Last we checked in with Michelle Dorrance (DT, May 2012), she had been named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow, an honor that came with a no-strings-attached $625,000 grant. Since then, tap dance’s leading lady has been busy! Last night, she premiered her most recent endeavor ETM: Double Down, an evening-length show created in collaboration with dancer and percussionist Nicholas Van Young.
This wasn’t your average tap show. The performers danced on specialized platforms created by Van Young that not only amplified their taps, but also responded with a variety of synthesized sounds. Each movement sparked a different auditory response which, when contextualized in Dorrance’s brilliant choreography, made for an extremely synchronous experience as an audience member, both visually and audibly. It was a sensory sensation.
Nicholas Van Young
Dorrance’s choreography and use of technology really launched tap dance into the next millennium. Along with the musical platforms, the performance contained electronic looping, body percussion, drums, cello, chains, a vocal performance by Aaron Marcellus and the awesome physical feats of B-girl Ephrat Asherie.
Perhaps most impressive, though, was Michelle Dorrance herself. The woman sure can tap! From lightning-speed improvisational solos to the soft pulse of a simple toe to floor, she really pulled me into her performance.
Dorrance Dance will be at The Joyce Theater in NYC through Sunday.
(L-R) Demi Remick, Karida Griffith, Gregory Richardson, Warren Craft, Caleb Teicher and Michelle Dorrance
Photos by Christopher Duggan, courtesy of Dorrance Dance