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July 21, 2021

DANCECleveland Kicks Off Season with Two Free Performances August 21 Presenting Raphael Xavier in a Site-Responsive Work at Cain Park

DANCECleveland Kicks Off Season with Two Free Performances August 21

Presenting Raphael Xavier in a Site-Responsive Work at Cain Park

Performed to a Live Musical Score and in Collaboration with Local Dance Artists

CLEVELAND, OH (July 19, 2021) – After a hiatus from in-person events due to COVID-19, DANCECleveland kicks off its 2021-2022 Performance Series, a celebration of the organization’s 65th Anniversary and the return of in-person performances. The season will begin August 21 with two free, outdoor performances along the pathways of Cain Park in Cleveland Heights, featuring hip-hop dancer, choreographer and breaking practitioner Raphael Xavier alongside local Northeast Ohio hip-hop dancers with live music by Tim Motzer. The performances are co-presented by DANCECleveland and Cain Park.

The two performances of Xavier’s newest, site-responsive work, KOLÂDE-XCOPE, will take place on Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Each performance will last approximately 45 minutes, and tickets are not required. Audience members should be prepared to walk the pathways of the park, and are encouraged bring along their own chair or blanket if they wish to sit.

An original collaborative and creative work, KOLÂDE-XCOPE originated as an outdoor experience at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden during COVID quarantine. Since the initial performance, Xavier has expanded the work to include an additional dancer from his company, Joshua Culbreath. KOLÂDE-XCOPE features hip-hop aesthetics that includes breaking, poetry, spoken word and rap cadences with an improvisational and intuitive approach, mixed with modern dance. The work embodies the experiences of the practitioner in their respective fields to create narratives, capturing a moment in time shared by both the performers and audience. A live score performed by Tim Motzer on guitar will utilize looping and bowing techniques in combination with electronics to provide an adventurous soundscape that ranges from ambient sounds to art-pop and beyond. The Cleveland Heights performances will also be influenced by the perspectives and backgrounds of up to six local artists tapped to collaborate and perform in the piece.

Local hip-hop dancers are invited to attend an All Styles Battle on Wednesday, August 18thto compete for a spot in the performances with Xavier on August 21st, as well as winning prize money of $400 each. The battle will begin at 4:30 p.m. in The Alma Theater at Cain Park in Cleveland Heights. Raphael Xavier, Supa Josh (Josh Culbreath), and local dancer MGPAK (Paul Carpenter Jr.), will judge the battle, with music provided by DJ Ernie. Registration is open to hip-hop dancers of all styles, ages 18 and up. Dancers may preregister for the battle online at, or at the door on the 18th. Registration is free but limited to 32 entries. Winning dancers should be prepared to rehearse with Raphael Xavier on August 19thand 20th, and to perform in both performances on August 21st. All rehearsals and performances will take place at Cain Park.

Sarah Sumbrum, Artistic Director of DANCECleveland, reflects on the artistic project; “This project is nothing like anything DANCECleveland has ever done before. We realized during our time apart from one another during COVID just how important community is. We had been working with some of the local dancers in our community to learn more about hip-hop dance and the overlapping similarities it has with modern dance, and had planned to do a project together. When I learned about Raphael Xavier’s vision for this work and his eagerness to work with local dancers, I knew it was the perfect fit for a summer event at Cain Park. I am thrilled that we will be presenting a special work that will never be replicated in just the same way again because it will be deeply connected to our community–shaped by the ways our local dancers respond to Raphael’s vision and by the co-creation process.”

“Dance Magazine” has called Raphael Xavier’s work "Artful and mesmerizing." DANCECleveland last presented Raphael Xavier at Playhouse Square’s Allen Theatre in 2017. To view video of Xavier’s work or to learn more about the event and the full DANCECleveland 2021-22 season, visit

About The Artists:

Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Raphael Xavier (pronounced ZAH-vee-ay) has been a Breaking practitioner since 1983. As he 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.” 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. A self-described "innovative movement conceptualist," Xavier creates new ways to expand the vocabulary of the dance form and how it fits onto an aging body. His solo and ensemble choreographic dance works have been performed worldwide. Xavier’s “The Musicians & The Mover” is currently being developed as part of New York Live Arts’ Live Feed Artist Residency. Past works have been performed at REDCAT Los Angeles, Kennedy Center in Washington DC, ART (American Repertory Theatre in Boston), the Dance Center at Columbia College Chicago and Painted Bride in Philadelphia, PA among others. He currently lives in Philadelphia and is a professor of dance at Princeton University and University of Texas at Austin. Raphael Xavier was previously a dancer with Rennie Harris Puremovement.

Joshua Culbreath (aka Supa Josh) started dancing at the age of five. Culbreath's Breaking journey began after watching the movies "Breakin’" and "Beat Street." In middle school, he got involved with a dance group called KRS Ent, which he has credited for introducing him to theater and performing on stage. In high school, Culbreath met Joe Son, who helped further his Breaking. Culbreath joined Rennie Harris's second dance company RHAW in 2009, and met Raphael Xavier shortly thereafter. In 2014, after performing in Xavier's "The Unofficial Guide To Audience Watching Performance," Culbreath expressed interest in further work with Xavier, due to the direction he was taking the Breaking movement. Culbreath continues to perform with both Raphael Xavier and Rennie Harris, in addition to creating his own work intended to expand the possibilities of the Breaking Movement.

After two decades of world touring, nine solo soundscape albums, and stunning collaborations including over 100 albums of credits, Tim Motzer continues to “traverse manifold territories in music” (“Guitar Player” magazine). Motzer is widely known for his distinct textural acoustic-electro guitar voice. He has collaborated with numerous musical luminaries including David Sylvian, Burnt Friedman, Jaki Liebezeit, poet Ursula Rucker, King Britt, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Vernon Reid, David Torn, Markus Reuter, and Pat Mastelotto, among others. Since 2016, Motzer has toured the world playing prestigious venues and jazz festivals with Bandit65, an improvisational trio he co-leads with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and drummer Gintas Janusonis. Their most recent release, “Searching the Continuum” (Heartcore Records), received a rare five-star review from J.D. Considine in “Downbeat Magazine.” His film/TV credits include the hit HBO series “True Blood” and “Miami Vice,” a major motion picture directed by Michael Mann. As an in-demand, solo live composer/improviser in the world of modern dance, Motzer co-creates alongside master choreographers at Princeton University and the University of the Arts. He also has a longstanding collaboration with legendary choreographer Manfred Fischbeck, as part of Group Motion Dance Company. For the past 20 years, Motzer has brought his dynamic, eclectic array of musical projects together under his own 1k Recordings imprint, which has over 40 releases and counting. He composes, records, and produces his own solo and collaborative work along with projects for other artists.

For more information Raphael Xavier visit:

For more information on DANCECleveland’s presenting partner, Cain Park, visit:


DANCECleveland, a Cleveland, Ohio based non-profit, is one of a handful of presenters in the nation dedicated solely to the presentation of modern and contemporary dance. The centerpiece of the organization’s programming is its annual performance series. The performances are surrounded by an array of educational outreach events including artist-run master classes, residency programs, student matinees, pre-performance lectures and post-performance Q&A sessions, designed to both break artistic boundaries and provide community access to the dance aesthetic and dance luminaries that DANCECleveland brings to Northeast Ohio.

This engagement is supported by the Arts Midwest GIG Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from The Ohio Arts Council.

DANCECleveland is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.

The Ohio Arts Council helped fund DANCECleveland with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.



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