City Paper is not for tourists
Lin-Manuel Miranda may have turned the ears of Broadway listeners toward hip-hop with his scores for the musicals In the Heights and Hamilton, but his scores don’t quite capture hip-hop culture the way music does. The Hip-Hop Theater Festival has been going on for 15 years and highlights work by b-boys young and old, DJs, and storytellers from around the District. The weekend’s lineup focuses on street choreography, with young emcees trying out their rhymes and competing for a cash prize, plus a headlining performance by choreographer Raphael Xavier. He uses 20 years of remembered verses, stories, and movements to share memories of his career with the audience. Beyond performances, the festival also looks at D.C.’s newest mural, an interactive representation of the life of singer and activist Paul Robeson that was recently completed on U Street NW. Soon enough, you’ll be inspired to incorporate bits of rhythmic rhyme into your work. Raphael Xavier performs at 8 p.m. at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $15–$30. (202) 269-1600. danceplace.org.