Distilling the art of breaking to its purest form, Raphael Xavier 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 art form. A multi-faceted 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.
"...Artful and mesmerizing, Xavier transforms a bravado dance style into an introspective meditation." - Dance Magazine
Originally from Wilmington, Delaware; Raphael Xavier is a self taught Hip-Hop dancer and Breaking practitioner since 1983, Raphael has forged an exceptional approach to improvisation. Brenda Dixon Gottschild deemed Xavier, ‘A fine rhythm technician who transforms a bravado dance style into an introspective meditation.’ A self-described Innovative Movement Conceptualist, Xavier creates new ways to expand the vocabulary of the dance form. He draws not only upon the culture but also his equally important visual background as a Hip Hop magazine photographer and musical artist. As the sound designer for his works, Xavier’s understanding of movement and musicality allows him to structure beats, noises and sounds into captivating music that draws upon emotion and coincides with his choreography.
His extensive research in the Breaking form has lead 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 an active alumnus of the world-renown Hip Hop Dance Company, Rennie Harris Puremovement, his solo and ensemble choreographic dance works have been performed world-wide. Xavier has been awarded numerous accolades including a 2013 Pew Fellowship, a MacDowell Fellow in 2014 and most recently a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship for Choreography. He currently lives in Philadelphia and is a third year Guest Lecturer in Dance at Princeton University.
His dance works have been performed at REDCAT Los Angeles, Kennedy Center in Washington DC, ART (American Repertory Theatre in Boston), Dance Theatre Workshop in NYC, the Dance Center at Colombia College Chicago and Painted Bride in Philadelphia, PA among others.