March , 2019

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Expanding and elaborating on its presentation of hip-hop artists in February 2014, The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, partnering with the college’s School of Fine and Performing Arts and Radio Department, continues its 40th season with “B-Real: A Look Inside Urban Movements,” a convergence of local, national and international hip hop and house dance music workshops, performances and conversations taking place February 17–March 1.

“‘B-Real’ is a constellation or workshops, classes, performances and conversations orbiting around The Dance Center’s 2013–14 40th season presentations of Compagnie Käfig, a hip-hop ensemble from France with a cast of Brazilian dancers, and Philadelphia breaker Raphael Xavier,” said Dance Center Executive Director Phil Reynolds. “The two-week series of events will provide Chicago artists and audiences multifaceted opportunities to explore and engage in urban dance forms.”

The schedule of events is as follows:

Monday, February 17, 6:30–8:30 p.m., Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.
DanceMakers session featuring Mourad Merzouki, artistic director of Compagnie Käfig; The Dance Center’s new DanceMakers series features leading contemporary dance artists offering insight into their choreographic process. Pre-registration is required at colum.edu/Dance_Center/performances/dancemakers/

Tuesday, February 18, 6–11 p.m., Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave.
A “One-on-One B-Boy Battle” with dancers from Compagnie Käfig

Friday, February 21, Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave.
•  12 noon –2 p.m.: “B-Boys B-Men: Moving With/In Our Masculinities,” a panel conversation featuring Compagnie  Käfig Artistic Director Mourad Merzouki; Philadelphia hip-hop artist Raphael Xavier; and Moncell “ill Kozby” Durden of Rennie Harris Puremovement and Mop-Top Crew, moderated by Dance Center Chair Onye Ozuzu
•  2–3 p.m.: Breakin’ Workshop with Raphael Xavier
•  3–4 p.m.: Funk & Ol’ School Hip Hop Workshop with Moncell “ill Kozby” Durden

Saturday, February 22, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave.
Symposium: “Dance Music Evolution: The History of House Music in Chicago,” sponsored by the Modern Dance Music Research and Archiving Foundation in collaboration with Columbia College Chicago’s Radio Department and the Honey Pot Performance Group. The symposium is curated by DJ Charles Matlock, archivist Lauren G. Lowery and scholar and dance performance artist Meida McNeal, with panelists and other events to be announced shortly.

Monday, February 24, 6–10 p.m., 1104 S. Wabash Ave.
Rap Battle with Raphael Xavier

Saturday, March 1, 3–5 p.m., The Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Ave.
AMPLIFY, a teen-oriented open-stage dance gathering with Raphael Xavier

All events are free and open to the public. Call 312-869-8330 or visit colum.edu/dancecenter.


In addition to participating in “B-Real,” Compagnie Käfig performs a double bill of Correria and Agwa, which grew out of an encounter with a group of Brazilian dancers from Rio de Janeiro’s neighborhoods and showcases their dazzling virtuosity in a combination of samba, hip hop and capoeira dance styles. Performances are February 20–22 at The Dance Center. Raphael Xavier performs The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance, an evening-length autobiographical dance continuing Xavier’s 30 years of experience in hip-hop genres—most specifically, breaking—directed by Ralph Lemon. Performances are February 27–March 1 at The Dance Center. For information and tickets, call 312-369-8330 or visit colum.edu/dancecenter.


The Dance Center’s presentation of Compagnie Käfig is funded, in part, by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew Mellon Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Illinois Arts Council and General Mills Foundation. Special thanks to the Cultural Service at the Consulate General of France in Chicago. The Dance Center’s presentation of of Raphael Xavier is funded, in part, by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

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