Acclaimed hip-hop troupe offers master dance class, free performance

Publication Date

Rennie Harris Puremovement, the nation’s longest running street dance theater company, comes to Union Oct. 21-22 as part of the Theater and Dance Department’s annual Stephanie C. Davis Dance Residency.

Dancers in the Rennie Harris Puremovement hip-hop company

The troupe will lead a hip-hop master class for dance students Thursday, Oct. 21, 6-7:30 p.m., in the Henle Dance Studio.

It will give a public performance of its dramatic, abstract work, the “Nuttin But A Word” suite, at the Egg theater, Empire State Plaza Center for the Performing Arts, Albany, on Friday, Oct. 22, 8 p.m. There will be a post-performance Q&A session with the company at 9 p.m.

“What a great feeling to have guest artists on our premises and to be able to go to the theater once again,” said Dance Program Director Miryam Moutillet. “We are excited to offer this street dance theater company for the first time. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our community to experience diverse artistic and cultural expressions.”

A limited number of tickets to the Egg performance are available for free through Oct. 21 for Union faculty, students and staff with a Union ID on a first-come, first-serve basis. In addition, free round-trip bus transportation will be provided.

Rennie Harris Puremovement will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year. Founder Harris, who serves as choreographer and artistic director, created the company in 1992 to preserve and promote hip-hop and other street dance practices as an art form through performances, lecture demonstrations and discussions. The company has toured all over the world.

Over the decades, Harris has received numerous awards for his performances or what he refers to as hip-hop concert dance – dance taken off the corner street and into concert halls. He was one of the first hip-hop choreographers to set works on ballet-based companies, including the Memphis Ballet, Colorado Ballet and Pennsylvania, and the first to create a work for Alvin Ailey.

Tickets to Rennie Harris Puremovement may be picked up weekdays 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the main office in the Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts. On the night of the performance, buses leave from the Nott/Seward parking lot at 7 p.m. and return after the show.

Now in its 13th year, the Stephanie C. Davis Dance Residency is made possible by a generous gift from Sue and Gus Davis ’59, in memory of their daughter, Stephanie C. Davis, a modern dancer and environmental activist with a lifelong love of the performing arts.