Jack Chambers is the co-producer and choreographer of the show, and he discusses 'Untapped', which has been wowing audiences around the globe for more than a decade.
For those who haven’t experienced a RAW Company production, 'Untapped' is unlike anything else you’re likely to see – it’s quirky, left of centre, combines a bunch of unrelated musical genres with high energy dance moves, has a driving score and features a ridiculously talented beatbox star called Genesis on the mic. Add to that a solid dose of Aussie humour and you’ve got the picture.
Since its debut in 2006, 'Untapped' has evolved, with the cast and production changing regularly.
“As a choreographer you need to adapt the work to suit the style of your dancers and to make the most of their particular talents,” Jack says, explaining the latest production which features two new dancers – Katie Struik and Owain Kennair – and the return of 'Untapped' veterans Kieran Heilbronn, Brianna Taylor and Martin Kay.
When asked about the show's ongoing success, Jack ponders the question momentarily. “I think what makes the show unique and contributes to its longevity is the Aussie humour,” he says. “It’s irreverent, it’s fun and it’s obvious to the audience that everyone on stage is giving it everything they’ve got. The thong slapping (or flip flop tapping) routine works with audiences around the world because it’s silly and it’s unexpected.”
“But the real driver in the show is the music. Untapped focuses on rhythm and while it samples a variety of dance styles – it’s really about rhythm, and even more importantly, about musicality. Each of the dancers has their own style and individual personality, but once we get on stage we work as a team.”
The action on stage is aided and abetted by the vocal gymnastics of resident beatboxer Genesis who is the latest to have picked up the mic for RAW.
“When we first started out we worked with Tom Thum – who’s gone on to become an international star in his own right – then we had Doctor Rhythm, and now we’ve got Genesis and he’s great,” Jack says.
Jack re-joined the 2016 'Untapped' cast in New York with a hugely successful three week season at the New Victory Theatre on 42nd Street, where the show won critical acclaim – including rave reviews in the New York Times. This was followed by another three week season – albeit on the other side of the globe – at the Adelaide Fringe Festival where the company won Best Dance Act 2016.
Like most successful performers, Jack started learning his craft at an early age and was enrolled in dance lessons when he was just three years old. By age 15 he was working with the all-male tap group Raw Metal, which morphed into the family owned business RAW Company. Jack is now back in Queensland after touring the nation as Cosmo Brown in ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ and is looking forward to continuing his work as Artistic Director with RAW Company, bringing his skills and expertise to the next generation of dancers as a choreographer, teacher and mentor.
'Untapped' Queensland Tour Dates17 March – SunPac Theatre
18 March – Events Centre Caloundra
22 March – Pilbeam Theatre
24-25 March – Cairns Centre of Contemporary Arts
28 March – Proserpine Entertainment Centre
29 March – Capella Cultural Centre
30 March – Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre
31 March – Incandescent Dance
1 April – Redland Performing Arts Centre
3 April – Logan Entertainment Centre
5 April – Brolga Theatre
7-8 April – Arts Centre Gold Coast
10 April – Ipswich Civic Centre
13 April – Mount Isa Entertainment and Tourism Venues
19-29 April – Queensland Performing Arts Centre