Last summer was the first time that artists in summer residency at the dance center The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard traveled across to the Woods Hole Public Library to speak about their projects, both choreography and the actual dancing. The relationship between the two institutions will be repeated this summer, in a series known as the Lassalle Dance Series, named after the sponsor, Nancy Lassalle, who is a life-long resident of Woods Hole and also avid supporter of the dance. For years she was on the Board of The New York City Ballet. Friendships from her time there continue to flavor the Woods Hole series.
The next speaker in the Lassalle series, on Tuesday, August 8, at 7:30 will be Raphael Xavier, one of the few hip-hop artists ever to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for choreography. Xavier has been a “breaking” practitioner since 1983 and is an active alumnus of the world-renowned hip-hop dance company, Rennie Harris Puremovement. Xavier has gone on to forge an exceptional approach to improvisation, creating new ways to expand the vocabulary of the dance form. Dance Magazine has called him “artful and mesmerizing… [he] transforms a bravado dance style into an introspective meditation.”
In an unplanned tie to the first talk in the Lassalle summer series, in which three modern dancers addressed the difficulties of aging and performing, Xavier’s newest work, Point of Interest, tackles the natural, humorous and at times painful change of the maturing Breaker dancer. The title of his talk is Raphael Xavier, Break Dancer Extraordinaire, Xavier’s work over 4 decades.
All the talks in the Lassalle series are free and open to the public. Entrance will be at the lower level, accessed by a paved ramp down from the main parking lot, on the north-east side of the library. For more information, visit dancetheyard.org.