Using the idiom of tap as the foundational lexicon and agent of artistic expression, Yonally and contributing choreographer Rich Ashworth bring a tapestry of concert dance constructs to bear on the overall choreographic design of the work. Meticulous attention to port de bras, spatial design, breath, and full-torso movement only enhance the complex rhythmic design and virtuosic work of the tapping feet. The impressive result is a grafting of tap dance and circus arts onto a larger field of dance theatre, enhancing the creative reach of both, but especially of tap dance, into the arena of modern dance and ballet without losing the distinctive qualities that make each genre unique.

An audible “Oh my God!” escaped from the audience as Isaac Stauffer and Jessica Williams astounded in their breathtaking acrobatic duet that combined stunning athleticism with balletic lyricism in a choreographed sequence that transcended circus tricks and veered into sheer artistry.

The historic Athenaeum is especially well-suited to the presentational emphasis of “Circo Tap” and its turn-of-the-century traveling circus motif.  This one-night-only performance is a keeper. While the Athenaeum was packed Saturday night, more Chicago audiences deserve to see this delightful production.

-Lynn Shapiro, SeeChicagoDance
Read the full article HERE

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Chicago Tap Theater, founded in 2002 by dancer-choreographer Mark Yonally, can spin a story (some original, others based on the tales of Edgar Allen Poe or comic book heroes) in a way few other dance or theater companies can match. Innovative, richly musical and character-driven, the rhythmic articulation of the ensemble’s wonderfully varied percussive footwork becomes a full-fledged language of its own – both emotional and descriptive. And the storytelling is sophisticated, clever and ingenious.

Dedicated to preserving the quintessentially American dance form of tap by “taking it to the next level,” the company’s added attraction is that it performs exclusively with live music provided by some of Chicago’s most gifted musicians. Its pieces, dubbed “tap operas” by Yonally, tour both nationally and internationally.

-Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times
Read the full article HERE

Read an interview Mark had with Jen Kraakevik of Gapers Block HERE
Click HERE to view our TV appearance on WCIU
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Photos by Josh Hawkins