By Megan Gregoire
Boston University News Service
BOSTON — The Institute of Contemporary Art hosted Cambridge-based organization Global Arts Live on Saturday night for a performance of “Xavier: The Musician and The Mover.” The sold-out performance featured choreography and dancing by award-winning choreographer and artist Raphael Xavier.
Xavier’s performance was accompanied by a live jazz performance throughout the hour-long production. The piece revolved around different elements of hip-hop dance, including improvisation, breaking, and popping.
“Xavier: The Musician and The Mover” also featured spoken word by Xavier himself, which served as a guiding narrative throughout the performance. Attendee Emily Gibbs, 22, from Cambridge said that the addition of the spoken word added a new layer that she had never seen before in traditional dance performances.
“The poetry throughout, and the dancers being mic’d the entire time is something I’ve really never seen at all,” Gibbs said. “Hearing Raphael physically breathe throughout almost became part of the music, almost like an instrument that worked alongside the jazz.”
Xavier was joined by dancers Joshua Culbreath and Emily Peitruszka. Culbreath’s performance focused heavily on traditional breaking, and Peitruszka’s included elements of both popping and contemporary-style dance.
Connie Chin, the new executive director of Global Arts Live, said Xavier’s career and style of performing is an example of why she is excited about her new position.
“I’m excited about how Global Arts Live supports artists by presenting them repeatedly and building an audience for them. Xavier’s expressive new work speaks so beautifully to his evolution as an artist,” she said.
Susan Weiler, associate director for Global Arts Live, said that Xavier, who is in his 50s, serves as an example that art and creation have no age limits.
“It is thrilling to see how each of three artists approached his/her craft differently and improvised with the musicians,” said Weiler. “It’s encouraging to see an artist in his 50s with that kind of exceptional physical stamina and power, taking the breaking art form to a new level of expression.”