Rennie Harris: Funkedified: Show Review by Barbara Adler


Hip Hop Choreographer, Director, and Founder of Rennie Harris Puremovement, Lorenzo “Rennie” Harris, brings a HIGHLY entertaining, authentic, multi-media experience to The New Victory Theater stage with his latest creation, Funkedified.   Harris pays homage to the 1970’s party dance scene, and street dance styles tipping his hat to the forefathers of dance/funk/soul such as James Brown, George Clinton, and Don “Campbell Lock” Campbell in his one hour non-stop show. At the same time presenting the voice of a new generation of evolving interpretations of dance.  Moments where this is simultaneously presented gives this show it’s heart.

Funkedified features a cast of insanely talented dancers such as Philadelphia’s most influential locking group, The Hood Lockers (Ricky “Glitch” Evans, Joshua “J Peazy” Polk, Andrew Ramsey, and Marcus Tucker), and world renowned hip hop dancers (see cast list below).  The live band perched on the stage directly behind the dancers brings this show to life with perfect accompaniment featuring Musical Directors Doron Lev and Mathew Dickey, and is composed and produced by Darrin Ross.  The rhythms that drove the 1970’s and 1980’s dance and music scene are creatively driven by Ross’ blend of old school and contemporary sounds.

(photo credit: Brian Mengini)

Rennie Harris narrates this semi-autobiographical, multi-media dance journey with tender, and passionate details from his days growing up in Philadelphia and his devotion to hip hop dance to include a video montage of his youth in dance, and images from the 70’s party scene.

Funkedified delivers on its promises to thoroughly entertain and delight audiences of all ages while bringing education to younger audiences of the rich history of the street, party, funk, hip hop dance scene. The dances were energetic, electrifying and at times riveting; Dancer “Breeze-Lee’s” solo brought the audience to their feet. The audience was peppered with families with young children who watched in amazement as the dancers flipped, glided, locked and popped nonstop for the one hour show.  This was particularly touching for this reviewer, as I was witness to a “torch passing” of history as a new generation of dancers was being inducted.

Funkedified is as important as it is entertaining for its reminding, honoring, and blending yesterday and today.  Don’t miss this special hour of dance!  The show is currently on a two weekend run (6/1,2,3 and 6/8,9,10) at The New Victory Theater in New York City (tickets still available!), but I have high hopes that it will be picked up for a much more permanent home on the Broadway stage.  Visit http://newvictory.org/Show-Detail.aspx?ProductionId=8716.

Cast includes dancers:  Katie Cruz,  Phillip Cutting Jr.,  Tatianna Desardouin,  Joshua Culbreath,  Leigh “Breeze-Lee” Foaad,  Mai Lê Hô-Johnson,  Yuko “Uko Snowbunny” Tanaka,  Shafeek Westbrook

Featured Musicians:  Mathew Dickey, Doron Lev, Nicholas Marks, Osei Owen Williams, Shareef Clayton

 

 

Critic (herself a dancer) Barbara Adler (denim jacket, in a freeze position) joins the cast for a photo.

Critic, Barbara Adler, is a founding member of MOMZ-N-DA HOODTM.   Follow them at @momzndahood

  1. One Response to “Rennie Harris: Funkedified: Show Review by Barbara Adler”

  2. Thank you so very much for a fabulous evening of exhilarating dance. It was the perfect way to end a visit to NYC for this 73 year old Grandma. Just hope this group will come to San Francisco so I can take my teenage grandsons. Thanks,it was fantastic!

    By kathysmith@verizon.net on Jun 10, 2018