Visually exciting Tap Factory comes to the Theatre Royal in Norwich
15:20 21 April 2014
Think Stomp meets Tap Dogs performed by a host of top dancers and you have Tap Factory, which promises an explosion of energy this Easter. John Bultitude found out more about the show.
With their chiselled chests and multi-taps per second skill, the cast of Tap Factory are at the top of their game.
Featuring some of Europe’s top stage performers, this show has wowed audiences nationwide since beginning its tour back in February.
Set in a factory, the dungaree-clad dancers each assume individual personalities as they carry out their day-to-day work.
But this is no ordinary factory as each employee has a host of skills in a show which mixes dance, hip-hop, percussion, music and comedy and will appeal to all the senses.
Vincent Pausanias, who created Tap Factory and also stars in it, said: “It is not just a tap dance show. There are all these different disciplines in it. It also appeals to all ages from children to older audience members.
“We get all sorts of people coming to see the show, wanting to meet us at stage door after the performance and talking about us on social media.”
And there are some incredible set-pieces within the show which are loved by all the performers. Vincent said: “There is this very strong percussion piece involving a 200-litre oil barrel which is really exciting and strong. There are some slightly smoother relaxing pieces too involving poetry and some comedy moments. I wanted to create something entertaining and unique. I want people to leave the show with positive energy.”
This is the latest project for Vincent who has directed and choreographed a host of different dance productions both in his native France and all over the world encompassing a host of different styles from traditional variety to modern hip-hop, but you can sense there is a deep seam of passion running through him for this particular show.
And he has assembled a host of top performers around him including Gilles Guenat, a two-time World Tap Dance Champion who first started tapping at the age of 8. Gilles has performed all over the world and can also turn his hand to tickling the funny bone after learning the craft of comedy at the International Acting School in Paris.
Another well-known performer in the show is Jérémie Champagne who has a strong performing and choreography background. He shot to fame in his native France on the Gallic version of prime-time TV hit So You Think You Can Dance?
Jérémie also choreographed the pop video for dance music DJ Bob Sinclar’s song Groupie which mixes traditional turn-of-the twentieth century tap with a pop music beat.
And this range of different performing strengths was absolutely vital, according to show creator Vincent. “There are lots of contrasts and disciplines within the show so each of the performers is multi-talented and they are really strong at lots of different things,” he explained.
So if you over-indulge at Easter, the calories are likely to just fall off watching the cast of eight burn off their energy and strain every sinew in the show, which is heading abroad after its UK run with a series of performances in Israel already confirmed.
Vincent said: “All the social networks are buzzing as much as the audience at the end of the show, and everyone seems to get something out of seeing it.”
It may be a far cry from the first chorus-lines in Ziegfeld’s Follies over 100 years ago when lines of dancing girls high-kicked and tapped their way to success in front of huge audiences. Tap Factory takes a more masculine approach to dance with a performance full of testosterone.
n Tap Factory, Norwich Theatre Royal, April 21-23, 7.30pm, 2.30pm April 22, £23.50-£5.50, 01603 630000, www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk