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 Post subject: Rennie Harris' Facing Mekka
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 4:44 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
From the SF Bay Guardian.

On fire
Rennie Harris travels with hip-hip in Facing Mekka.

By Rita Felciano

DANCE DISAPPEARS THE minute the curtain descends: there is no canvas to return to, no manuscript to consult, no annotated score to study. Unless the performance has been recorded, a viewer has to rely on memory when forming an interpretation. Opportunities to talk with a dance maker before and after a piece's debut are rare. That is exactly why I seized the chance to discuss Facing Mekka with Rennie Harris.

Harris is a Philadelphia-based dancer-choreographer who started dancing in the streets of North Philly during the late '70s, going on to tour the country with the Scanner Boys. Over the past 11 years – after founding PureMovement Dance in 1992 – he has steadily extended hip-hop's language from the club to the concert hall. As Harris puts it, he's been walking a tightrope between "the truth of hip-hop" and "the formality of the theater stage."

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 Post subject: Re: Rennie Harris' Facing Mekka
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 8:14 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 589
Location: SF
From the CC Times,

'Mekka' a pilgrimage for dance Harris' latest a melding of methods of performance

By Mary Ellen Hunt

To see one of the freshest and most satisfying views of the future of dance, run -- don't walk -- to see Rennie Harris Puremovement's "Facing Mekka," which the troupe performs tonight at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
Click for more

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 Post subject: Re: Rennie Harris' Facing Mekka
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:25 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Thanks for the review Mary Ellen and I hope we see this show in the UK before too long. Rennie Harris has a real following in the UK and although "Rome and Jewels" was a little long and lost focus from time to time, it was clear that he was finding ways to present this dance style as a serious theatre form.

UK ballerina, Deborah Bull, tried hip-hop along with various other dance forms and judged it the most comparable to ballet in terms of its physical and technical demands.

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 Post subject: Re: Rennie Harris' Facing Mekka
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:11 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1451
Location: San Francisco, CA
I certainly wouldn't discount the amount of trained effort hip hop requires. Harris really impressed me on several levels, although I spoke with another critic last night who thought "Facing Mekka" was not as energetic as when he had seen it in Davis a year ago. It certainly didn't look like it was lacking any energy to me!

Last night, Housin Authority, one of the local hip hop crews in the Bay Area, made an appearance at the Black Choreographers Festival, and though all the shouting and cheers from the audience might have made it seem like plain old crowd-pleasing as opposed to high art, I couldn't help but admire both the skill and the obvious performing savvy of the dancers.

<small>[ 06 February 2005, 07:19 PM: Message edited by: mehunt ]</small>

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