posted January 9, 2008

IDT Dance to Perform Jan. 25-26

 IDT, Michigan's only professional tap and jazz company, will present its annual concert at Hope College on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25 and 26, at 8 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland.

IDT, formerly InSync Dance Theatre, is an affiliate of the department of dance at Hope. The company is led by artistic directors Rosanne Barton-DeVries and Ray Tadio of the Hope dance faculty. The performance will feature a variety of works created by Barton-DeVries, Tadio and other artists.

One of the pieces being premiered, "Bodytalk," was created especially for IDT by Japanese choreographer Hiroko Maeda. "Bodytalk" was created as a testament of the power of movement expression. After a major career-threatening injury, Maeda reaffirmed her love for dance by choreographing the piece. The work was made possible through grants from the college's Patrons for the Arts and Cultural Affairs.

One of Tadio's pieces, "Skeehduhdup," is a jazz work inspired by the high-rolling image of Las Vegas. With its use of props depicting a gambling venue, the first section of the piece goes over the top in its presentation of male and female stereotypes, while the second section is purely fun jazz dancing.

Tadio's second piece, "Kiss," set to the music of Prince, displays moves and partnering from a duet who are in the pursuit of a simple kiss.

A solo set by guest artist Sharon Wong from New York City's AileySchool will also be performed. "Attack from Within," set on IDT dancer Robyn Anderson, speaks not only of the physical effects of war, but of the inner pain and torment it brings to its victims.

The company will also perform three pieces by Barton-DeVries.

Her "Zion's Road Signs" presents orchestrated tap work that layers the dynamics of tap dance with the imagery of Greek iconography. The dancers will carry complex rhythmic phrases even as they tell the story of choosing a journey that leads into light. The work was presented in July 2007 at the Orthodox Academy of Crete - Greece. The second movement features a solo by Rosanne Barton-DeVries.

Barton-DeVries's next piece, "Jingles," celebrates the body as percussion instrument. The a cappella hand-slapping, foot-tapping, cheek-popping, back-drumming piece invites audience and performer alike to engage the simple joy of creating rhythm. The work is unique in the company repertoire as dancers accompany their tap dance with song.

Her third piece, the audience favorite "Tuxedo Junction," which is set to the traditional jazz-standard, shows classical tap work that captures the heat of rhythm tap and the cool of the club scene.

Together, Barton-DeVries and former Hope student Peter Hammer will premiere their work "Opa," which features some of the fastest tapping in the Midwest. Hammer will also premiere his solo "They," which will stretch the imagination and ask why "what they say" is accepted as real and true.

Finally, the audience will be invited to join in the "Shim Sham" at the conclusion of the concert. The "Shim Sham" is the national anthem of tap dance. Tap concerts around the world conclude with the piece, which dates from the 1920s.

Tickets are $7 for regular admission and $5 for children and senior citizens, and are on sale at the ticket office in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse. The office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890. If available, tickets will also be at the Knickerbocker during the two performance evenings.

The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets. The Knickerbocker Theatre is in downtown Holland at 86 E. Eighth St