IndyFringe: The Rhythm Chronicles

By Wendy Carson

The Rhythm Chronicles strives to give the viewer a history lesson on the evolution of tap dancing in America. However, much of this is done through the use of a pre-recorded “conversation” between two disembodied voices. Not only is this device sluggish and often condescending, it greatly detracts from the dancing itself, which is the whole point of the show. Also, it doesn’t help that the voices speak over a dark empty stage, further making the show feel disjointed.

That said, let’s talk about the dancing. From the opening Irish step-dancer and aAfrican tribal performer, the dance numbers highlighted are wonderful. The skill, athleticism as well as the style are all excellent and the dancers are all a joy to watch. Each number builds upon the previous, leading up to a grand finale that is worth the whole ticket price alone.

Hopefully, Circle City Tap Company will find a way to rework this show with a better narrative tool so it can be the fully realized gem that the show should be.

And a note for hoofers of any skill: all in the audience are invited down to the stage at the end to join in the Shim-Sham Shimmy.

Performances are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26-28, on the Phoenix Theatre main stage. Info and tickets at indyfringefestival.com.

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One thought on “IndyFringe: The Rhythm Chronicles

  1. There were 3 voices, not 2. Narrative is while the stage is lit and no dancers. Not once are dancers on stage with narrative. What show were you watching?? I found the narrative extremely informative, as did the other professional dancers and teachers who we saw compliment Circle City Tap, citing they learned things they did not know. My family and I did not find the show “sluggish” nor “condescending”. Nor did anyone I asked after reading this review of yours. The Owner of Circle City Tap was very friendly and gracious. Personally, I would love to see them perform again. If you are going to give a review of a performance, strive to pay absolute attention so as not to misinform theater goers.

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