RHPM's work encompasses rich and diverse African-American traditions of the past while simultaneously presenting the voice of a new generation and has continued to increase audience numbers each year by 35%, encourage young dancers, and share their enthusiasm for hip-hop dance theatre.
Rennie Harris Puremovement performs to sold out audiences at venues in the U.S. and abroad including Grad Halle de Parc de la Villette in Paris, Reichhold Center in St. Thomas, the Kennedy Center in D.C., MCA in Chicago, the Holland Dance Festival, Kiasma Museum in Helsinki, Spoleto Dance Festival, the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, and the Nervi Festival in Italy to name a few.
Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM) plans to continue to flourish beyond our 20th Anniversary Season and are honored to have emerged as an international hip-hop dance ambassador and surviving senior member in the world of organized hip-hop dance theater.
Our goal is to provide audiences with a sincere view of the essence and spirit of hip-hop, rather than the commercially exploited stereotypes most often presented by the media.
Harris, a North Philadelphia native, founded RHPM based 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.
He is a recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts for Choreography and has received awards from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a Pew Repertory Development Initiative grant, the City of Philadelphia Cultural Fund and a Philadelphia Dance Projects commission. Harris was also awarded the Bessie Award and was recognized as the Pennsylvania Artist of the Year by Governor Rendell in 2007.
In a society where hip-hop is often portrayed as a violent, undisciplined counterculture, RHPM deconstructs popular perception of this medium, expanding and challenging the boundaries and definitions of hip-hop in general. As hip-hop continues to be chosen as the modern generation's medium of expression, RHPM works to honor its history, explore its ideas, and further its contributions to the surrounding community.
In conjunction with the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Urban Affairs and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Rennie Harris Puremovement has been selected to participate in the DanceMotion USA cultural exchange program. In 2012, Rennie Harris Puremovement will tour Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and Tel Aviv to showcase contemporary American dance abroad.