Tough guys can dance!

Com­bin­ing theatre, dance and rock ’n’ roll, Aus­tralian dance group Tap Dogs pro­vide an adren­a­line-charged show with raw power and a spec­tac­u­lar set, says Shiva Ku­mar Thekkepat

Friday - - Friday Contents -

Tap Dogs take to the stage in Dubai.

Fire­works ex­plode and sparks fly on stage as work­men weld the metal poles hold­ing up the dance floor, be­fore break­ing into dance. The first few rows in the Mad­i­nat Jumeirah Theatre then get soaked as the work­men do some ‘dancin’ in the rain’… The au­di­ence gasp as they see a dancer sus­pended upside down five me­tres above the ground, dancing on a wooden plat­form that hangs above his feet.

The adrenalin-pumped cast in­jects raw power and pas­sion to present a vis­cer­ally spec­tac­u­lar dance, as they jump through scaf­fold­ing to the beat of their own drums.

In the rain or even upside down, Tap Dogs, a dance group from Aus­tralia, bring the stage to life with their awe-in­spir­ing per­for­mance – it’s no won­der they’ve been a must­see act for al­most two decades now.

While the name Tap Dogs might bring to mind pets that do tricks, it is ac­tu­ally a group of dancers formed in 1995 by Aussie Dein Perry and is now on a world tour, with a 11-day stopover in Dubai. Dein, who’s won the pres­ti­gious Olivier Award for theatre chore­og­ra­phy, and more re­cently taught Bol­ly­wood su­per­star Aamir Khan

If you are think­ing Fred As­taire and Gene Kelly, per­ish the thought… Tap Dogs is in­dus­trial dancing

to tap dance for the block­buster Hindi film Dhoom 3, has been tap dancing since the age of four.

Af­ter he left school he couldn’t find work as a dancer, so he turned to the con­struc­tion busi­ness, work­ing as a ma­chin­ist for some time. That proved to be the in­spi­ra­tion for Tap Dogs, the dance rou­tine Dein fash­ioned around a con­struc­tion site, which he chore­ographed and per­formed when it was launched.

If you are think­ing Fred As­taire and Gene Kelly, per­ish the thought. Tap would gen­er­ally sug­gest a light touch, but Tap Dogs is in­dus­trial tap dancing with six guys in scruffy clothes and big boots clunk­ing around a con­struc­tion site.

They dance up ramps and ropes that they build as they go along and when they start tap­ping, it’s not so much to dance as to make lots of noise, show off, have a

The Tap Dogs con­cept is based on its founder’s pre­vi­ous job as a ma­chin­ist

DANCE

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