By Sue Arrowsmith, Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College’s MDC Live Arts series presents the internationally-acclaimed Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM) dance company in commemoration of its 20th anniversary. Experience the pure, contagious stage magic on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, at 8 p.m. at The Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road.
Led by award-winning dancer and choreographer Rennie Harris, the company will perform a program of groundbreaking work created between 1992 and 2011, including “Something to do with Love Vol. I,” the first installment of a three-part flirty, infectious romp set to the timeless rhythms of Marvin Gaye and Nina Simone; and “Continuum” (1997), a dazzling cipher that showcases the breathtaking virtuosity of Harris and his company.
This troupe of self-taught street dancers turned professional are considered the international ambassadors of hip-hop dance, delivering a true essence and spirit of hip-hop as a vital part of American society and culture. Using music and story sources from around the globe, Harris revolutionizes contemporary dance by fusing unlikely influences into a powerful theatrical experience. The Village Voice described the show as, “Hip hop dance to a higher power, in both the mathematical and the metaphysical senses.”
As part of MDC Live Arts’ core commitment to create meaningful educational experiences, RHPM will engage in numerous residency activities prior to their performances, including master classes in hip hop dance for high school and college students at New World School of the Arts, the 21st Street Recreation Center on Miami Beach and MDC North, Kendall and Wolfson Campuses. They will also lead two lectures on the history of hip-hop at MDC North and Wolfson Campuses. In addition, MDC Live Arts partnered with Miami-Dade County’s Department of Cultural Affairs & Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Cultural Passport program to coordinate two RHPM performances at the Joseph Caleb Auditorium for local seventh-graders.
Founded in 1992 by Harris, RHPM was conceived with the vision of sharing an appreciation for diversity and on the belief that hip-hop is the most important original expression of a new generation, with the unique ability to express universal themes that extend beyond racial, religious and economic boundaries. RHPM’s work encompasses rich and diverse African-American traditions of the past while simultaneously presenting the voice of a new generation.
Harris is a recipient of numerous awards and honors including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Pew Fellowship in the Arts for Choreography and a Bessie award among others. He has also created works for numerous dance companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Memphis Ballet and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. After receiving an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Bates College, Harris’ company was chosen as one of four U.S. companies to serve as cultural ambassadors for President Obama’s Dance Motion USA. In 2012, they toured the Middle East performing and offering hip hop workshops.
Tickets are $25 for the general public and $10 for MDC students who show valid identification. To purchase tickets and more information, please call 305-237-3010, or visit www.mdclivearts.org.