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Performance Mon Oct 26 2009

Pure Movement

RENNIE HARRIS 2.jpg
Hip hop and James Brown aren't necessarily commonplace in the world of dance theatre, but thanks to choreographer Rennie Harris, "hip hop theatre" is here to stay.

Harris, the "ambassador of hip hop" and founder of the Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM) dance company, recently brought his unique style of dance theater from Philadelphia to Chicago.

Admittedly, I didn't quite know what to expect from Harris' "I Want You," part of the Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago's "Giordano: MOVE!" series that ran this past weekend at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. When I learned the show would combine elements of "funk and street movement influenced by African dance and old school hip-hop," I was immediately intrigued.

zebra_rhp-41.jpgThe performance began with male and female dancers in a routine replete with tightly-choreographed hip hop and jazz-inspired moves, set to a super-funky beat. The longer the beat played, the more the crowd got into the performance, and gauging the audience's reaction, it seemed the up-tempo music was a welcomed change of pace from the preceding traditional performances. In fact, the dancers themselves appeared to enjoy switching things up to a more high-energy dance as they did classic moves including "B-boy stances," "locking," and the ever classic hip hop move, the Kid 'N Play "kick step." When the hip hop track ended, the music switched to an infectious (aren't they all) James Brown tune that really got the audience on its feet, figuratively speaking, of course.

The performance ended with some of the dancers capitalizing off the audience's energy and offering a short dance solo to keep the crowd hyped.

"I Want You" was beautifully executed with class and style, and proudly displayed the origins of hip hop dancing and how it has evolved today.

 

martell ruffin / March 4, 2010 1:05 PM

rennie harris my name is martell ruffin and i am a student at chicago high school for the arts,my teacher talk about you all the time her name is lisa johnson willingham, we would love if u came 2 our school and teach a master class or even e-mail us or call us thanks for ever thing

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Feature Thu Apr 16 2015

From Chicago to Senegal by Way of the Drum: Interview with Local Filmmaker Mallory Sohmer

By Ana Sekler

Mallory Sohmer is a freelance documentary filmmaker from Chicago and a Columbia College alumna. She co-directed the new film, Drum Beat Journey, the story of four inner-city youth who travel to Petit Mbao, Senegal, to participate in a drumming workshop. The program used music as a vehicle to capture and connect with the young men in an engaging and original way. But this is not just a film about drumming; it's about stepping into another culture to learn about oneself.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Apr 24 2015

Chicago Critics Film Festival, The Age of Adaline, Adult Beginners, The Water Diviner, The Wrecking Crew, Welcome to New York & Dior and I

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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Events

Sat Apr 25 2015
You're Being Ridiculous @ Mayne Stage

Sat Apr 25 2015
S+S Project Video & Performance: Currency Exchange

Sat Apr 25 2015
Lager Beer Riot Reenactment @ Benton House

Sat Apr 25 2015
Chicago Improv Festival

Sat Apr 25 2015
Explore the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries @ The Art Institute

Sat Apr 25 2015
C2E2

Sun Apr 26 2015
"Diversified" at Under the Gun Theater

Sun Apr 26 2015
Dance Extravaganza @ Old Town School of Folk Music

Sun Apr 26 2015
Chicago Improv Festival

Sun Apr 26 2015
Version Festival 15

Sun Apr 26 2015
C2E2

Mon Apr 27 2015
Version Festival 15

Mon Apr 27 2015
Dinner & a Flick @ New 400 Theater

Tue Apr 28 2015
The Moth StorySLAM @ Martyrs'

Tue Apr 28 2015
Version Festival 15

Wed Apr 29 2015
Version Festival 15

Thu Apr 30 2015
Version Festival 15

Thu Apr 30 2015
Daniel Clowes @ Quimby's

Thu Apr 30 2015
Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists​ Screening & Discussion @ UIC

Fri May 1 2015
Kanikapila @ Old Town School of Folk Music

Fri May 1 2015
Chicago Critics Film Festival

Fri May 1 2015
Luftwerk Refractions Opening Reception @ Silent Funny


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