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Stomping on steroids

by Lenise Willis

Dancing may not be an actual drug, but it can be just as uplifting and infectious, and certainly give you a great dose of good endorphins. High Point Theatre hopes to pump its audience full of the positive hormone when it presents a lively dance group that mixes music, dance and theatre.

The troupe, Rhythmic Circus, is made up of three men and one woman rapidly tap dancing to a seven-piece big, brass-style band, in addition to a single vocal percussionist. Altogether the group performs 90 minutes of an eclectic mix of genres—tap dancing to rock, blues and soul.

“This is ultra- high energy, like ‘Stomp’ on steroids,” said David Briggs, director of High Point Theatre. “The audience will be treated to some great tap dancing, singing, a hot, hot band and some great beat boxing and improv. This is one of the best shows I will have ever presented; take that to the bank!” Rhythmic Circus will present Feet Don’t Fail Me Now! next Saturday, April 2, at 8 p.m., a scheduled stop on the group’s 2015-2016 North American tour. Their performances include integrated choreography, in which the dancers, decked out in colorful marching band attire, join the musicians in an intense, fast-paced number that features a tuba solo, original vocal lines and tap breakdowns.

The group got its start in a small theatre in northeast Minneapolis, and has since grown into an international sensation with a worldwide tour stopping in more than 90 cities. They’ve gained numerous rave reviews and accolades, including two Sage Awards for Outstanding Ensemble and Performance, the “Spirit of the Fringe” Award, two Upper Midwest Emmys, and were also named “Best Dance Performance” by the City Pages.

Rhythmic Circus includes dancers Nick Bowman, Galen Higgins, Ricci Milan and Kaleena Miller, and musicians Alex Rossi (guitarist), Aaron “Heatbox” Heaton (vocal percussionist), Cornell Blanchard (keys player), Patrick Nelson (drummer), Dan Ristrom (bassist), Peter Vircks (saxophonist ) and Aaron Wiener (trumpeter). The troupe is run by the artistic director Ricci Milan and executive director Nick Bowman, Rhythmic Circus has the mission of spreading positivity, and providing inspirational experiences for all ages and cultures, which makes it a good fit for High Point Theatre’s versatile audience, including families. “We all need a spark and sometimes a push,” Briggs said. “Feet will lift you up, make you smile, and may even leave you a little exhausted.” !

WANNA go?

Feet Don’t Fail Me Now! performs at the High Point Theatre, 220 E. Commerce Ave., High Point, for one day only Saturday, April 2, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35-$40, available at the box office by calling (336) 887-3001 and online at highpointtheatre.com.

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