Find Events Find Events
Choose date range
Free events
Select Series
Select a Genre(s)
Filters
Search by Keyword
Filters
Select Series
Select a Genre(s)
Free events

Author: Jill Kimball

Grass Roots Project performs “Beautiful Human Lies” at CU

Rennie Harris and his dynamic dance company, Grass Roots Project, will present the hip hop-inspired “Beautiful Human Lies” at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Irey Theatre Feb. 12-14. Harris, a regular guest artist at CU-Boulder, is widely recognized as the world’s foremost choreographer of hip hop and street dance theater.

Through physically electrifying and penetratingly subtle choreography, “Beautiful Human Lies” tells stories focusing on the most pressing social issues of our day, touching on race, crime and personal relationships.

“This is not your typical Valentine’s Day weekend show,” says Katie Swenson, a dancer with Grass Roots Project. “There’s definitely a grittiness and a rawness in ‘Beautiful Human Lies,’ and our dance style is probably like nothing you’ve ever seen on stage.”

The story of “Beautiful Human Lies” unfolds in scenes set to hip hop, electronica and house music by Beyoncé, Immortal Technique, Bonobo, Nas, Groove Armada and more. The dancers of Grass Roots Project, trained across the disciplines of modern, ballet, and street dance, combine forces to present fresh takes on popping and locking, breaking and b-boying.

For Swenson, who has a background in ballet, modern dance and West African dance, trading her pointe shoes for sneakers in Harris’ company has been a revelation.

“It’s changed the way I view dance,” she says. “There’s such a formula to concert dance. There’s that division between performer and audience that makes it very presentational. But street style dance is inherently social, so it allows you to connect not only with other dancers but also with the audience.”

The evening-length “Beautiful Human Lies” was inspired partly by Harris’ upbringing in an African American community in North Philadelphia. But the stories he tells are also inspired by current events, including violence and protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Rennie is really showing that even as time goes by, these issues keep resurfacing, no matter how much we want to change them,” Swenson says. “We always want stories to have a happy ending, but Rennie is more interested in reality.”

Showtimes and Tickets

Upcoming Events View all events

Open Space

Loading
Feb 23-25, 2018

Open Space

Curated by CU Dance Connection
Tickets $16

Be moved by dance works that lilt, groove and tumble across a spectrum of styles in this student-produced and CU Dance Connection-curated series....

FRESH: Spring 2018

Loading
Apr 27-28, 2018

FRESH: Spring 2018

A CU dance concert
Free concert

Enjoy a potential mix of Hip-Hop, aerial, fusion forms and improvised offerings crafted by undergraduate and graduate dance students....

Latest News View all news items

Feb 7, 2018

SHARPS AND FLATIRONS | Macky…

Superstars—and there are some in the classical music world—sell out concerts on…

Feb 5, 2018

Mexican-American singer Lila Downs comes…

Downs’ unique folk-pop music touches on immigration and Mexican culture. Several decades…

Jan 30, 2018

Ailey II brings innovative, youthful…

Alvin Ailey’s second company boasts ‘wow factor aplenty’. “Wow factor aplenty,” says…