Questions of Practice: Dancer Raphael Xavier on Street vs. Stage Performance

“There is a very different language between street and stage,” says hip-hop dancer and Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier. In this video, he describes how the performance setting shifts his relationship with the audience and how certain elements do not translate from the street to the stage.

Hip-hop dancer and Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier on street vs. stage performance. Filmed at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on March 3, 2015.

Raphael Xavier (Pew Fellow, 2013) has practiced breaking, an acrobatic street dance style commonly known as breakdancing, since 1983. An alumnus of the groundbreaking hip-hop dance company Rennie Harris Puremovement, Xavier is developing a new dance vocabulary that follows in breaking’s traditions yet can be sustained for a lifelong career. He developed his most recent work, The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance, with Center support under the mentorship of award-winning choreographer Ralph Lemon. In September 2016, Xavier presented the Center-supported project Raphstravaganza: An Urban Kinetic Experience in the courtyard of Philadelphia’s City Hall.

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