Theatre Preview: Tap Factory @ New Oxford Theatre
by Polly Hember
Get ready for the international theatrical sensation to dance into Oxford in September, featuring urban tap dance, percussion, comedy, acrobatics and more. The live music and choreography is crafted from the most ordinary of objects to create the most innovative and enjoyable results: on stage the show features 4 pairs of tap shoes, 12 oil barrels, 1 stepladder, 4 trash bins, 1 bucket, 1 toolbox, 1 broom, 12 cans, 4 wood mallets and eight handsome men in a unique blend of dance, percussion, comedy and cirque style acrobatics (and a partridge in a pear tree… just kidding).
Created by choreographer and artistic director Vincent Pausanias, this show showcases the magic of rhythm at the highest technical level. He has combines urban percussion, acrobatics, hip hop and comedy within a tap
dance framework, placing them in a contemporary urban setting to create an amazing dance spectacular and cirque experience.
Pausanias catches up with the New Oxford Theatre before the incredible show comes to Oxford on September 17.
Do you have a favourite routine or scene in Tap Factory and why?
It’s difficult to choose a scene as there are so many different kind of moments in the show. What is great is the contrast between scenes -to go from the strong energy of the urban percussion to the poetry and softness of an African flute or a double bass made with a broom and a rope, or to jump from a fast and strong tap routine to an amazing aerial acrobatics performance. Without forgetting of course the comedy scenes….
How would you sum up Tap Factory without giving too much away?
A new worker arrives in a factory for his first day of work and meets the other workers. We then see the evolution of the relationships between all the characters during all the show, always shown with comedy and a little bit of self-mockery.
Tell us a little bit about the characters we’ll see in the show
There are different kind of characters : The newbie, a young amazing tap dancer-acrobat; the circus performer mechanic; the tap workers; the foreman master of rhythm; and of course the sweeper, the only one who actually talks but in a native African language that no-one on stage or in the audience understands which brings a lot of comedy and fun.
What was your inspiration in creating Tap Factory?
My first inspiration is Charlie Chaplin and especially The Modern Times. What could be a better place than a factory to mix together all these different artistic disciplines; Music, tap dance, hip hop, circus, acrobatics and comedy? All the artists are really strong in their own specialities but are also multi-talented. This is an amazing and international cast of great performers.
What are you most looking forward to about the tour?
My first goal with that show is to see everyone going out of the theatres with a huge smile on their faces and the rhythm pulsing in their bodies. Tap Factory has been created to be pure entertainment - rhythm and comedy are universal languages. We have been touring all over the world for 4 years now and the audiences - from 4 to 90 years old - have always reacted brilliantly. We are really looking forward to coming back to UK where we always have so much fun performing and such a great interaction with the audiences.
What can audiences expect to take away with them from the show?
I would say, a huge amount of positive energy! And having had a great night out.
Do you have any pre or post-show routines?
Yes there is a little preshow but I don’t want to spoil the surprise!
When September 17
Where New Oxford Theatre
Executive Producer Patrice Marques
Presnted in the UK Tap Factory Productions and TBO Productions
Creation & direction Vincent Pausanias
Lighting design François Delahaye
Sound design Olivier Hamon
Choreography Vincent Pausanias with Gilles Guenat and Jérémie Champagne
Additional Choreography Fabrice Martin
Cast Jérémie Champagne, Dharmesh Patel, Konan Kouassi, Karim Torqui, Lee Meadows, Xavier Bouyer, Jorffy
Mayomba, Ryan Campbell-Birch, Adam Brant
Tickets can be purchased from the New Theatre box office on George Street, by ringing 0844 871 3020 or by visiting their website at www.atgtickets.com/oxford
Check out our gallery to see some of the incredible choreography to come!