Dance House Presents
Dorrance Dance

Dates Friday April 13 2018, 8pm
Venue Vancouver Playhouse
Artistic Director Michelle Dorrance

Reviewer Aleana Reynolds


This inspiring work from the award-winnning Dorrance Dance tap company graced Vancouver audiences
with two nights of ground-breaking tap choreography. The triple bill show took the audience from old-
school tap through to the here and now through expert contrast and combination with other dance
forms, music, and athleticism.

The first composed piece, Jungle Blues, takes its name from the soundtrack written by jazz-legend Fred
“Jelly Roll” Morton. It’s a wonderful homage to the history of tap and a great show opener with the full
company on stage, set in a backdrop similar to an old time swing club in New Orleans. Individual dancers
from the company stepped forward throughout to showcase their individual talents amongst the group.

In Three to One the differences and similarities of tap to modern dance were brought the forefront.
Artistic Director, Michelle Dorrance, was joined by two barefoot dancers - all were simply dressed in
black tulle, but the spotlight was fixed firmly on the dancers legs, underlining the rhythms of Dorrance’s
shoes against the silent twisting of the legs and feet beside her. As the barefoot dancers departed the
stage, Dorrance was left to complete a haunting solo, against the moody wind-up box music and dark
lighting. Reminiscent of an eerie clockwork doll, she masterfully tapped with mechanical precision till
the end.

The 45 minute final act, Myelination, was a collaboration of improv, solos, duets, and group
performances, accompanied at times by a live band. Highlighted by solos from break-dancer Ephrat
“Bounce” Asherie, and the expert sliding and falling skills of Warren Craft, the divergence and
convergence of these dance forms to tap was again showcased and pushed the agility and creative skills
of the dancers to the max. The piece shifted from a dark emotional energy to a light, rousing
performance that ultimately brought the audience to its feet.

Overall, the technical skill and superb rhythm of the dancers was a sight to behold. Tappers and non-
tappers alike would appreciate the show thanks to its skillful melding of traditional and popular dance.


© 2018 Aleana Reynolds