Fringe review: The Traveling Tap Dance Super Show

By John Lyle Belden

TapMan Productions of Chicago and Circle City Tap Company of Indianapolis present “The Traveling Tap Dance Super Show” at the Firefighter’s Union Hall. Since like me, many had seen TapMan perform at a previous IndyFringe, I must note that TapMan himself is not part of this show. In fact, there are no men at all.

A cast of nine women, two from TapMan, present a series of tap performances. The music is mainly jazzy, including a version of the pop hit “Crazy in Love” that sounds like it was done by a 1920s ensemble. We open with darkness, then lights only on the feet, letting the rhythm and sound carry us without visual distraction. Two other numbers feature the TapMan dancers with one in a balletic modern dance style (in slippers) while the other taps with amazing virtuosity, providing both contrast and harmony. While most have original choreography, the last couple of dances are historic pieces passed down from past generations.

The show ends with the traditional “Shim Sham Shimmy,” during which anyone with a desire at all to hoof it is invited to join the cast on stage.

I personally preferred the past year’s show, with its narrative running through the dances. But for those who like percussive dance, dance in general or shows like “Stomp,” this show could indeed be super.

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