Rennie Harris is Hip-Hopping to Off-Broadway

Philadelphia grown dancer and choreographer Rennie Harris is headed Off-Broadway. He will present a new work, "Funkedified", as a part of New York's New Victory Theater's 2017-2018 season.

"Funkedified" will be loosely based on Harris' life growing up in Philadelphia in the 1970's. "It was a transition era into hip-hop," Harris told the Philly News. "I realize how embedded politics were in the words. And the music was amazing."

The show will run at the theater on 42nd Street from June 1-10th, 2018. He has previously created three words for the New Victory: "Rome & Jewels," "Unlocked," and Continuum."

Harris is also the director and choreographer of his company Rennie Harris Puremovement, which tours both nationally and internationally. The company is now entering its 25th-Anniversary season. For more information about Harris and the company, visit their website.

Houston Ballet Brings a Snake to 'The Office'

The Office is one of the funniest and most popular shows to hit television. It began in Britain, made its way to the States, and now it's finally hit the ballet world.

Back in March, the Houston Ballet made a genius promotional video that advertised their run of the classic story Cinderella. The video features Cinderella working in an office, dealing with her annoying stepsisters and an even more annoying and self involved prince. It's pretty hilarious. If you missed it, take a second and watch it (you won't regret it):

Well, they're at it again, this time promoting their upcoming production of La Bayadere (a personal favorite of mine). This one shows the jealous Gamzatti and her friend Aya trying to sabotage an upcoming promotion for the lovely Nikiya. And of course, no production of La Bayadere is complete without a snake! "Red and yellow, he's my fellow. Yellow and black...no turning back." Watch out, Nikiya (and everyone else in the building!).

Wendy Whelan Talks Hard Times in "Restless Creature"

Wendy Whelan is arguably one of the most famous ballerinas of our time. After beginning her dance training at the young age of three in her native Louisville, Kentucky, Whelan moved to New York City and spent thirty years with the New York City Ballet.

The film focuses on a difficult time in Whelan's life. After suffering a hip injury, she chose to undergo major surgery (spoiler alert: she was awake the whole time!). After, Whelan must work to recover and find her new place in the dance world.

Wendy Whelan

And don't worry - there's plenty of dancing for you to see. The film include selections from some of Whelan's most memorable roles, from Balanchine ballets to contemporary works by the likes of Christopher Wheeldon, William Forsythe, and Brian Brooks.

 

The film is playing in select cities around the nation. Click here to find a screening near you before it leaves theaters!

It's Tony Time!

The Tony Awards are this Sunday! Hosted by Kevin Spacey, the awards will recognize some of the best shows and most talented performers that graced Broadway's stage this year.

Let's take a look at who is nominated for (let's be honest, the most important award): Best Choreography.

 Jeremy Danie
Bandstand - photo: Jeremy Danie

Andy  Blankenbuehler for "Bandstand"

Blanhenbuehler is also known for his work in "Hamilton," "Cats," and "Bring It On: The Musical." This is his fourth Best Choreography nomination, and has previously taken home the award for his choreography in both "Hamilton" and "In the Heights."

 Manuel Harlan
Groundhog Day, The Musical - photo: Manuel Harlan

Peter Darling & Ellen Kane for "Groundhog Day The Musical"

Darling has previously worked on the Broadway stage as the choreographer for "Billy Elliot The Musical," and "Matilda The Musical." This is his third Tony nomination for Best Choreography, and won in 2009 for his work on "Matilda." Kane also worked on Broadway's "Matilda The Musical" as assistant choreographer. This is her first Tony nomination.

 Kevin Berne
Come From Away - photo: Kevin Berne

Kelly Devine for "Come From Away"

This is Devine's second Tony nomination. Her previous Broadway credits include choreography for the 2014 production of "Rocky."

 Joan Marcus
Holiday Inn - photo: Joan Marcus

Denis Jones for "Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical"

Jones has an extensive Broadway resume, including performances in "Chicago," "Grease," and "The Full Monty."  He served as head choreographer on the 2015 production of "Honeymoon in Vegas." This is his first Tony nomination.

 Chad Batka
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 - photo: Chad Batka

Sam Pinkleton for "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"

2017 has been a busy year for Pinkleton, who choreographed three different Broadway shows that, at one point, were all running at the same time: "Significant Other," "Amelie, A New Musical," and "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812." This is his first Tony nomination.

Other highlights you can expect to see from the show: performances from the cast of "Bandstand," "Come From Away," "Dear Evan Hansen," "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" and more. Presenters include: Sara Bareilles, Rachel Bloom, Mark Hamill, Christopher Jackson, John Legend, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Tune in to CBS at 8/7c to catch all the action!