RAW Dance Company's Untapped @ QPAC Review

  • Written by 
  • Friday, 21 April 2017 16:27
Published in Arts News  
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Created in Brisbane and presented around the world, RAW’s 'Untapped' has garnered critical acclaim from New York to Adelaide, Singapore and Amsterdam... And it is easy to see why.

This show commands attention not just because of its clever choreography or thumping score (both of which are first class) but because it delivers 60 minutes of light relief in a world filled with angst and anger. 'Untapped' is unashamedly focused on one thing – entertaining the audience – and on this level it succeeds without question.

But there’s more, much more to this production than appeasing the customer. At its heart, 'Untapped' is pure, unadulterated fun, and the cast refreshingly unpretentious. Sure, there’s the athleticism, the fancy footwork, the sexy bodies and the smooth moves – but there’s also a beatboxer, a drummer, and a lot of laugh-out-loud humour that differentiates this crew of stompers from their more serious peers.

'Untapped' doesn’t aspire to be high-art and this is evident when the crew arrive on stage – tap dancing in flippers. Yep – flippers as in ocean footwear. Here, you won’t be challenged to decipher an underlying message or to follow a complex storyline. This is about jumping around on stage – having fun and showing off your very best moves. Something this crew of expert dancers does with ease.

Untapped NathanielMason
Image © Nathaniel Mason

Even when the five dancers (three guys and two girls) are performing solo routines – it is underpinned with self-deprecating humour – delivered as banter between the dancers, the audience and the two musical forces that drive the show – Musical Director and drummer Brendan Ramnath and resident beatbox star, Genesis Cerezo whose vocal gymnastics are simply jaw-dropping.

Since its debut in 2007, 'Untapped' has been thrilling audiences around the world with its eclectic mix of dance styles coupled with an equally diverse score that covers flamenco, hip hop, tap, salsa, funk and jazz. And while tap and flamenco may be old art forms, the cast give both a contemporary edge appearing on stage dressed in shorts, flannelette shirts (tied at the waist), singlets, and bustier tops reflecting the urban direction and street cred of the group.

The choreography (jointly credited to Andrew Fee and Jack Chambers) is slick, imaginative and executed flawlessly by the dancers – who make it look completely effortless, despite the moves requiring skill, precision and concentration. While Kieran Heilbronn, Martin Kay and Brianna Taylor are 'Untapped' veterans, Katie Struik and Owain Kennair are new to the show – not that you’d know. Collectively, they work seamlessly together and there is little doubt that this unabashed self-assurance is one of the reasons 'Untapped' has found success around the world. Go see it and smile.

Click here for social photos.

'Untapped' plays Queensland Performing Arts Centre 19-29 April.

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