Pentacle Curates Dance at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN
'ART IN THE GARDEN'
While the Garden remains closed, Pentacle is sharing special performances by artists whose work connects plants, people, and the planet. In a time when we cannot gather together in the Garden, we are grateful to bring the voices and work of these artists to you virtually.
Each performance will premiere live on BBG’s Facebook page, and afterward remain available here and on Facebook to enjoy and share.
Curatorial Partner for all four dance events: Pentacle
Raphael Xavier & Gary Dourdan
Tuesday, July 14, 2020 | 7 p.m. EDT
Performed in front of the weeping beech near Oak Circle in June 2020
In this work, Xavier explores the intuitive concept of listening, assessing, and adapting through improvisational street dance. Acoustic sound and movement drawn from environment and experience intertwine to create an ambient performance that reflects on growth and maturity. Dourdan accompanies on flute, guitar, and beats.
About the Artists
A multitalented artist who has forged an exceptional approach to improvisation, Raphael Xavier is a self-taught hip-hop dancer and has practiced breaking since 1983. His work draws upon B-boy culture and his background as a photographer and musical artist. As a sound designer, his 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. Xavier started choreographing dance with the Brandywine School of Ballet in 1995 and spent years with the renowned hip-hop dance company Rennie Harris Puremovement; he’s been recognized as a Pew Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow, and United States Artist Fellow and his solo and ensemble choreographic dance works have been performed worldwide. Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Xavier currently lives in Philadelphia and is a guest lecturer in dance at Princeton University.
Born in Philadelphia, Gary Dourdan (Kolâde Kouyaté) evolved in a culturally rich environment: His uncle was a saxophonist who played with Platinum Hook and Sister Sledge, his brother was a DJ on WRTI radio, and his father encouraged his children to explore literature and the arts. A graduate of the prestigious Freedom Theatre Performing Arts training program, Dourdan relocated to New York where he spearheaded two musical projects, the eclectic act Rent Money and rock band New Congregation, and also sang for the Bell Café Band. Dourdan is an actor who has appeared on CSI and in the film Alien Resurrection and has performed at the Emmy Awards with Macy Gray and on stage with hip-hop artist DMC at the Live 8 concert in Ontario, Canada. He works closely with multiple nonprofit organizations including the Heart Fund, aimed at bringing “state-of-the-heart” surgery to children in need in areas such as Haiti, India, and West Africa.