Hippity hop 

Rennie Harris combines street with stage

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Whether you think you have some styling moves of your own or enjoy the free-spirited vibe of hip-hop dance, Rennie Harris PureMovement will have something to offer you during their stay in the Springs.

The fun begins this Thursday, April 22, with a hip-hop master class and citywide dance-off at the City Auditorium starting at 4:30 p.m. A cash prize will be awarded to the winner and the runner-up for both groups and solo acts.

If your moves are limited to the cabbage patch and the running man, you might be better off sitting back and watching others dance instead. A regular performance will be held Friday at the Pikes Peak Center.

PureMovement saw its genesis back in 1992. The abundantly dreadlocked, Philadelphia-based Rennie Harris formed the group with the hopes of fostering hip-hop as a form of original expression that can bridge generations, stomp out stereotypes, and cross "street" with "stage."

A resistance to categorization is evident through the types of work Harris has chosen for the show. In "Rome & Jewels," the company experiments with Shakespeare, filtering the classic story of Romeo and Juliet through a hip-hop lens. In "Facing Mekka," Harris explores the deeper themes of spirituality and cultural fusion.

The group also makes a point to involve itself in the community. They regularly participate in outreach programs with Philadelphia youth and, when on tour, hold educational workshops and give demonstrations.

Harris has also embarked on a continually evolving project called "Legends of Hip-Hop," which gathers numerous pioneers of hip-hop under a series of workshops, performances and exhibitions. This project represents Harris' desire to preserve hip-hop in all its varieties and, in the process, maintain and cultivate a community that appreciates this endlessly inventive art form.

-- Tamara Matthews

capsule Hip-hop master class with Rennie Harris and all-city dance-off

City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa St.

Thursday, April 22, 4:30 p.m.

Cash prizes for solo and group winners

Rennie Harris PureMovement

Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave.

Fri., April 23 at 8 p.m.

$23.50; 520-SHOW or www.tick etmaster.com for tickets


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