A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

drama
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

TAP DOGS BLAZE BACK! (article first published : 2005-09-14)

Vodacom in association with KFM 94.5, Algoa FM, OFM, 94.7 Highveld Stereo, East Coast Radio and Big Concerts presents the brilliant stunt tap show, Tap Dogs, which celebrates its 10th Anniversary with an extensive SA tour.

I first saw the production in July 2002 when it played the Playhouse, garnering itself thousands of fans who have been eagerly awaiting its current all-too-short season at the iZulu Theatre at Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom.

Tap Dogs is notable for its astonishing level of energy. No aesthetic or carefully studied movement here – this is rugged, physical strength and unbelievably skilled footwork that generates a lot of noise!

In my original review, I described Tap Dogs as “six extremely fit and gorgeous young men proving that tap can be extended beyond the boundaries of belief to an extravaganza of percussive dance and movement.”

The show starts off in the dark and we hear what sounds like a demented woodpecker at work. As the spotlight picks out a lone figure dancing, the magic begins. The rest of the performers are introduced through a gap in the set, with only their feet showing. This is followed by scene after extraordinary scene – each one more spectacular than the previous one – where the performers breeze through complicated and dazzling movements as if they were taking a relaxing stroll along the beach. I defy even the fittest rugby or soccer team to match their footwork and stamina.

Loosely based on a scenario of workmen on a construction site, there are distinct characters: The Foreman; 2IC; The Enforcer; Funky; The Rat and The Kid. There’s much mischievous humour and good-natured ribaldry between the performers. Andrew Wilkie’s music covers a range of style from hip-hop to funk and techno and the two percussionists placed high above the stage give out as much energy as the performers.

Seeing it a second time from a higher vantage point in the steeply raked iZulu Theatre, one is reminded that director Nigel Triffit has designed a magnificent set, offering a variety of percussive platforms to showcase the masterful skills of Olivier Award-winning choreographer Dein Perry. Bathed in exquisite lighting, even the steel struts get to have a movement sequence of their own. Another exhilarating scene proves that even a grinding machine can create a dance form.

If you can tear your eyes away from the performers, just take note of the crew. This is no playground and there is high risk in the speed and angles at which the dancers work. Also the force of the movement must cause considerable shift in the set. Unobtrusive and ever vigilant, they tighten cables, lock in rostra brakes, and catch the odd prop that comes flying their way!

TAP Dogs perform in Durban In association with East Coast Radio at iZulu Theatre at Sibaya Casino until September 18. Tickets (exclusive of service charges) R150; R170 and R190. This production can be enjoyed from all areas of the theatre so if you’re budget only runs to the lower ticket price, go for it. If you enjoy brilliant footwork and clever choreography - don’t miss this one! – Caroline Smart




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart