» Catalyst Series

Intermedia Arts presents
Written, Choreographed, and Performed by
Rennie Harris and Michael Sakamoto

Flash is illumination, enlightenment, stealthiness, and transcendence. Flash is the impermanence of life and the urgent need for transformation. Introducing a dance theater duet written, choreographed, and performed by dance gurus Rennie Harris and Michael Sakamoto combining their dual approaches to manifesting a body in crisis. 

The work is conceived as a “conversation” between the artists’ respective aesthetics (butoh and hip-hop), cultural backgrounds (Japanese-American and African-American), and personalities. Hip-hop and butoh were born from marginalized, postwar urban subcultures, and each embodies a philosophical approach to the creation of cultural identity through dance. 

Flash is an interdisciplinary performance project combining butoh and hip-hop dance, multimedia, and other theatrical elements to address the intersection of urban and environmental crisis, social resistance, and corporeal identity.


A master class with dance theater artist Michael Sakamoto
March 1, 2017 | Wednesday | 5-6:30PM | Free | RSVP Here
Working from elements inspired by butoh and hip-hop dance practices, Michael leads students through a series of movement, image, and improvisational exercises in order to develop character-based expression and demonstrate how cultural identity and dance are interrelated and can be utilized for contemporary expression. This workshop is open to dancers, theater-makers, and movement enthusiasts wishing to explore Butoh, Hip-Hop, and more. All participants get a free ticket to the Saturday performance of Flash (as available). Dress for movement. RSVP Required.

Talkback + DJ Dance Jam & "Meet the Artists" Reception
March 3, 2017 | Friday | Immediately following the Friday performance
Stick around after the show for a discussion with the artists facilitated by dance luminary Ananya Chatterjea. Then, join Rennie Harris, Michael Sakamoto, and more for an opportunity to dance it out. Harris and Sakamoto will be present to answer questions, take photos, and dance.
Master Movement Workshop in House Dance
With Rennie Harris 
March 4, 2017 | Saturday | 1-2:30PM 
$5-25 sliding scale tuition | at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave South
You don't want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to workshop your dance moves with Rennie Harris! Learn and explore the rigorous technique rooted in House and the cultural context of Rennie Harris' work rooted in Hip Hop. This is a master level adult class intended for intermediate and advanced movement artists. Serious young artists are welcomeDress for movement. All participants get a free ticket to the Saturday performance of Flash (as available). RSVP Required.
Post-Show Talkback
March 4, 2017 | Saturday | Immediately following the Saturday performance of Flash
Stick around after Saturday's performance to talk to the artists about their process, the work, and its implications in our current times.


"Their solos of slowed-motion popping and constricted bodies merged into unison movements of mutual pain. Two different cultures and worlds found their dance of darkness together" -thinkingdance.net

"Takes the greatest risks and makes teh boldest and most moving discoveries." -Fabrik Magazine

"They achieve some insights into themselves, how they relate to each other, and how their art forms engage with, mirror, and change each other - and maybe us." -Philadelphia Inquirer




LORENZO (RENNIE) HARRIS is Founder and Artistic Director of Rennie Harris Puremovement, a hip-hop dance company dedicated to preserving and disseminating hip-hop culture through workshops, lectures, residencies, mentor programs, and performances. Harris’s work tours the globe and encompasses diverse African-American traditions while simultaneously presenting the voice of a new generation through its ever-evolving interpretations of dance. Harris is committed to providing audiences with a sincere view of the spirit of hip-hop rather than the commercially exploited stereotypes portrayed by the media. Harris is most known for his evening length work, Rome & Jewels, choreographed and directed in collaboration with dramaturge Ozzie Jones and composer/sound designer Darin Ross. Rome & Jewels uses Shakespeare’s text and original material by the cast to tell its own story based on West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet. Rome & Jewels is the longest touring hip-hop dance theater work in American history. Harris also created the full-length shows, Legends of Hip Hop, Students of the Asphalt Jungle, and Facing Mekka. Rome & Jewels was awarded three Bessie Awards, two Alvin Ailey Black Choreographers Award, an Ethnic Dance Award, Herb Alpert Award in the Arts for Choreography and nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award (UK). He has received the “Philadelphia Rocky” award, Governors Artist of the Year Award, USA artist award for choreography, and honorary doctorates from Bates College and Columbia College-Chicago and was a USA cultural ambassador in President Obama’s cultural exchange program, Dance Motion, traveling to Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel.

MICHAEL SAKAMOTO is a transdisciplinary artist active in dance, theater, media, and photography. He is best known as an innovator in contemporary butoh, which serves as the philosophical base of all of his works. Michael’s ensemble and solo performances have been presented in over a dozen countries throughout Asia, Europe, and North America, including the Vancouver International Dance Festival (Canada), GAS Festival (Sweden), TACT/Fest (Japan), and REDCAT (Los Angeles). He has won awards and grants from major funders, including Japan Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, Arts International, Meet the Composer, DanceUSA, and many others. Michael began his performance career perfoming and touring with legendary performance artist, Rachel Rosenthal, and was founding co- director of the avant-garde theater ensemble, Empire of Teeth, cited by LA Weekly as Best of LA theater companies. Additionally, Michael is a scholar and educator who has taught and lectured internationally; faculty and former Co-Director of the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Goddard College; and currently Assistant Professor in Dance at University of Iowa. 


Intermedia Arts is a NPN Partner of the National Performance Network (NPN). This project is made possible in part by support from the NPN Performance Residency Program. Major contributors include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information: www.npnweb.org

This performance is also made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.


A Part of Intermedia Arts' Catalyst Series