Rennie Harris Puremovement members to offer workshops, lectures

dance imageMembers of the Rennie Harris Puremovement dance troupe will present dance workshops and lectures/demonstrations while in town to perform “Rome and Jewels” at SUNY Oswego.

Before presenting the hip-hop version of “Romeo and Juliet” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 and 27 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre, Harris and cast members will lead hip-hop dance classes and discuss the history of the genre.

The residency work resonates with a goal of the college’s Artswego Performing Arts Series—having artists share expertise and thoughts on the creative process with students and community members.

Harris will work with students in Oswego Middle School and Leighton Elementary School, as well as SUNY Oswego’s Del Sarte Dance Club, on Monday, Sept. 22.

Members of the campus community and the public are invited to a free introductory hip-hop dance class at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, in SUNY Oswego’s Lee Hall dance studio. No pre-registration is required, but attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes.

Harris will visit Syracuse on Wednesday, Sept. 24, starting with a “History of Hip Hop” lecture at 5 p.m. at the Hutchings Psychiatric Center auditorium. He will provide two classes—one master, one intermediate—at 6:30 p.m. at Syracuse Stage under a collaboration between Artswego and the Cultural Resources Council.

For information on these classes, contact Cheryl Wilkins-Mitchell at 312-2339 or

The troupe will provide a pair of master dance classes at Lee Hall on Thursday, Sept. 25. A beginner hip-hop class, at 11:10 a.m., is open to beginning modern dance or intermediate jazz dance students, or with instructor’s permission. An advanced class at 2:20 p.m. is open to advanced jazz dance students or those who receive permission of instructor. The cost for either workshop is $15, free to SUNY Oswego students. Contact Wilkins-Mitchell for information or reservations.

Harris will present a “History of Hip Hop” lecture/demonstration at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre. At the free public session, Harris will discuss the history and key influencers of hip-hop music and dance while troupe members demonstrate moves.

Two master dance classes will unfold in the Lee Hall dance studio at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27: an advanced session led by Harris and an intermediate class helmed by Rodney Hill. Space is limited and advance registration requested. Cost is $15, free for SUNY Oswego students. Contact Wilkins-Mitchell for more information or reservations.

The residency at SUNY Oswego is made possible by grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program, New York State Dance Force including support from the Altria Group Inc., and Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour.

Tickets for the full-length performances on Sept. 26 and 27 cost $20 ($15 for seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students). The production includes mature themes. For information or reservations, visit, call 312-2141 or e-mail

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CONTACT: Mary Avrakotos, 312-4581 or

(Posted: Sep 09, 2008)

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