Dorrance Dance: An Appeal to the roots and fruition of America

By Nancy Ibarra Medrano

This past Thursday night was filled with taps and thoughtfulness that clenched the attention of the widely receptive audience. The three performances gave each member of the audience a complete understanding of what the company does. The tribute to its ties with American history, expressionism for those most deserving, and newfound positioning in performative arts.

It was close to a full house occupied by many rolling in because of the buzz of the group about to fill Tryon theatre. The production was introduced firstly as one open to the responses of its viewers. This was notable for me and I’m sure it set new-comers at ease. The first performance was a tribute to the originality of tap dance and its exuberant nature. The movement was constant and the dancers exclaimed their joy with each tap to the jazz, swing rendition. The story line was comical and it featured the different styles and energies mixed throughout the tap-dance world. It was evident for me that some dancers were trained with a holistic dance knowledge approach to dances. Meaning, some were more able to transition from the fluid and precise deliberate themes throughout all three of the performances.

The second performance features Dorrance herself. This piece featured her skills in not only choreography, but in music production as well. However, it’s not easy to say that I truly felt the message was too blatant and the performance was trying to invoke a deeper emotion than necessary. The timing was off for me, especially because of the performances before and after. The intermission was relieving, but the connexity would have meant all the more to me.

The third performance was the most expressive of the company and the art of tap dancing. It was evident that the troupe operated in a collective, but the support was never more obvious than in the final minutes of myelination. The thing that I appreciated most is that each dancer was allotted a time for their solo work of art I also rather enjoyed the way light was used to heighten our senses as viewers. The instruments’ visibility raised my appreciation for the production, but that just might be my bias. Either way, the innovative presentation and delivery along with the abstract ebb and flow of the dancers, was telling of the endless scope of tap dancing’s future.

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