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Jazzy tapping at Segerstrom Hall

It’s Friday night at the Segerstrom Center for the arts and I’m standing applauding and thinking “wow, sensational” as the Dorrance dancers tap their way off stage before the final curtain.

Celebrating their 10 anniversary Dorrance Dance brought SOUNDspace to Segerstrom Hall for an evening of unparalleled brilliant and exciting rhythm tap. The award-winning New York ensemble performing on a bare stage with exceptional atmospheric lighting produces dance with amazing complexity, musicality and invention. This is not the tap dance you’ve seen on Broadway with costumes and elaborate sets. This is a dance style that uses the tap shoes as though they are a musical instrument to make a percussive statement much like a drummer in a jazz band.

The first half of the performance features dancers and soloists in muted colors dancing mainly without music highlighting the precise and creative footwork, the dancers pushing their technical and expressive boundaries with improvisational solos and duets. A duet between an upright bassist and a dancer creating a conversation between musician and dancer reminded me of a jazz music tradition where players “trade off” each four or 8 beats. After the intermission, a live jazz quartet joined the dancers onstage for beautiful marriage of two uniquely American art forms.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts

600 Town Center Drive,

Costa Mesa, CA 92626


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