“This is a chance to dance your way out of your constrictions…with the groove our only guide, we shall all be moved.” One Nation Under a Groove – Parliament Funkadelic
With one foot in the street and the other on the stage, Philly-born choreographer Rennie Harris uses the groove to move the boundaries of street dance while challenging people to see hip-hop through a new lens. With Rennie Harris Funkedified, Harris pushes the envelope even further with a celebration of funk and street dance inspired by Harris’ childhood.
LA’s Versa-Style Dance Company co-founder Jackie Lopez, aka Miss Funk, is a former student of Harris and will perform in the show with her fellow co founder Leigh Foaad, aka Breeze-lee, along with dancers from Rennie Harris Pure movement and The Hood Lockers, and a live funk band on Saturday, July 9.
Miss Funk, Breeze-lee and the Versa-Style crew shared their thoughts about Rennie Harris …How did Rennie Harris transform street dance?
Rennie Harris has had a profound impact on hip-hop and street dance in multiple ways. We’ve seen street dancers backing up singers and performers, or elements of street dance used in modern and contemporary dance works, but he was the first artist to bring street dance to the concert theatre stage.Rennie created works of art and used hip-hop dancers to express themes of blackness, struggle, masculinity/femininity, religion/spirituality, history, and so much more. As the pioneer of hip-hop dance theatre, he and paved the way for what is now a global phenomenon, giving countless other hip-hop and street dancers access to this art form.
Tell us more about Funkedified…
Funkedified is a new work that not only pays homage to the roots of hip-hop which are funk music and dance. It’s heavily influenced by Rennie’s personal experiences growing up as a young black man in Philadelphia during the funk era and traces his experiences through popping, locking, rocking, breaking, house and hip-hop. A live band brings the audience into that time period, as dancers riff with the musicians throughout the work, mixing choreography and freestyle dance to bring the 1970s funk era to life on stage.
We hope the audience walks away with an understanding of the essence of hip-hop and street dance. That it is a culture of vibrancy, creativity and individuality but also one of struggle and the ability to create something out of nothing. Most of all, we hope audiences walk away inspired, and singing funk all night long.
Thursday June 20, 2019
8:00 pm - 11:59 pm
Cover Notes: Tickets: $50, $35, $25 Benefit Ticket: $250
Ford Theatres, Los Angeles, RENNIE HARRIS FUNKEDIFIED