Dein Perry has created a dance experience like none other--crackling with blue-collar energy, these six young men from Australia steal tap forever from the world of black ties and tails, and carry it body and soul into the Nineties. Cleverly staged and danced as though their lives depended on it, "Tap Dogs" is winning the hearts of audiences around the world.
The energy and the synchronicity of the Tap Dogs
dancers is really quite amazing. A solo plaid-shirt and denim-clad dancer opens the show, giving a hint of what is to come, then loiters stage left as we meet the rest of the troupe feet first. Each dancer gets a chance to show off his individual talents on a raised stage that looks remarkably like a boxing ring. A few moments later, the ring's sides are lifted and the floor split, giving the dancers a whole new terrain to jump and tap through. After a high-energy beginning, the dancers bring it down with a back-and-forth duet set to mysterious music, which then segues into an evocative, blue-lit wooden square reminiscent of a late-night street corner.
One of the most fun sequences is when the six dancers create a musical rhythm while tapping on a synthesizer built in the floor. They dance effortlessly with grins on their faces while keeping the syncopation going strong. The music picks up here to more of a rock & roll free-for-all and the Tap Dogs let loose in a dance-brawl suggesting a "who's the top tap dog" tension, relieved by small, humorous moments. Particularly amazing is the dancer suspended upside down and tapping on the ceiling--in perfect time, of course. Originated and choreographed by Dein Perry (Bootmen) and directed by Aubrey Powell, Tap Dogs impresses with its innovation (dancing on scaffolding as it's being built, for example, or on narrow stair steps) and the dancers with their fluidity, intensity, and strength. This tapping is not just dancing--it's an endurance sport. --Dana Van Nest