Review: Tap Dogs is the dance show even skeptics will love

Tap Dogs performance - BritMumsTap is one a version of dance everybody loves. What child hasn’t at one point heard the click of their feet on a hard floor and beat out a rhythm? Our images of tap performances usually tend toward the classic — the clickety-clack of Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor in Singin’ in the Rain or the deftness of Gregory Hines in White Nights

Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs, currently touring and playing at The Peacock in London, is a whole new way to enjoy tap. It’s muscular, witty, industrial and, as we discovered, exciting and riveting for kids, teens…and even tap skeptics.

Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs

Through 10 November 2018

The Peacock TheatrePortugal StreetHolbornWC2A 2HT

 

We took along a couple of 14-year-olds. Here’s what they had to say:

 

A teen review of ‘Tap Dogs’

‘Tap Dogs was really enjoyable and like nothing I had ever seen before. It wasn’t just the classical tap dancing all in unison as most would expect. It incorporated lots of different equipment. I particularly liked the fact that it had a story to it, which meant it was also really funny and engaging. There were six “dogs” and most of the story played on the idea of top dog and the young puppy, which we were always reminded of throughout the production.

We didn’t want to stop watching!

‘It was amazing how the dancers incorporated the different equipment into the routines: for example they danced with basketballs, water, sparks… There was even a part where one of the dancers was dancing upside-down. It was a straight 80-minute sitting with no intermission which, in my opinion, was a perfect amount of time. I didn’t ever feel I needed a break, and with everything going on, we were always engaged. We didn’t want to stop watching!

Dein Perry's Tap Dogs with set - review on BritMums‘The dancing was absolutely fantastic. I haven’t seen any other shows like it. I thought it was so incredible. As well as the six men, there were also two woman who were playing percussion, who were also incredibly talented. At no one point throughout the whole production were they out of sync. Even with the addition of props, they still kept it together. All of the dancers were constantly moving and the set did not stay the same for more than 10 minutes at a time. I think that is what made it so fascinating alongside their incredible talent.

‘It was such a new and amazing experience and I would definitely recommend this to everyone to go watch but I think it would mostly be suitable for anyone aged 10 and above. It is perfect to bring your children to as they will definitely not get bored.’

 

Dein Perry's tap dogs on BritMums

What a dad says

‘I was skeptical…80 minutes of tap dancing with no break. I wasn’t sure it appealed. 

‘But the 80 minutes flew by as we were all mesmerised by the 6 guys and 2 girls (percussion only) and their wide range of incredibly well choreographed pieces. There is a theme of them being a pack of street dogs with a definite top dog. There were some very funny moments – the dog peeing stunt was very clever – and some serious moments as the puppy was taught their steps.

‘The troupe obviously enjoyed what they were doing and there was a real chemistry between them, which made their synchronisation appear flawless. The basketball piece defied physics almost and transfixed a now expectant audience. From tapping out melodies – yes tap shoes can sing! – to using angle grinders to produce spectacular indoor firework effects, the show just kept on giving all the way to the end, when there was water splashing and an exquisite girder dance.

‘One surprise in particular was that while a couple of the dogs were as lithe and athletic as you would expect, the others looked pretty normal. It made me wonder if I could take it up myself!

‘Each new set had us all wondering how the previous one could be bettered. We were never disappointed and the girls were effusive afterwards. Having started in the Australian outback in 1994, this show has certainly matured and is well deserving of the accolades it has received to date. On the night everyone in the theatre gave it ours — with a standing ovation!’

Tap Dogs

Through 10 November 2018

The Peacock TheatrePortugal StreetHolbornWC2A 2HT

 

 

 

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About Jennifer Howze

Jennifer Howze is the Creative Director and co-founder of BritMums. She blogs about family travel at Jenography.net, tweets at @JHowze and Instagrams at @JHowze. Previously, she wrote the Alpha Mummy blog at The Times and as a journalist has contributed to The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure, Budget Travel, CNN.com, Allure, SELF and Premiere, among others. She won The Maggie Award from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America for a health article in Seventeen magazine.

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