CULTURE

The beauty of tap dancing; free style

A broad range of free-style dance, including tap, Brazilian capoeira, traditional African moves and hip-hop, with a video montage born live during each show and the exhilarating sounds of Haitian drumming, world percussion, didjeridoo, cello, trumpet, vocals and more, are on schedule at the Seventh International Festival of Music Theater in Volos this weekend. Led by internationally acclaimed tap dancer Herbin «Tamango» Van Cayseele, the Urban Tap ensemble will arrive at the city tomorrow to give two shows of unique hybrids of free-style dance, percussive and hypnotic music and live video environments that are best described as «visual music.» This new work by Tamango, titled «Full Cycle,» comes hot on the heels of a previous performance, «Caravan,» and features some of the most dynamic performers from the global underground scene in a powerful intermingling of cultures and styles. Tamango was born on Cayenne Island in French Guiana and moved to Paris at the age of 8. At 20, he studied painting at the Paris School of Fine Arts (from which he dropped out) and dance at the American Center in Paris, and a few years later moved to New York. There he busked the streets and ferries, toured briefly with Riverdance and, in 1993, with an eye on creating his own style of tap dancing influenced by artists such as Buster Browns and Gregory Hines, he founded Urban Tap. The ensemble made its debut in 1999 with the show «The Kitchen,» receiving the New York Dance and Performance Award, BESSIE. Tamango has been described by The New York Times as «one of the great tap artists performing today, a dancer of astonishing speed and lightness whose feet produce a rippling, richly complex cannonade of tap beats.» At the two Volos shows, Tamango will be joined on stage by Italian trumpeter Fabio Morgera, Canadian cellist and bassist Rufus Cappadocio, Brazilian dancer Cabello, vocalist Vishal Vaid from New York, International Hip-Hop Competition winner Ivan Manriquez, French video artist Jean de Boysson and lighting designer Michael Mazzola. Urban Tap will perform «Full Cycle» at the Municipal Theater of Volos (1 Riga Feraiou, tel 24210.781.64) tomorrow and Sunday at 8.30 p.m.