February 3, 2015 |
IF ONE WORD could describe the character of Doris Harris it's "selfless. " That was the first word that came to the mind of her daughter Takada when asked to describe her mother. "Selfless. " Doris seemed to spend much of her time in service to others. She had seven children of her own, but she believed that all the children in her North Philadelphia neighborhood were hers. She was determined to see to it that all the children in what was perceived as an "underserved" neighborhood had clothing.
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.
October 24, 2014 |
Karl Jenkins - also known as hip-hot artist Dice Raw - is standing onstage at the Freedom Theatre as a whirlwind of activity goes on around him. Dancers and actors are to the left as choreographer Rennie Harris busies himself with legwork. Director Ozzie Jones is stage right, consulting writer Phillip S. Brown's script. As Dice Raw, Jenkins deals with this kind of maelstrom regularly. He's the rapping wingman for the Roots and holds down a solo career in hip-hop. But with the 2013 release of the album Jimmy's Back , Raw opened a powder keg of anti-prison rhetoric, one set to explode onstage Friday and Saturday at Freedom, when his performance art/hip-hop musical/dance presentation The Last Jimmy debuts at the North Philadelphia venue.
April 20, 2014 |
To a packed house, Philadanco brought back Donald Byrd's 1995 BAMM at its spring offering at the Kimmel's Perelman Theater Thursday night. I first saw it in 2004 with the now-retired force of nature Odara Jabali-Nash as the center of its centrifugal force. This time, six dancers revolve around veteran company dancer Roxanne Lyst like numbers on a spinning clock. The missing hands of this no-tick-tock clock are Mio Morales' quick-pulsed percussive score, which ultimately hurls the dancers from the circle and into various patterns around the stage.
December 4, 2013 |
WHEN a scantily clad woman performs on a pole, you don't expect onlookers to get all emotional. You expect leers. Cheers. Even jeers. But tears? Not so much. Still, peepers moistened more than once on a recent Saturday in Manayunk, when a few dozen students at Awakenings Pole Fitness pulled off backbends, arabesques and other positively poetic dance moves - all while clinging to shiny brass posts. In the evening's first solo, a Rubenesque blonde lovingly dedicated her elegant aerial postures to her boyfriend, who sat in the front row. Later that night, advanced students from Awakening's King of Prussia studio swung around, upside down, to A Perfect Circle's deep, dark version of John Lennon's "Imagine.
March 25, 2013 |
"A dynamic meditation on the journey from external division to internal oneness. " According to the news release, that was the theme of "ONE-Immortal Game," which received its world premiere by the Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers at Drexel University's Mandell Theater Friday night. It was also the focus of the evening's second work, "Mandala Project. " Though such thematic relationships can be satisfying, repeating certain elements (like Tibetan chanting) in both pieces seemed unwise.
January 27, 2013
Sunday Drawing room war Oscar Wilde's comedy An Ideal Husband is a frothy concoction of dinner parties, compromising letters, fraudulent land schemes, and blackmail in late Victorian London. But the froth covers more serious reflections on aristocratic hypocrisy and the battle of the sexes. The show goes on at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Walnut Street Theatre , 825 Walnut St., and continues on a Tuesday-through-Sunday schedule to March 3. Tickets are $10 to $85. Call 215-574-3550. Chamber music Conductor Michael Stern leads the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra in Bottesini's Double Bass Concerto No. 2 in B minor , with soloist Joseph Conyers , plus works by Prokofiev, Hugo Wolf, and Schubert, at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater, Broad and Spruce Streets, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Monday.
April 23, 2012 |
Philadanco, by its very name — the Philadelphia Dance Company — embraces its hometown. And if ever there was a dance company to love back, it's this one. The dancers are sublime, the works accessible, and some of the best American choreographers regularly make new pieces for Danco to premiere for Philadelphia audiences. When the company tours the world — it was most recently in Macedonia — it's as an art ambassador from the City of Brotherly Love. The troupe opened Friday night at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater with a program called "The Philadelphia Connection.
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.