In 1976, then-12-year-old Philadelphia resident Rennie Harris, inspired by the acrobatic and flashy street dance moves of the Lockers on Soul Train, started his own dance group. Now, decades after Harris popped, locked, and created work with pioneering hip-hop artists like Run-D.M.C., Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and his own company, Puremovement, he brings his latest entity, Rennie Harris Grass Roots Project, to town. For the past seven years, Harris has instructed University of Colorado dance students; from that experience, he’s created a diverse, Boulder-based entity that builds on his hip-hop roots. After years of international touring, the choreographer has also broadened his knowledge of African and Brazilian dance. Determined to expand audiences’ perception of hip-hop dance beyond breakdancing and butt-shaking, this masterful dancer and teacher incorporates a broad range of emotions and physical movements into each composition. An outspoken activist, he uses movement to address topics like racial profiling and gun violence. His eight-member troupe will still perform some head-spinning and how-do-they-move-like-that gymnastic feats, but expect the mood to vary with slower, more subtle work done to R&B-derived dance music. The performance begins at 7 p.m. at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $15–$30. (202) 269-1600. danceplace.org.