Peace, Love, and Rennie Harris Awe-inspiring Works (RHAW) at Carnival Studio
Rennie Harris RHAW photo by Brian Mengini

Peace, Love, and Rennie Harris Awe-inspiring Works (RHAW) at Carnival Studio


Choreographer and hip-hop ambassador Rennie Harris stages real-life situations drawn from his reality growing up in North Philadelphia in the Rennie Harris Awe-inspiring Works company (RHAW). His mission: To spread peace and love, while "challenging realities through my work," he writes in RHAW's program. "This is my small but necessary contribution to the world at large."

As well as RHAW -- founded in 2007 -- Harris directs Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM), founded in 1992. RHAW  will be performing at the Carnival Studio

Theater from February 10-13.

Harris's first loyalty is to education. RHAW developed as a training

company to meet an overwhelming interest from teens and young adults who

wished to be part of RHPM. The younger group provides master classes

and lecture-demonstrations in schools and for the general public in

addition to their concert performances. Both Philadelphia-based

companies primarily perform the work of  Harris,

its artistic director, but RHAW receives additional guidance from Rodney Hill, their company


RHAW dancers rehearse during evenings -- some are

simultaneously in college, others are working -- and tour all over the

country. "Everybody in Rennie Harris/RHAW is very young, so they're

highly energetic," Hill says. "All of them have a raw look to them, from

their costumes to the way they dance." The works are carefully

choreographed, however, and the dancers are accomplished. RHAW has

visited the prestigious Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and performed in

Philadelphia's Kimmel Center. Check out a video of Rennie Harris' Puremovement below:

Ten pieces, many of them short,

comprise RHAW's Miami engagement. Musical contributions include Michael

Jackson, Mandrill, and the mixings of DJ Lee. "Bohemian Rhapsody," a

work set to Queen, tells the story of a young person caught up in a

tragic situation. "Peace and Love" addresses fighting within intimate

relationships and bullies at school, but ultimately expresses Harris's

purpose in performing: "Bringing our love back to the community."

Rennnie Harris Awe-inspiring Work will be at the Carnival Studio

Theater at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne

Blvd., Miami), Feb. 10 through 12, at 8 p.m.; Feb. 13 at 2 and 7 p.m.

Tickets cost $40 and $45. Call 305-949-6722 or visit

-- Emily Hite,

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