Dorrance Dance – ETM: Double Down “tap dance genius”

New York company Dorrance Dance, led by tap dance genius Michelle Dorrance, presents a mesmerising show of sounds and movements.

“Original and innovative performance of dazzling virtuosity”

Seven incredibly talented tap dancers, accompanied by B-Girl Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, showcase an original and innovative performance of dazzling virtuosity, turning the stage into a live musical instrument where dancers, supported by live musicians, set the score for the whole show.

ETM (Electronic Tap Music): Double Down is a tap dance makeover. The traditional American dance style is taken to the next level by combining it with electronic music and intense rhythms. Experimenting with new technologies, the performance aims to overcome the traditional idea of tap dance as a mere entertainment and amplify the possibilities of this vibrant dance style, reaffirming its connection with the contemporary scene.

The first part of the show sees performers interacting with floor drum pads, designed by dancer Nicholas Van Young, connected to a computer and alternately tapped to generate different notes and chords.

A series of elaborate music phrases comes to life when four dancers dictate the rhythm by stepping on a full set of electronic tap boards over a platform.

Their footwork provides the soundscape for solos, duets, and break dance pieces, alternating slow sequences with hectic compositions executed with breathtaking speed.

The endless possibilities offered by this electronic wizardry draw attention to the peculiarity of this incredible dance style, which is dance and music and the same time.

A particularly interesting transition explores acoustic sounds through the use of percussions and floor wooden boards.

Various tools are used to create music – scraping and stepping on different surfaces and textures, clapping hands and turning the entire body into a musical instrument.

Blurring the difference between dancer and musician, this piece highlights the exceptional musicality of all performers.

Singer Aaron Marcellus opens the second half of the show playing his vocals using a looping device. Set on a melodic music, a duet of male dancers executes a superb dance with an exquisite emotional language.

Towards the end, all dancers line up to cheerfully play a set of trigger boards generating an electronic score that accompanies a boisterous mix of tap dance and street dance combined together with transporting energy and extraordinary speed.

It’s hard to resist the impulse to jump on stage and dance with them!

Generally labelled as an antiquated style, ETM: Double Down confirms the power of tap dance as a modern and eclectic style able to push boundaries and explore new areas.

Michelle Dorrance and Nicholas Van Young open the way to a new concept of tap dance, emphasizing on the incredible possibilities and dynamics of this dance.

The experimentation has just started and more innovative surprises are yet to come!

Read our interview with tap genius Michelle Dorrance!