Urban Tap | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Urban Tap 

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Headed by tap dancer Tamango, formerly Herbin Van Cayseele, this troupe of nine dancers and musicians from around the globe seems to feature the same degree of talent--and ego--as the artist formerly formerly known as Prince. Decked out in a pair of wide-legged furry pants in the evening-length Caravane, Tamango first appears shirtless in a swallow-tailed coat, then without the coat but wearing an African mask that gives him the appearance of an icon or god; video projections on his face and body likewise send him into an otherworldly place. Also dancing are Cabello (a Brazilian performer of the martial-arts form capoeira), Haitian dancer Sheila Anzier, and Japanese freestyle and hip-hop artist Eijo. The band--made up of percussionists, a cellist, a trumpeter, and occasionally Tamango on the didgeridoo--plays free jazz inflected by world music. Judging by a brief video I watched, the dance performances are proficient, partly improvised, episodic, and oriented toward impressing us with feats of physical strength and daring or the dancers' spirituality. Museum of Contemporary Art, theater, 220 E. Chicago, 312-397-4010. Through October 21: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 4 PM. $22 ($17 for MCA members). Note: Tamango will offer a master class for experienced percussionists and dancers in all styles Saturday at 2 PM; $15, $10 with a Caravane ticket.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Mehosh Dziadzica.

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