New Victory Theater Invites You to "Rennie Harris: Funkedified"
New Victory Theater
Get on up with Rennie Harris Puremovement in the World Premiere of Rennie Harris: Funkedified, a celebration of funk music and 1970's street dance, playing at The New Victory Theater from June 1 - June 10, 2018.
Inspired by the political turmoil and atmosphere of his childhood, Harris asserts funk music as the foundation of hip-hop dance and modern culture in his newest work, Rennie Harris: Funkedified. This multi-media production, set against a video montage of African American communities in the 1970's, features Rennie Harris Puremovement (Rome & Jewels; Unlocked; Continuum; Rennie Harris' New York Legends of Hip Hop, New Vic 2007; Rennie Harris Puremovement, New Vic 1999) in a variety of styles such as Campbell locking, popping and waving, breaking and 1970's social party dances.
Rennie Harris: Funkedified also stars fellow Philadelphia dance crew The Hood Lockers. They are internationally recognized as one of the most seminal locking groups since Don Campbell and The Campbell Lock Dancers, who represent a pivotal influence in Harris' childhood.
"When I think about what inspired me to dance, I remember watching Don Campbell on Soul Train when I was in the 4th grade and being in awe of seeing moves like his on the biggest possible stage," says Harris, who began advocating for the significance of street dance at the age of 15. "Although Funkedified challenges the typical narrative, it's meant to be fun for the audience as I share my personal journey with funk music and culture, which truly influenced my work as a hip-hop artist."
Complete with a live, onstage band, Rennie Harris: Funkedified fuses two separate eras of funk-old school and contemporary-while pushing the genre's boundaries and celebrating such powerhouse songs as James Brown's "Soul Power" and Dennis Coffey's "Scorpio." Weaving a nostalgic journey back to what Harris refers to as "The Day Before Hip-Hop," Rennie Harris: Funkedified will have you grooving to the upbeat, the downbeat and every syncopation in between.
Philadelphia native Lorenzo "Rennie" Harris, named "the most respected-and the most brilliant-hip-hop choreographer in America" by The New Yorker, is a pioneer in bringing hip-hop culture and street dance to concert stages around the world. He founded Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM) on the belief that hip-hop can express universal themes beyond racial, religious and economic boundaries. Harris' work encompasses the diverse and rich African American traditions of the past, while simultaneously presenting the voice of a new generation through ever-evolving interpretations of dance. By merging traditional African dance with contemporary art forms, RHPM's cohesive and cogent voice merges social dances with theater and has been credited for bringing street dance into the mainstream.
Harris is committed to providing audiences with a sincere view of the essence and spirit of hip-hop, in counterpoint to the commercially exploited stereotypes sometimes portrayed by the media. His past New Vic presentations include LUV: American Style (RHAW, 2015), Rennie Harris RHAW (RHAW, 2013), Rennie Harris' New York Legends of Hip Hop (RHPM, 2007, 2005) and Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM, 1999). For Rome & Jewels, RHPM received three Bessie Awards, two Black Theater Alvin Ailey Awards, a Herb Alpert Award nomination and a Laurence Olivier Award nomination.
Rennie Harris: Funkedified is choreographed by Rennie Harris and features Rennie Harris Puremovement's Gabriel Emphasis Alvarez, Katia Cruz, Joshua Culbreath, Phillip Cuttino Jr., Tatianna Desardouin, Leigh "Breeze-Lee" Foaad, Mai Lê Hô-Johnson and Yuko "Uko Snowbunny" Tanaka. The Hood Lockers include Ricky "Glytch" Evans, Joshua "J Peazy" Polk, Andrew "Riot" Ramsey and Marcus "Epic" Tucker. The live band is comprised of Shareef Clayton (Trumpet), Matthew Dickey (Guitar), Doron Lev (Drums), Nicholas Marks (Keys) and Osei Owen Williams (Bass) with Music Direction by Mathew Dickey and Doron Lev. Darrin Ross is Sound Designer, Composer and Producer, Joshua Fleitell is Visual Designer, Bob Steineck is Lighting Designer and Rodney Hill is Company Manager.
Learn more about Funkedified at NewVictory.org.
Public Performance Schedule:
Friday, June 1 at 7pm
Saturday, June 2 at 2pm / 7pm
Sunday, June 3 at 12pm / 5pm
Friday, June 8 at 7pm *
Saturday, June 9 at 2pm / 7pm
Sunday, June 10 at 12pm / 5pm
Funkedified runs 60 minutes with no intermission, and is recommended for ages 9 and up.
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