Performing Arts: Dance
April 26, 2015
An eclectic combination of music choice and meaning, Program B of Rhythm in Motion at the 14th Street Y showcased talented new choreographers in the tap world. Following a slightly confusing but heartwarming video, the first piece, Samba Experience begins. Unusual vocals accompany a large group of dancers as they begin exploring the rhythmic sounds that will carry the night. At the conclusion of the strong opener, Executive Director of American Tap Dance Foundation, Tony Waag steps out to introduce the program. With clear enthusiasm for the work these choreographers have been doing, Mr. Waag explains briefly the process of work the dancers went through, then quickly allows the night to continue.

Next to the floor is the first section of the programs runner piece. Stylishly choreographed to Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” creator Caleb Teicher manages to explore the classical music in a new way. The most rhythmically dynamic in volume and juxtaposition, each time the piece is revisited throughout the program it cleanses the palate for the other serious work surrounding it.

By and large the most succinct and visionary piece of the evening is the final work WhiTeNoiSe envisioned by Nicholas Young. Taking on hot button issues of political injustice is no small feat, but by tieing audio clips of news reports to the movements of the dancers, everything came together in a way that struck a responsive chord. In it’s entirety, the piece created a visual to explain and critique the way American politics talk over each other and do nothing to resolve systematic injustice. By concluding with that work, the evening of fast paced footwork and energy that could be felt to the core, ended on a very grounded note.

The American Tap Dance Foundation showed that it is continuing to produce burgeoning new artists and choreographers in this wholly encompassing dance form. The night was strong across the board, with the exception of the choice to project images behind each dance, which was necessary for a few pieces, but more that often just distracting. However, not even that could take away from the talent and power behind the dancers of this company.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Annie Woller

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