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Dorrance Dance

October 15, 2016

ETM: Double Down

Reviewed October 14, 2016

NAC Theatre, Ottawa

(Repeat performance Saturday, Oct 15, 7:30 p.m.)

dorrance-dance-3

Ephrat Asherie in Dorrance Dance’s ETM: Double Down

Where do you go when you’ve perfected tap dancing? You make it cool. You make it sexy. And if you’re Michelle Dorrance, who has pretty much tap danced her entire life, you make it wow audiences in new, inventive and unique ways.

The American dancer and choreographer’s brand new work, ETM: Double Down, is a dynamic, energetic, evening-length dance presentation that shows off what’s she’s best at: demonstrating her superb tap dancing technique as well as her creativeness at collaborating with matchless dancers and musicians.

This particular collaboration, a reworked version of ETM: An Initial Approach, which was dorrance-dance-1presented at Jacob’s Pillow dance festival in 2012, shows the shades and tones of tap dancing that go so far beyond the traditional boundaries. It explores brave new worlds that re-invent music and movement and the collision of the two art forms.

Co-created with fellow American dancer, musician and choreographer Nicholas Van Young, ETM features a series of trigger boards – wooden drum pads – upon which the performers dance, triggering sounds or switching on recorded samples. Van Young explains he had “visions of several dancers across a number of platforms and boards, dancing out elaborate choreographed phrases while simultaneously playing the musical composition.”

The result is outstanding. It’s wildly unique and yet so finely polished, the performers take us into unseen and unimagined worlds where we can only delight in the sonic potential of tapping feet and accompanying instruments – predominantly played live on stage.

The performers – tap dancers, b-girl Ephrat Asherie, drummers and stringed instrument musicians – wow us with the ease in which they communicate unbridled and unstoppable rhythm.

The 100-minute work (with an intermission) also features vocalist/chanter Aaron Marcellus in the second half of the show. His haunting voice echoes through the auditorium like silken threads, carrying the sound of air, wind and ocean across space and time.

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From → Contemporary

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