Lost In Dystopia

By Lindsay Warner
published in The Bulletin
Rennie Harris and his dance company, Puremovement, have done wonders for the reputation of hip-hop dance. As a choreographer, he has produced hip-hop works on some of the most prestigious stages in Philadelphia and around the world, chipping away at the stigma associated with the traditionally informal, urban-based world he inhabits.

As a communicator, he works tirelessly to preserve and disseminate hip-hop culture to the masses, proving with each new show that the essence of his dance is as much an artform as the traditional performing arts.

At this, he is a master. And because of this, Rennie Harris Puremovement’s newest premiere performance filled the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel. But unfortunately, in his desire to break free of the conventional attitude surrounding hip-hop dance, he goes too far the other direction in “100 Naked Locks,” which, while gutsy, seems to sacrifice the heartbeat of his work — the phenomenal footwork for which he is famous — in lieu of a new, dramatic style.

Rennie Harris Puremovement debuted two new works this weekend, the infamous “100 Naked Locks,” a sci-fi foray into the unknown, and “Something to Do with Love, Volume 1.” Conceived in 2006, “Something to Do with Love” is pure Mr. Harris — classical hip-hop lines, fast footwork and featuring a mix of full-company and partner work.