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TAP DOGS (article first published : 2005-08-28)

Catch the foot stomping, hi-energy, high speed industrial tap show of hardcore footwork and pure dance showmanship. 2005 has seen the Tap Dogs return to South Africa by popular demand after a sold out whirlwind tour 2002. They are taking the world by storm with their unprecedented tap show that combines the strength and power of male workmen with the precision and talent of tap dancing.

The show started with six guys from a steel town north of Sydney, Australia. Oliver Award winning choreographer Dein Perry headed the team with designer/director Nigel Triffit and the composer Andrew Wilke and created Tap Dogs; a 75 minute reinvention of tap for the 90's.

Australian Dein Perry, creator and choreographer of Tap Dogs, has come a long way from the garage behind his dance teacher's house in Newcastle, a steel town north of Sydney where, as young boy, he and the "Dogs" learned how to tap. At the age of 17, with no opportunities in sight for a dancing career, he earned his dancing papers as an industrial machinist before moving to Sydney where he tried to break into show business. Small chorus parts in Broadway- style musicals led to Dein's big break when he was cast in the long running Sydney production of 42nd Street. When it closed, Dein decided to create a contemporary show around the themes of his industrial experience with his Newcastle tap dancing mates.

With a small government grant, Dein contacted his old friend who had also taken up various ‘real' jobs by this time, and formed Hot Shoe Shuffle, which brought the group to London and earned Dein his first Olivier Award in 1995. A subsequent offer from the Sydney Theatre Company led to the collaboration with eclectic designer and director Nigel Triffit, which resulted in the creation of Tap Dogs.

Tap Dogs was the instant hit of the Sydney Theatre Festival where it had its world premiere in January 1995, causing an equal sensation at the Edinburgh Festival later that year. Tap Dogs went on to play to packed houses at Sadler's Well in London; winning a consecutive Olivier Award in 1996 for its choreographer; and an off Broadway New York season in 1997. So far the company have won 11 International Awards including a Pegasus Award at the Spoleto Festival in Italy and an Obie in New York.

Since 1998 Tap Dogs have been touring the world with up to four companies at a time reaching audiences throughout the far corners of Europe, Asia, America and Australia. The Australian dance sensation returned home in 2000 to take part in the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games. Some 1,000 Tap Dogs from companies around the world performed to an audience of 3.5 billion viewers as the event was televised across the world.

The Tap Dogs comes to Izulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino And Entertainment Kingdom, in Durban from September 13 to 18. Book at Computicket.




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