December 16, 2014 |
It is not a stretch to recognize the similarities between hip-hop dance and Japanese butoh . As Rennie Harris said after the local premiere of Flash on Friday at the Painted Bride, both are forms of crisis and contradiction and grew from mid-20th-century historical and social contexts. Each seeks a new aesthetic. Master practitioners Harris and Michael Sakamoto have been exploring their genres for years - the moves and motives of what they do as a way to reflect on who they are now. They achieve some insights into themselves, how they relate to each other, and how their art forms engage with, mirror, and change each other - and maybe us. They explore their psyches through recorded interior monologues, dialogues, the languages of their inventive movement, even lullabies.
December 13, 2014 |
Check out a dance theater duet as the worlds of hip-hop and butoh meet Friday and Saturday during Flash at Painted Bride Art Center. The performance features dancers Rennie Harris and Michael Sakamoto. In the interdisciplinary show the artists communicate through dance and find commonalities and shared cultural experiences between African American and Japanese cultures. The multimedia show takes the audience on a journey with doses of humor; it also has remakes of pop, funk and hip-hop songs from "back in the day. " "Flash" featuring Rennie Harris and Michael Sakamoto, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine St. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of show.
November 29, 2014 |
Get ready to boogie this weekend when the Hip Hop Fundamentals dance troupe performs and instructs at the Please Touch Museum. Learn about the history of hip-hop while dancing and grooving. You'll also learn about dance styles including break dancing. The troupe uses hip-hop as a vehicle to teach academics and break dancing to inspire positive change in youth. Hip Hop Fundamentals, noon and 2 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Please Touch Museum, Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park, 4231 Avenue of the Republic.
April 8, 2012 |
TEL AVIV - After coughing regularly for half an hour, Rennie Harris, artistic director/choreographer of Philadelphia-based hip-hop company Rennie Harris Puremovement, paused a hotel-lobby interview last month to order a cup of tea. "It's sandstorm season in Cairo, or something," he apologized. Harris had just finished the first leg of his company's frenetic March 9-to-April 6 DanceMotion USA tour of Egypt, Israel, and the Palestinian territories, during which he and his dynamic dancers taught, performed, loved the food, loved the people, and spread the hip-hop gospel: Be young, be free.
July 15, 2011 |
Rennie Harris' Awe-Inspiring Work RHAW is considered the forward-looking training company to Harris' legacy company Puremovement, which brought hip-hop dance into theatrical space. All of RHAW's members are under 21 and a talented few will make it to Puremovement. But despite the focus on the future, to company manager Rodney Hill, RHAW feels retro. The dancers "take you back to the parties and the dances of way back," Hill said about group's youthful energy and enthusiasm for movement.
February 19, 2009 |
What Dr. Dre is to hip-hop's layered production and Notorious B.I.G. is to its lyrical flow, Philadelphia choreographer Rennie Harris is to its dance - an innovator. He's not just an interpreter who disseminates hip-hop culture and shows off the attitude: Harris is the attitude, walking the talk, winning fans around the world and accolades from the always-picayune dance press elite. In fact, he's so used to talking about hip-hop as a dance form that it's almost as if he were speaking with break beats behind him. His cadences are soft and bouncing.
April 28, 2008 |
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and the dancers were in full celebration mode Friday night at the Academy of Music, the 16th stop on a nationwide tour. They rocked the house. Headed by artistic director and Philadelphia native Judith Jamison, Ailey is about as accessible as modern dance gets. But in case anyone needed help deciphering the dance, the program listed a phone number one could call during intermission for more information about several of the pieces.
June 23, 2007 |
Rome & Jewels is dancer/choreographer Rennie Harris' tale of "a pair of star-crossed homies" who live in Philadelphia. But those homies' names are not Rome and Jewels - they're Rome and Tibault. Harris' Bessie Award-winning production was performed Thursday at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater as part of the 15th-anniversary celebration of his dance company, Rennie Harris Puremovement. While the piece is based loosely on Romeo and Juliet (and more closely on West Side Story)
June 20, 2007 |
We've been teased for years. Philadelphia audiences have gotten previews, excerpts and glimpses of Facing Mekka, the latest evening-length work from Lorenzo "Rennie" Harris. But we've never faced Mekka full on. Nor have we had many opportunities to see his company, Rennie Harris Puremovement; the company doesn't have a season or perform here with any regularity, even though Harris, an internationally known pioneer of hip-hop dance, is North Philadelphia born and bred, and still lives in the city.
February 15, 2006 |
There's no fancy dance studio at Ziehler Playground in Philadelphia's Olney neighborhood. Save for the smooth floor and one mirrored wall, nothing else here hints it's the place that Versatile, the popular Philadelphia hip-hop dance group, calls home. Yet it's here, a recreation center that neighbors consider a community safe haven, where the four friends perfect the street-style moves that have pushed them to the Apollo stage (two-time winners in 2001), appearances last summer on BET's 106 and Park, and to perform as opening dancers for 50 Cent, Fat Joe, Nina Skye, Trina and Amerie.