Facing Mekka is based on traditional African and African American culture and its relationship to the Muslim faith. The piece explores movement that crosses boundaries within hip-hop vocabulary as well as creating a new vocabulary from traditional African dance idioms. Fusing together the hip-hop styles of B-boy, house, Angolan/Brazilian Capoeira, and traditional South African Steps used in ceremonial celebration, Facing Mekka celebrates dance as a universal language by evoking, not imitating, its sources. The piece is a landscape of music, visual image, and dance, featuring a cast of 17 dancers, three DJ’s, and live percussion. Two collage artists created visuals that are projected on screens in cross fades to create a multi-layered landscape.
New York, NY
Rennie Harris brought “social” dance forms like hip-hop and B-boy to the concert stage. Harris has received a Pew Fellowship for choreography and awards from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the City of Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Philadelphia Dance Projects Commission, and a Pew Repertory Development grant. He has been voted one of the most influential people in Philadelphia in the last hundred years by the Philadelphia Weekly.