Rennie Harris Puremovement

Preserving and disseminating hip-hop culture is the goal of this Philadelphia-based company.


Founded in 1992 by North Philadelphia native Rennie Harris, Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM) was conceived with the vision of sharing an appreciation for diversity and is dedicated to preserving and disseminating hip-hop culture through workshops, classes, lecture-demonstrations, dance residencies, mentoring programs, and public performances.

Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM) continues to flourish as international hip-hop dance theater ambassadors. The company’s goal is to provide audiences with a sincere view of the essence and spirit of hip-hop, rather than the commercially exploited stereotypes most often presented by the media. Harris founded RHPM with the belief that hip-hop is the most important original expression of a new generation, with the unique ability to express universal themes that extend beyond racial, religious, and economic boundaries. RHPM works to deconstruct popular perception of this medium—honoring its history, exploring its ideas, and furthering its contributions to the surrounding community.

In 2007, RHPM and Harris were named Artist of the Year by Pennsylvania’s First Lady, Judge Marjorie O. Rendell and received one of 50 prestigious United States Artists Fellowships. RHPM was also honored that year with one of Philadelphia’s ten “Rocky Awards” for its performances at the Kimmel Center celebrating the company’s 15th Anniversary. Rennie Harris Puremovement has performed in the US at major venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as internationally at Italy’s Spoleto Dance Festival, the Holland Dance Festival, and the Kiasma Museum in Helsinki, Finland. In 2010, Rennie Harris received an honorary doctorate from Bates College (ME) and became a Guggenheim Fellow. The company will mark its 20th anniversary in 2012.



Raised in Philadelphia, Rennie (Lorenzo) Harris started dancing hip-hop at a young age. He began teaching classes and workshops at age 15, and has since taught at schools and universities across the US. Harris toured internationally with the Fresh Festival, the first organized hip-hop tour in the US, which starred Run DMC, the Fat Boys, Curtis Blow, and Whodini. He has also worked with Kool Moe Dee, West Street Mob, Salt-n-Pepa, and many other noted hip-hop stars. He is a recipient of the Pew Fellowship in the Arts for choreography, was awarded a Bessie Award, and was recognized as Pennsylvania’s Artist of the Year by Governor Rendell. Harris also received an honorary doctorate degree from Bates College.

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