CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024
'Tap Dogs' brings industrial-strength tap dance back to Hancher Feb.
IOWA CITY, Iowa --"Tap Dogs," the Australian dance-theater
sensation that was one of the hits of the last year's fall season at the
University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium, will bring its sexy, sweaty, industrial-strength,
heavy-metal version of tap dance back to Hancher for performances at 8
p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 2 and 3.
"Tap Dogs," which is performed on a high-tech construction-site
set, was an immediate hit when it was premiered at the 1995 Sydney Theatre
Festival. No one had seen a tap-dancing show quite like it: part theatre,
part dance, part rock concert, part party, part construction site.
The show caused a sensation at the Edinburgh Festival later that year,
and then played to standing-room-only crowds in London's West End, where
Time Out magazine called them "the hottest show on legs" and
the show captured an Olivier Award for Best Choreography.
At Spoleto, Italy, the production won the Spoleto Festival's only award,
the Pegasus Award, whose previous winners include Jerome Robbins and Ingmar
When the show stormed into America, a USA Today cover story headlined
"Tap Dogs unleash genre" described them as looking "untamed
enough to bark." They clomped away from New York with an Obie Award
and a Drama Desk Award nomination for "Best Choreography."
In Los Angeles, the LA Times' Lewis Segal wrote, "few dance experiences
are as passionately connected to the here and now," and the Orange
County Register's Laura Bleiberg asked, "Who says tough guys can't
Dancing in unexpected ways and places -- like on I-beams in heavy boots,
to the counterpoint of sparks from power tools -- "Tap Dogs"
is a relentless, high-decibel show that the British press dubbed "testosterone
tap." Entertainment Today called the show an "Amazing reinvention
of tap dancing for our generation!"
"It's not top hat, tie and tails; it's torn jeans, t-shirts and
work boots -- ferocious, raw, high-energy rhythms and sounds blended together
for an explosive non-stop 90 minutes of sheer joy," KIRO-TV in Seattle
reported, calling the show, "a marvelous inventive use of sound and
rhythm that has to be experienced live."
"Tap Dogs" co-creator Dein Perry, a former industrial mechanic,
says, "It's an energy thing, a sweat thing and a beat thing. Some
of the guys in the show look after themselves quite well."
Perry already had a Olivier Award under his belt for the London revue
"Hot Shoe Shuffle" when he collaborated with rock-spectacle designer/director
Nigel Triffitt and composer Andrew Wilkie to create "Tap Dogs."
Wilkie's original score is performed live by on-stage musicians.
"Tap Dogs" has become such an international phenomenon that
productions are now touring North America, Europe, Australia and Asia simultaneously.
Clarion Hotel and Conference Center is the corporate sponsor of "Tap
Dogs" through the University of Iowa Foundation, with media support
Tickets for Tap Dogs are $35, $32.50 and $30. UI students and senior
citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, and tickets for young people
17 and younger are half price. Tickets are available in advance from the
Hancher box office.
Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa,
dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is
toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged
to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases
to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option
of payroll deduction.
People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services
should dial(319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel
prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access
and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped
with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.
Audio description, for audience members with visual impairment, will
be available at the Feb. 3 performance.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~uiowacr/
on the World Wide Web. Learn more about the "Tap Dogs" phenomenon