Improvisation, world cultures drive Urban Tap

Urban Tap will present "Full Cycle" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 9 p.m. Friday at Liberty Hall, 642 Mass.

"Full Cycle" represents an mixture of cultures from around the world. The performance embodies the idea of "coming full circle" by using elements of music and dance that the troupe has collected from around the world.

"Full Cycle" is an improvised piece that differs each time it is performed. However, it still maintains the basic theme of connecting music, dance, movement, energy, improvisation and rhythm.

Urban Tap, founded and produced by Tamango, is a groundbreaking fusion of world cultures bringing together dancers, musicians and singers from around the globe. This pioneering group mixes cultures and styles, ranging from Indian vocalizing to Brazilian capoeira, from freestyle jazz and tap to hip-hop from the street culture. The show utilizes a disc jockey and live video feed.

Born in Cayenne, French Guiana, Tamango moved to Paris at age 8 and began a formal education in art. He started tap dancing in his early 20s at the American Center in Paris and the renowned Beaux Arts de Paris, which he left to join the "university of the streets" before moving to New York City.

He created Urban Tap in 1993, forming a group of like-minded, freestyle performers who shared a unique vision and deep passion for rhythm at the heart of dance and music. Tamango's creation made its theatrical debut at The Kitchen in New York City in 1999. The show earned Tamango a New York Dance and Performance Award, also known as a Bessie Award.

Since 1997, Tamango and his unique dance group have been performing internationally as part of "Cool Heat Urban Beat," which he choreographed and codirected with Rennie Harris. In addition to his work with Urban Tap, Tamango has shared the stage with dance legends Jimmy Slyde, Gregory Hines, Chuck Green, Buster Brown and Lon Chaney, and was a guest artist in the original production of "Riverdance." He has collaborated with Japanese performance artist Min Tanaka, French choreographer Philippe Decoufl�, jazz bassist Christian McBride and jazz pianist Barry Harris, among many others.

In May 1999, he premiered his artwork at 17 Creations in the Chelsea district of New York City. Upcoming exhibitions are planned in New York, Paris and Portland, Maine.

The show runs 90 minutes with no intermission.


Special to the Journal-World

Urban Tap is a groundbreaking fusion of world cultures bringing together dancers, musicians and singers from around the globe.

While in Lawrence, Urban Tap will participate in the following residency activities:

� Wednesday: Jam session with Kansas University students and local artists, 8 p.m., Ninth and Massachusetts streets.

� Friday: School-only performance for grades 10-12, 1 p.m., Liberty Hall, with a technology tour after the performance.

� Thursday-Friday: Artist talk-backs after the public performances, Liberty Hall.

Tickets for the performance at the Lied Center range from $20 to $27. Tickets are available at the Lied Center Box Office, 864-ARTS; Murphy Hall Box Office, 864-3982; Student Union Activities Box Office in the Kansas Union, 864-SHOW; TicketMaster outlets, (785) 234-4545 and (816) 931-3330; and online at TICKETS.COM and


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