Chicago Tap Theatre’s Liaison Review – Spectacular

I felt fortunate to have been in the audience when Chicago Tap Theatre presented “Liaison”-one night only- at the Athenaeum Theatre’s mainstage on March 25th.  This once in four- year event brought together Chicago Tap Theatre, France’s “Tapage” from Toulouse, France and “Tap Ole” from Barcelona, Spain.  This was the third installation of an International partnership that dates to 2004.  The last time this group performed in Chicago was four years ago. Dancing was amazing, spectacular and captivating with musical accompaniment by live musicians and singers, fantastic lighting, staging and costumes.

 

Athenaeum Theatre mainstage, Photo: B.Keer

 

This was a rare opportunity to see CTT’s sister companies, Tapage (Toulouse, France) and Tap Olé (Barcelona, Spain). The last time they were in Chicago, four years ago, In a true melding of cultures and rhythms, “Liaison” proves that tap dance is a medium that transcends language. This evening was a rare opportunity to see dancers of different cultures blend together to perform dances that reflected not only their individual cultures but their individual styles, as well.

 

Guitarist,Mario Mas and dancer, Guillem Alonso

 

The companies performed together and, also in individual pieces that highlighted the breadth and depth of tap performance – from the charming and humorous to powerful and emotional to technique that was remarkable. The range of offerings was noteworthy from pieces that were charming and humorous to others that were powerful and deeply moving.  Dance styles varied from classical tap to something like a ballet-tap feeling, from dance with a focus on form and rhythm to dance telling a story.

 

 

Moonlight

 

Within this performance is a hint of classical ballet, a touch of Martha Graham modern, a bit of mime and much more.  To reach this point, each company was given the music and instructions on which sections to choreograph, some together and some alone.  Chicago was the first place this “Liaison” performance was offered.  The tour moves to the south of France and the north of Spain for an extended tour in fall 2017

 

Vin Blanc, Vin Rouge

 

About the companies:

 

TAP OLÉ is an international fusion of cultures and styles, mixing Spanish music and American Tap dance to demonstrate that this mixture is a universal language capable of creating new destinies and sensations.

 

The company-Dancers: Guillem Alonso, Roser Font and musician, Mario Mas

 

 

 

 

Tapage was founded in 1991 as La Compagnie Tapage, a children’s group, which evolved into a professional tap company.  Their objective is to convey an original approach to this art, and they are know for the emotion and originality they bring to their performances.

 

The company – Dancers: Kristel Bernard, Laurence Cau, David Duchein, Romain Dureuth, Valerie Lussac, Rafy Oved, Isabelle Rousseaux

 

 

 

Chicago Tap Theatre was founded in 2002 and is a growing and vibrant dance company dedicated to preserving the quintessentially American dance form of tap while taking it to the next level of creativity, innovation and quality and they always perform with live music.

 

Company dancers: Kirsten Uttich, Jennifer Pfaff Yonally, Mark Yonally; Touring Apprentices: Aimee Chase, Isaac Stauffer, Sarah Owens; Apprentice: Sara Anderson; Guest: Davon Suttles; Musicians: Leslie Beukelman, Paul Bedal, Jon Deitemyer, Tayib Olashade Dauda, Kurt Schweitz, Elizabeth Sikes.

 

 

 

 

This was an amazing evening with exceedingly skilled dancers but I would be remiss if I did not single out Roser Font of TAP OLÉ. She is a tour d force and I was mezmemrized by her dancing.

 

Entire cast, in "Somebody to Love"

Watch for future performances at the Chicago Tap Theatre website

 

 

 

Photos: Courtesy of Chicago Tap Theatre unless otherwise noted.

 

 

 

 

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