Dancer, Choreographer and Artistic Director Rennie Harris founded the first and longest running hip hop dance company in the U.S., Rennie Harris Puremovement (https://www.rhpm.org/). The Philadelphia native pioneered street dance theater, bringing social dances to concert stages with ground breaking narratives. His first solo work, called “Endangered Species,” shared personal experiences and fears of living as a Black man in America. His first full-length work, “Rome and Jewels,” restaged Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and was set in Philly with rival gangs fighting for control. Before Harris became one of the country’s most sought after choreographers, he danced with the street dance crew The Scanner Boys. As a talented popper, he toured with top rap artists on the country’s first hip hop tour, The Fresh Festival, then hosted the TV dance show One House Street. Rennie breaks down with us five major moments from his life.
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Our history. Our culture. Our moves.
KQED Arts’ award-winning video series #IfCitiesCouldDance is back for a fourth season! In each episode, meet dancers from across the country representing their city’s signature moves. Watch a new episode from season four of the video series every other week.
👟 Featured dancers:
Members of The Scanner Boys
Members of Rennie Harris Puremovement, including cast members in Rome and Jewels, Facing Mekka, Funkedified, and LIFTED
🖼️ Featured Mural:
The North Philadelphia Beacon Project by James Burns and Mural Arts Philadelphia
00:00 – 00:52 Introduction to Rennie Harris
00:53 – 01:21 Rennie Harris and growing up in Philadelphia
01:22 – 02:23 Rennie Harris dancing with The Scanner Boys
02:24 – 03:19 Rennie Harris hosting the TV show One House Street
03:20 – 4:51 Rennie Harris’ first solo work Endangered Species
4:52 – 6:45 Rennie Harris Puremovement and Creating Rome and Jewels
📌 Editor’s note: This episode was filmed under strict guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic. Safety parameters were followed to protect the health of the dancers and video production team.
#HipHop #RennieHarris #IfCitiesCouldDance