Wednesday, May 21, 2014

REVIEW: Tap Dogs

Academy of Performing Arts Lyric Theatre, Tuesday May 20

I saw Taps Dogs in 1997 (part of the Hong Kong Arts Festival); thus the question was, do I want to see it again? The answer is absolutely YES and I did last night!

The immediately reaction I had last night was that some of the performers are looking a bit “old” and “tired”; and seeing them trying to look “young” and “hip” was a bit off-putting. That reaction however didn’t last very long as the performers quickly offset it with their skill, technique and energy. For a show based on tap dancing to be able to last this long (almost 20 years of continuous touring); and have been performed in 330 cities in 37 countries, it has to offer something beyond just plain good tap-dancing.

The strength of Dein Perry's Tap Dogs is its concept executed in flawless and tight fluidity. It went beyond the ballet tap of Gene Kelly, ballroom tap of Fred Astaire and jazz tap of Gregory Hines; and brought it down to a street and industrial level. The show also boasts a compact set that transform continuously to showcase and compliments the different sounds and tap rhythms. This 80-minute show with no interval is packed with great routines and enough variations to ease the sometimes mind-numbing endless taps. Personally, I dig the basketball and sound-pad routine. I am also glad that the show balanced the heaviness of the concept with the duet by Douglas Mills and Nathaniel Hancock, which provided some good light tap-dancing.

I am glad that I went to see it last night. Would I want to see it again? Sure! After 17 years again?

Dein Perry's TAP DOGS
Produced by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions in association with Broadway Entertainment Group
Lyric Theatre, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
May 20 - 25 2014

Sheldon Perry
Douglas Mills
Chaise Rossiello
Richie Miler
Nathaniel Hancock



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