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Visiting artist to give public hip-hop master dance classes

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

LAWRENCE – Since entering the hip-hop scene in 1988, Rodney Hill has blazed the stages dancing in venues nationally and abroad performing with artists such as Teddy Pendergrass, Mary J. Blige, the Roots and 50 Cent. From Nov. 10-12, Hill will be teaching master dance classes, open to the public, at the University of Kansas.

Hill is currently the company manager of Rennie Harris Puremovement and Rennie Harris R.H.A.W., which will perform Nov. 14 at the Lied Center.

“We are so excited to be partnering with the Lied Center to deepen the presence of this important company in our community. Rodney Hill will be interacting one on one with students to share a vision of hip hop that connects people across music, dance, history and culture,” said Michelle Heffner Hayes, professor and chair of the Department of Dance. “Join us in one of his classes and get ready to be blown away when you see the company in performance.”

The classes are open to the public to observe or participate. For Hill’s master class schedule, please visit www.dance.ku.edu for more information.

Hill has been featured in videos for artists such as Boyz II Men, Will Smith, MusiqSoulchild & EVE, as well as TV shows such as “Soul Train,” NBC'S “NFL Under the Helmet,” and BET "Teen Summit." An accomplished teacher and choreographer, Hill has taught in universities and dance studios locally, nationally and internationally. Constantly expanding his horizons, Hill is always working with new artists and exploring new opportunities. 

Rennie Harris Puremovement is based on the belief that hip-hop dance is the most important original expression of a generation with the unique ability to convey themes that extend beyond racial, religious and economic boundaries. RHPM deconstructs the popular perception about hip-hop by encompassing rich and diverse African-American dance traditions while simultaneously presenting the voice of a new generation.

The Department of Dance is one of four departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.