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Raphael Xavier: Behind the Scenes of Sassafrazz: From Roots to Mastery

This is a past event.

Virtual Event

Thursday, April 8, 2021, 7:30 pm

Event Details

This is a past event.

Behind the Scenes of Sassafrazz: From Roots to Mastery, part of the Raphael Xavier Digital Residency at the Rozsa, is a virtual presentation of Xavier's newest work, reimagined for digital viewing and presented with live QA.

Sassafrazz: From Roots to Mastery is a 20-year exploration thatfocuses on the three stages of a practitioners Break life. Birth, life, and death will be represented by three levels and styles of Breaking: Top Rock, Footwork, and Ground Text. It is inspired by the word sassafrasa dried root used for flavoringthe old/original character based dance styles and flavor in Breaking, and the acceptance/privilege of maturing as a dancer in the Breaking genre in search of the combined: aging and mastery. This original narrative iscomposed and choreographed for three Breakers and three Jazz musicians.


Raphael Xavier is an award-winning Hip-Hop and Breaking artist. As an Innovative Movement Conceptualist he 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.

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 an active alumnus of the world renown Hip Hop Dance Company, Rennie Harris Puremovement, his solo and ensemble choreographic dance works have been performed worldwide. Raphael is also a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Pew Fellowship, a 2014 MacDowell Fellowship, and a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Xavier currently lives in Philadelphia andis a professor at Princeton University, where he teaches the History of Hip Hop Dance and Culture and Intro to Breaking courses.

The presentation of Sassafrazz: From Roots to Mastery was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Stream Details

Behind the Scenes of Sassafrazz live-stream is available to the general public.  Please register for the event.  

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Additional Details

  • Libby Meyer
  • Nancy Byers Sprague
  • Moira Van Loon

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