Dorrance Dance presented triple bill of awe-inspiring contemporary tap

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Jungle Blues, Three to One, Myelination | Dorrance Dance | Dance House | Vancouver Playhouse | April 13 and 14, 2018

This is tap dance like you’ve never seen it before. With effortless cool, the dancers of Dorrance Dance presented an evening of awe-inspiring contemporary tap.

Jungle Blues featured a full stage that looked like a cocktail party with dancers breaking out in solos or duets to showcase their individual talents. This short piece was followed by Three to One, a highly innovative piece that featured three sets of legs creating patterns and rhythms. The mood was somber as Michelle Dorrance took the stage wrapped in black tulle and began tapping to the slow ticking of the music that sounded like a wind-up doll. She was joined by Byron Tittle and Matthew West, barefoot, who bookended her impressive footwork with their own softer movements.

The much longer Myelination was the highlight of the evening. Expanded from the original that premiered in New York in 2015, it featured live music by Dorrance’s brother Donovan Dorrance along with bassist and composer Gregory Richardson and vocalist Aaron Marcellus. The combination of this groovy music and the rhythmic waves of dance was electric. The dancers and musicians fed off each other to create beautiful percussive music together. Dancing in large synchronized groups as well as breaking off into solos and duets, the whole company showed off their skills — each member impressed with their own unique style of tap.

By turns romantic, aggressive, whimsical, and daring, Dorrance Dance presented a stellar program that had this audience member gasping in awe at the sheer virtuosity of their talent. This is a performance I won’t soon forget.    

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