach, helping Xavier to push the boundaries of hip-hop. TUGTAWP toured to the Dance Center at Columbia College in Chicago.


As part of the ongoing Center-funded project re-PLACE-ing Philadelphia, Painted Bride Art Center welcomes Congolese dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula.

Collaborators & Colleagues

David Devan is general director and president of Opera Philadelphia, where he works on strategic planning initiatives and builds partnerships within the Philadelphia community and the opera world.

Grants & Grantees

Supporting, documenting and presenting Philadelphia area folk arts, the Philadelphia Folklore Project is committed to sustaining community cultural knowledge.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar is founding artistic director of Urban Bush Women, a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change.

Dance scholar Linda Caruso Haviland revisits the work of choreographer William Forsythe and his efforts to re-substantiate what he calls its “trace” in the world.

This exhibition will survey a generation of pioneering female artists in relation to the technology innovators who helped shape the information age.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Rainey has performed with companies such as Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, and he was a soloist with Pennsylvania Ballet from 1999–2006.

In conjunction with it’s ongoing exhibition, the Library Company presents a performance of Pablo Batista’s performance work El Viaje.

Michelle Heffner Hayes will lead a discussion on the history of flamenco and its cultural significance in its contemporary form.

This project investigated various issues surrounding (co-)authorship in cultural production, asking questions around definitions of authorship, collaboration, audience participation, the influence of marketplace, and other concepts.

“Dancing around the Bride* at the Philadelphia Museum of Art told “the story of five extraordinary artists and what happened to art and culture when their lives and work intersected,” said curator Carlos Basualdo.

Grants & Grantees

You have to almost exhaust yourself sometimes to let yourself say what it is, or do what it is, in the most honest way.