Graphic Cyphers

Duration: between 10 and 30 min

Commissioned by Dancing in the Streets and Crossing the Line Festival, New York City in partnership with The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Times Square Arts Alliance, and Gibney Dance Center.

Graphic Cyphers is a choreographic concept conceived by choreographer Anne Nguyen. The circle, or “cypher” in English, is a fundamental, driving element in hip hop dance. Dancers enter one after the other to dance, challenge, and exchange with each other. The audience only sees fragments of movements, from behind the dancers who surround the circle, as if the dance happening inside was something personal, or a kind of insider ritual. In Graphic Cyphers, the spectator finds him/herself alternately inside and outside the circles of dancers who explore dizzying sequences of movement in ever-shifting locations. The audience has to observe dancers’ freestyle and choreographed movements from different angles and is encouraged to reinvent its role of spectator. Its perspective, perception, and participation are in constant flux, with an intimate proximity to the action.

Graphic Cyphers requires between twenty and fourty professional or amateur dancers, and is made to be played in the middle of the audience, preferably outside. A video tutorial exists for advanced hip hop dancers, and allows the experience to be repeated in different places with different dancers. The concept can also be recreated for all kinds of audiences, with choreography adapted to the participants’ level.


Concept and choreography: Anne Nguyen
Choreography tutorial: Anne Nguyen et Massangila Hughes Lumengo alias Yugson Hawks
Dancers tutorial: Elisa-Sofia Benzo, Massangila Hughes Lumengo alias Yugson Hawks, Maxime Pliya, Anaïs Thomassine