OSCiLLATE Astounds, As the Audience Is Witness TO A Much Needed Reformation of TAP! Darren Cheers Reports From Sadler’s Wells
Something very special and unique took place this week. It’s not just the blistering sun that heated up the stage, but the ferocity of the feet of the Old Kent Road Tappers. At Sadler’s Wells, OSCilLLATE was dynamically displayed for the first time. Whilst working in America, Avalon Rathgeb, the founder of Old Kent Road Tappers, collaborated with accomplished dancer Dre Torres. This fusion was like a collision of two atoms, causing seismic tremors unheralded by the tap world. This production shakes the very dusty foundations of tap, expunging all remnants of 42nd streets inexorable time steps, or ceaseless Cincinnatis from Broadway, no signs of any Shirley Temples or Judy Garlands. No, this earthquake of a show , transcends the boundaries of conventional tap with bold dramatic maneuvers that brilliantly delineate conflicts of movement, hence the show’s name: OSCiLLATE! The choreography is so innovative that it transforms tap to a seeminly incomprehensible level of excellence. The standard of tap dancing, even for an untrained eye, is flabbergastinlgy fantastic. From the very first light flicker and the emotive electronic synthesisers, the audience was privy to an uniqueness that even an unseasoned dancer would realise they are entering the unknown. The instant feel and essence of the show was screaming at the audience that you are about to experience something revolutionary here. With ground breaking choreography juxtaposed with rhythms of Electronic Dance Music specially composed for the show by Kenneth Mockler. Each bleep of sound, or rhymical echo was specifically created for the show. Every dance sequence could stand up proudly on its own, but is still very much part of a cohesive bigger picture. The conflation of what is perceived to be classic tap with the avant-garde and ultra modern punctuated by an energising EDM score and candescent lights with bold blackouts eventuates a show unlike any other. This is art as it should be, accessible to all, understood by all, but it’s not preaching at us. No, certainly not, it’s provoking emotions and questions us, but not in an rebarbative way. It never looses sight that it is there to entertain the audience to educate the audience but not to lecture the audience. OSCiLLATE traverses us on a journey of movement and sound, and this is a journey you never want to reach its destination for that would mean the show was over, and this is one show you never want to end. This is a delicious show that the tap world, and the world of dance generally, desperately needs!
For all future shows http://www.oldkentroadtap.com