Rennie Harris/RHAW at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

I read in the APAP guide that this showcase was only a few blocks away, but due to my poor sense of direction,  I wandered the opposite direction so it took a little longer than expected 🙂 I made it to the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, sweating of course, just in time to take in the fact that i was really standing in THE Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

 I sat down in my seat after a long day, feeling totally exhausted, but was immediately transformed by seeing this group, whose energy rejuvenated my spirit immediately. Founded by Rennie Harris, R.H.A.W features street dancers from Philly’s hip-hop community. Taking it back to the basics of House, Boogaloo, Breaking, Popping and Locking, the company fit it all into a 20 minute showcase, featuring an excerpt of Bohemian Rhapsody, 110th St./Brother, and EL Barrio.  My fave was the Queen piece-It was a preview of a dance musical created and choreographed by Harris and was the story of a teenage boy becoming a man. He is considered a daydreamer, and along his quest for love, identity and purpose, he gets pressured to grow up, get a job and be responsible for his actions. He ends up in jail for a crime he did not commit. Learn more about Harris and artistic and community building work he does here: http://www.rhpm.org/

This performance was part of a larger showcase by Jody Kaplan & Associates, which brought 22 different dance companies to the Ailey Theater!  I was also brought to tears by Jennifer Muller’s piece, Tangle, which was explores the tangles of a relationship to a Joni Mitchell ballad.

I was also fortunate to catch Robert Moses’ Kin, who performed excerpts from Cinderella theory, Fable and Faith,  Scrubbing the Dog, and Doscongio.  I wanted to see them because our new Director Michelle was previously  this San Francisco based company’s Executive Director.  I was blown away by the way they moved their bodies, and the choreography was beautifully original, like nothing i have seen before.

These performances came to me at the perfect time, as they provided a calm refuge from the craziness that was my week at APAP, and quieted my spirit, so i could be open to what i was seeing, experiencing, and living in that moment.

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