Artist Projects

Facing Mekka

Rennie Harris

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.

Project Updates

  • 2003: Facing Mekka is performed at Portland State University

  • 2003: Facing Mekka is performed at Miami Light Project

  • 2003: Facing Mekka is performed at The Joyce Theater in New York

  • 2003: Facing Mekka is performed at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis