Juba! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Juba! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance 

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Talk about masters! Each evening in the Chicago Human Rhythm Project's final weekend features a different tapper with decades of dancing under his belt. Harold Cromer, who performs Friday, was born in the early 20s. He started dancing when he was nine, winning contests at clubs where the prizes were bags of groceries, and went on to sing and dance on Broadway and on TV. Skip Cunningham, who performs Saturday, is another old-time hoofer and singer. But Jimmy Slyde, who's on the bill Sunday, is a different breed: a rhythm tapper. "You have to count; you have to know meters and bars. It's something you figure out--mathematics, calculations," he told one interviewer, adding "It doesn't always add up, and I like that." His tapping is very cool, very subtle, often in counterpoint with the music and filled with restless, intelligent variation. Others on these programs include Jason Samuels Smith, Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards, and Dianne Walker. a Fri-Sat 8/3-8/4, 8 PM, Sun 8/5, 3 PM, Northwestern University, Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston, 847-491-7282, $25-$30, $20 kids under 12. --Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Jimmy Slyde.

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