Chicago Human Rhythm Project | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Chicago Human Rhythm Project 

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Tap dancers go rock star in the second of two "Global Rhythms" programs produced by the Chicago Human Rhythm Project. Tokyo's Stripes performed in Takeshi Kitano's 2003 film The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi, where they played "jiving peasants" (thank you Time Asia) in hip-hop-inflected tap routines. Their show Funk-a-Step is something like Stomp (at one point they perform with flicked Bics) but more like the Australian Tap Dogs--except the Stripes are urban hipsters in dreads and thick glasses and sneaker-style shoes instead of macho men in flannel shirts pretending to be construction workers. Using props like canes, garbage cans, kitchen pans, and cheese graters, they beat on their own bodies, the floor, and the occasional drum to produce a visually appealing, often comic percussive symphony. Also on the program is the Brazilian group Vata Tap, which appeared last weekend at the Museum of Contemporary Art on the first "Global Rhythms" program. Led by Valeria Pinheiro, the company of 12 dancers and three musicians performs Bagaceira--The Orixas, a piece that combines Brazil's African heritage and traditional tap dancing with drumming. The performers reportedly dance on the drums and fly through the air. What could be more rock star than that? Fri-Sat 11/25-11/26, 8 PM, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph, 312-334-7777, $25-$35.

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