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RENNIE HARRIS PRESENTS HIP HOP LEGENDS on NOVEMBER 9

October 18, 2002
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

George Mason University’s Center for the Arts
and Washington Performing Arts Society
present
Rennie Harris presents Legends of Hip Hop
Featuring "Legends on Tour" like Don Campbell, the Electric Boogaloos, Crazy Legs, Mr. Wiggles and others!
Saturday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m.


Fairfax, Virginia, October 15, 2002— With a reunion of old-school dancers and contemporary b-boys, choreographer Rennie Harris hopes to preserve the creativity of hip-hop’s first generation. "Hip-Hop Legends" brings together national, international and local hip-hop artists for a performance featuring dancing, spinning, interviews and video-clips. Washington Performing Arts Society and George Mason University’s Center for the Arts co-present Rennie Harris’s "Hip-Hop Legends," 7 p.m. Saturday, November 9, 2002 at the Center for the Arts mainstage Concert Hall. An artistic discussion, led by Suzanne Carbonneau, is held at 6:15 p.m. on the Hall’s Grand Tier.

"There are the creators and the innovators of hip-hop," explains Harris. "We’re going to do a presentation that is basically a documentary of hip-hop. It’s a celebration of the legends and their accomplishments…You’ll see poppin’, knockin’, breakin’, hip-hop proper and possibly some house dance." Multimedia includes video highlighting scenes from the legends at their beginnings.

For the performance, founding fathers of hip-hop from both coasts are brought in to conduct taped interviews and perform live. Younger dancers, who perform daring, risk taking acts, complement their old-school moves. Finally, artists from the local hip-hop community combine with the guest artists and Rennie Harris dancers for free-style sections interspersed throughout the performance. The event showcases the many influences of hip-hop, including African dance, martial arts and acrobatics. Rennie Harris feels hip-hop as an artform should be recognized for its purity therefore, throughout the project, the company continues its commitment to providing audiences with a sincere view of the essence and spirit of hip-hop – rather than the commercially exploited stereotypes often portrayed in the media.

Rennie Harris is the choreographer and director of the Philadelphia-based dance company Rennie Harris Puremovement. He started the company in 1992 with the goal of preserving, sharing and spreading the hip-hop culture that incorporates a variety of musical and dance styles. "All I’ve ever heard was hip-hop, even before it was called hip-hop," explains Harris, of his commitment to exploring the genre. "I was born into it. It’s something that needs to be experienced. It’s like learning another language." Based in Philadelphia, the company has performed throughout the United States and abroad. In the past year, the company has worked with Chuck Davis’ DanceAfrica American and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s DanceAfrica Festival. The Philadelphia City Paper writes, "Harris’ works and teachings have re-shaped hip-hop in dance form, making the ancient modern and the modern ancient, fusing all African cultural relationships into one vibing, jiving aesthetic."

Tickets for Rennie Harris’s Legends of Hip Hop, Saturday, November 9, are $40-$20. Family Friendly! All children (12 and under) half price! Charge at 703-218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com.

The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa or www.wpas.org for more information.


GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. The programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area.

Washington Performing Arts Society is a non-profit multidisciplinary arts presenting organization offering one of the city’s widest-ranging performing arts seasons. Featuring both emerging and internationally acclaimed artists, WPAS presents more than 100 public engagements and arts education activities each year. WPAS was established in 1965 as the first arts presenter in Washington, and its mission is based on the values of founder and arts impresario Patrick Hayes, whose motto "Everybody in, nobody out" still rings true.

American Airlines® is the official airline of Washington Performing Arts Society’s 2002-2003 Season.