Terry Knickerbocker Studio

INTERVIEWS with ARTISTS

PHYLICIA RASHAD

BILLY CRUDUP

CAROL LAWRENCE

ANDRUS NICHOLS

MARTY RAYBON

ALONZO KING

JAKE LANDERS

KERRY GILBERT

YI-MIN CAI

MICHAEL SHANE NEAL

TONYA S. HOLLY

CAROLYN PALMER

Spotlight On
International
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Ronald Rand in Let It Be Art


Articles

Frantic Assembly

Mark Taper Forum at LA’s Centre Theatre Group 50th Anniversary

MCC Theatre

St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn

The Everyman Theatre

Boston Playwrights’ Theatre

1st Stage Theater

59 E 59 Theater

Young Vic of London

Theatre Huntsville

Dance Place in Washington, D.C.

Alabama School of Fine Arts 50th Year Celebration

Rennie Harris at Baltimore Center Stage

Ronald Rand’s new book “CREATE! How Extraordinary People Live to Create and Create to Live”

What is FAFA? The Florence Academy of Fine Arts in Alabama

Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance – London’s International Drama School

Alabama Music Hall Of Fame

Historic Zodiac Playhouse — The “Z” in Florence, Alabama

Shoals Symphony Orchestra at UNA

“Grand Ball in the Belle Epoch” – Edwardian Period Style Salon

 

World-Renowned Choreographer Rennie Harris Brings Alive “Lookingglass Alice” at Baltimore’s Center Stage

World-renowned choreographer Rennie Harris, considered the pioneer of Street Dance has brought “Lookingglass Alice” to life through his extraordinary choreography at Baltimore’s Center Stage. Lewis Carroll’s classic tale “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” was first published in 1865, and “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There,” was published in 1871, now transformed into an unforgettable production of “Lookingglass Alice.”

David Darrow and Markita Prescott in “Lookingglass Alice”

Alice for the first time is a black woman surrounded by an entirely black fantasy world on a journey of self-discovery. The production directed by Jeremy Cohen includes an impressive team that includes world-renowned choreographer Rennie Harris.

When we spoke with Mr. Harris, he told us: “I was brought to the production after receiving a phone call from the director. It’s a great project and I’m excited to work on it and be a part of the collective team.”

He continued by saying: “The Street Dance performed in the show comes from my own community, growing up on the streets of north Philadelphia. Since the age of fifteen, I’ve been teaching workshops and classes at universities around the country. I’ve become a spokesperson for the significance of “street” origins. In 1992, I founded “Rennie Harris Puremovement,” a Hip-Hop and Street Dance theater company dedicated to preserving and disseminating Hip-Hop aesthetic and Street Dance culture. As a street dancer, I learned to choreograph and to create my own vocabulary. The Smithsonian Institution was so impressed with my work that they sent field agents to document my choreography and learn about Street Dance.”

LtoR Jessica Bennett, David Darrow, Markita Prescott, Garrett Turner, Patrice Covington and Sensei Silab in “Lookingglass Alice”

Rennie Harris, an Ambassador of Hip-Hop, received a Master of African American Choreography Medal from the Kennedy Center, and was chosen to serve as one of four Ambassadors for the US as part of President Obama’s cultural exchange program-Dance Motion. Mr. Harris’ works span a period of over twenty-five years and include: “Rome & Jewels,” “Facing Mekka,” “Legends of Hip Hop,” “100NakedLock” (Hip-hop Sci-fi), “Luv: American Style,” “Something To Do With Love,” “Heaven,” “Nuttin But A Word,” “Funkedafied” and “Lifted.” 

His widely-known “Rome & Jewels,” which he choreographed and directed in collaboration with dramaturg Ozzie Jones and composer/sound designer Darin Ross, uses Shakespeare’s text, in addition to original material contributed by the cast, tells a story based on “West Side Story” and “Romeo and Juliet.” “Rome & Jewels” remains the longest touring hip-hop dance theater work in American history, receiving three Bessie Awards, two Black Theater Alvin Ailey Awards, a Herb Alpert Award and a Lawrence Olivier Award nomination. 

Markita Prescott in “Lookingglass Alice”

Baltimore’s Center Stage very impressive season continues in 2018 with: Dominique Morisseau’s “Skeleton Crew,” George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” adapted by Ian Wooldridge, and “Soul, the Stax Musical” book by Matthew Benjamin with music and lyrics by various Stax artists.

Rennie Harris’s choreography website can be found at: www.rennieharrisrhaw.org. Info on Baltimore Center Stage:  www.centerstage.org



"It is a law of life that man cannot live for himself alone. Extreme individualism is insanity. The world's problems are also our personal problems. Health is achieved through maintaining our personal truth in a balanced relation of love to the rest of the world. No expression is more emblematic of this relation than the creative act which we call art. No art by its very constitution typifies the social nature of that creative act more than the theatre. The theatre, to be fully understood and appreciated, must be seen as a manifestation of this process of interchange between society and the individual. It must be judged as a continuous development of groups of individuals within society, a development which becomes richer, acquires greater force and value as it grows with the society in which it originates. Only in this way can the theatre nourish us.  - Harold Clurman

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