Raphstravaganza: An Urban Kinetic Experience

1/5: Pete Brandt. Photo courtesy of Raphael Xavier.
2/5: Raphstravaganza cast. Photo by Anthony Foye.
3/5: Raphael Xavier, 2014. Photo by Brian Mengini.
4/5: Bill Shannon, Shannon Technique/signature move Wall Stahl, 2013, New York City. Photo courtesy of Raphael Xavier.
5/5: Raphael Xavier, Raphfreeze, 2015. Photo courtesy of Raphael Xavier.

Leading hip-hop artist and 2013 Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier brought together masterful street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music for Raphstravaganza: An Urban Kinetic Experience, a contemporary circus-style performance in City Hall’s courtyard. Original compositions by saxophonist, composer, and 1996 Pew Fellow Bobby Zankel acted as musical narration for the urban styles that Xavier says “profoundly influenced my life during childhood and have shaped the artist I am today.” Performers included Bill Shannon, a choreographer, dancer, and Guggenheim Fellow known as Crutch Master who has choreographed for Cirque Du Soleil; Tylon Moore, who is known as New York City’s top street hip-hop acrobat and contortionist; top professional BMX rider Matt Wilhelm, who was a semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent; and additional performers from Philadelphia. A set of four, 25-minute choreographed performances were structured throughout the courtyard space and paid tribute to the soul of the city, inviting discovery of urban street dance and movement.


Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.

References

The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University presents theater artists Suli Holum and David Bradley’s play A Fierce Kind of Love at Ursinus College.

The work of Schumann, Gesualdo, Brahms, and Mozart will be performed to evoke themes of fragility, unconventionality, and playfulness explored by the composers late in their careers.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, novelist Beth Kephart describes seeing the landscape of her unwritten novel through the eyes of videographer Lori Waselchuk. Composer Bhob Rainey makes music out of squid neurons and mathematical formulas, and poet Major Jackson discusses the simple act of paying attention.

In an essay accompanying the program booklet for Chopin Without Piano, Swarthmore’s Allen Kuharski contextualizes the performance within Polish culture and political history.

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society serves the Greater Philadelphia region and the field of music by presenting a rich and compelling variety of chamber music and recital programs performed by exceptional international and Philadelphia-based artists at affordable prices.

Grants & Grantees

North American twins return to their Middle Eastern homeland as they uncover family secrets.

Grants & Grantees

Founded in Philadelphia in 1980, Piffaro performs 15th- through 17th-century music.

Grants & Grantees

People’s Light is one of Pennsylvania’s largest professional nonprofit theaters and is known for its resident company of artists, eclectic mix of productions, and for innovative work with young people.

Grants & Grantees

Carol Antrom is a musician and a 1999 Pew Fellow.

Elevator Repair Service’s John Collins on why his theater ensemble embraces “a blissful ignorance” at the outset of a new project.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art presents an extensive project centered on historic and contemporary African art that promoted greater understanding and appreciation of African culture as a dynamic and complex relationship between past and present, tradition and innovation.

The Center has awarded $500,000 to Opera Philadelphia, to strengthen the organization’s efforts to respond to the changing nature of its audiences and develop new programs.