I was never really a big fan of tap dancing. To be honest, when my younger son told me many years ago of his desire to take up tap dancing, my response that the only entertaining tap dancer was Bugs Bunny brought the discussion to a rapid close.
Suffice to say he ignored my advice but did not manage to alter my somewhat narrow-minded opinion of tap dancing.
That was until I saw "Tap Dogs"!
Wednesday night I attended the opening night of a five day return season of "Tap Dogs" at the Grand Arena and like the first time I saw this show, I was knocked out!
For those who think this show is going to be a dance equivalent to an Andre Rieu concert, you are way off the mark (thank heavens).
Tap Dogs is heavy metal tap.
When you first see the layout of the stage you realise that this is going to be a different kind of dance show.
It looks more like a rehearsal space for an acrobatic crew, which hints at the type of performance you are going to witness. Then, when the cast first takes the stage you may be led to believe they are the riggers or stage crew. Think again!
These six male dancers will amaze and enthral you with their incredible footwork and physical talent.
From fast and furious to slow and subtle, "Tap Dogs" takes you on a roller-coaster ride of dance which, by the end of the evening, will convince you forever that tap is not a one-dimensional dance form.
A very unique stage design ensures that the performances vary not just in pace but even in elevation: from a flat stage, to elevated ramps, right through to an upside-down tap sequence.
Added to that the original lighting and visual projections, plus the two funky lady percussionists, perched high above the stage, the high energy tempo never lapses.
Certain numbers have been retained from the last "Tap Dogs" show from when it first visited our shores –not because the producers were lacking creativity but because these scenes are so great that they must be shown again –this was my second viewing and I was still spellbound.
It still amazes me that so much can be done through dance without a word being spoken and the six amazing guys bring their own quirkiness and personalities through, by letting their feet and the physiques do the talking.
It is a pity that, for the uninformed, some of the slower numbers may seem to require less skill than the all-out frantic paced acts.
This, it was pointed out to me, is incorrect as the slower numbers incorporate some of the most advanced and complex tap techniques that can be done. It also concerned me that, unlike the previous show which was staged at the Artscape complex, the size of the auditorium may detract the audience from being able to appreciate the class and complexity of what these dancers are doing on stage, although the rapturous audience last night did not seem to mind.
"Tap Dogs" is fun, funky, noisy, thrilling and breathtaking entertainment which will change forever your idea of what a dance show is all about and the six amazing guys who enthral with their talents will certainly let you understand that tap dancing requires a level of skill and stamina you might not often see on a musical stage .
Do yourself a favour and get to "Tap Dogs" before it leaves Cape Town.
Bugs Bunny would approve!
The strictly limited season starts in Cape Town on 22nd August at the Grand Arena, GrandWest followed by Johannesburg on 29th August at Montecasino. Tickets are available from Computicket at R220 - R365.