Hope dance instructor to tour Middle East with Philadelphia company

Crystal Frazier, who is the new tap/hip-hop instructor at Hope College, will be participating in a U.S. State Department-organized international cultural exchange to the Middle East this spring.
Anonymous
Dec 21, 2011

The exchange is through her role as a senior company member of Philadelphia-based Rennie Harris PureMovement.

Hope students will be able to learn from Frazier’s time abroad nearly as immediately as she experiences it. Frazier and the college’s department of dance are arranging a weekly “Skype with Crystal” so that she and students can speak about the tour as it is happening.

RHPM will be performing in Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Jordan through the spring 2012 DanceMotion USA tour designed and funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Administered by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the program has selected four American dance companies for cultural exchange tours to four world regions to share this country’s rich dance culture with international audiences.

“‘DanceMotion USA’ is American diplomacy in motion,” said Ann Stock, who is assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs. “It connects people through contemporary dance to one another. These artists are citizen diplomats and use the common language of dance to engage with people in communities throughout the world.”

Rennie Harris PureMovement was founded in 1992 to share an appreciation for diversity, and is dedicated to preserving and disseminating hip-hop culture. The company’s goal is to provide audiences with an understanding of the essence and spirit of hip-hop, rather than the commercially exploited stereotypes most often presented by the media. 

RHPM has performed in major venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art; Italy’s Spoleto Dance Festival; The Holland Dance Festival (Netherlands); and the Kiasma Museum in Helsinki, Finland.
Frazier has been a member of the internationally renowned and recognized company for 19 years. She joined the Hope faculty at the beginning of the school year as a visiting instructor.

Frazier is from New Jersey, where she began her dance and gymnastics training at age 6. During this time, she competed in pageants and began to hold titles such as Miss Salem County, World Exquisite Miss and Miss Black Awareness. She received her degree in dance from the University of the Arts.

Her performance credits include the “VH1 Fashion Awards” with Macy Gray, BET’s “Comicview,” the “BET Awards” with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and MTV’s “Lip Service” and “Global Groove.” She was the featured dancer and choreographer for Jill Scott’s “Big Beautiful Tour” and has had the opportunity to be in the swing cast for the Groovaloo Show in Los Angeles.

Frazier is also a judicator for the Miss America Organization and DanceQuest in Canada, and assistant director for Dancers Inc. Competition and Convention. She is the former co-founder of Montazh Performing Arts Company; where, in 2006, she received an “Art and Change” grant from the Leeway Foundation for “Ladies of Hip Hop.”

The other three companies participating in DanceMotion USA beginning in January will be touring the Asia Pacific, South Central Asia regions and Africa; and the program will also include a visit to the U.S. by an international dance ensemble.

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