These days, it is at times hard to recognize where the line is drawn between hip-hop and pop music. Back in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, when asked, any person’s response to this question would have been certain and obvious: The roots of hip-hop were only just beginning to take hold in popular culture. What the Rennie Harris Puremovement project does for hip-hop goes beyond far the modern day genre of underground. Puremovement is a cry for the reinvention, originality, and bold expression of this powerful genre of music in a time when hip-hop seems all but lost to the music business.
According to a press release, “Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012, Rennie Harris Puremovement, from Philidelphia, Penn., returns to the Diana Wortham Theater at Pack Place for the first time since their stunning performance in November 2005. Puremovement, founded by highly acclaimed choreographer Dr. Lorenzo ‘Rennie’ Harris, is a celebration of life, or as The Village Voice describes the show: ‘Hip-hop dance to a higher power, in both the mathematical and the metaphysical senses.’ Harris’ work encompasses the diverse and rich African-American traditions of the past, while simultaneously presenting the voice of a new generation through its ever-evolving interpretations of dance. Rennie Harris, named Artist of the Year in 2007 by Pennsylvania Governor Judge Marjorie O. Rendell, received a Master of African American Choreographer Medal from the Kennedy Center and was voted one of the most influential people in the last one hundred years of Philadelphia history.”
Rennie Harris Puremovement performs Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23 and 24, 2012, 8 p.m. at the Diana Wortham. Tickets are $40, $35 and $12; Student Rush day-of-the-show (with valid I.D.) $10. Info at 257-4530 or here.
Watch a video Rennie Harris Puremovement at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival: