Home-grown hoofers from the Minneapolis arts scene, Rhythmic Circus joins us at the Vilar Performing Arts Center with FEET DON’T FAIL ME NOW!, a dynamic tap and music performance that mixes hard-hitting percussive dance and a live rock band and guarantees to enthrall audiences of all ages with its medley of positivity and infectious rhythm.
Three guys and a gal combine rapid-fire tap talent with the funky styling and original lyrics of a seven-piece band with a big, brass sound. Add vocal percussionist Aaron “Heatbox” Heaton, the human beatbox, and it’s easy to see why this show earned a 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Spirit of the Fringe Award.
From an a cappella singing and tap number to a percussive chair routine (think STOMP) to the stripped down “Dream Song,” an acoustic number inspired by a front porch jam session back home in Minneapolis, FEET DON’T FAIL ME NOW! is a genre- hopping hour-and-a-half of rock, blues and soul. Brilliant staging and integrated choreography is most evident in “Circus,” a crowd-pleaser in which the dancers, decked out in colorful marching band attire, join the musicians in an intense, fast- paced number that features a tuba solo, original vocal lines and tap breakdowns.
"We created FEET DON’T FAIL ME NOW! out of the desire to get people back in touch with the spirit of celebration. The show helps remind our audiences that there is always a reason to get up, let go and dance," said co-creator Nick Bowman. "The name of our show comes from an old New Orleans chant dating back to the early 1900’s - a time when the city was rich with culture and spirit, they literally had parades every Sunday just to celebrate their lives and community. Rhythmic Circus has adopted the chant as more of a rallying cry. We have been ecstatic to see it strike a chord with people everywhere from our home town to Off-Broadway and all the way across the globe.”
Although the company’s official inception was in 2007, the troupe’s core members have been collectively choreographing and performing together since 2000. No stranger to the spotlight, they were were recently featured in “Minnesota Original,” a weekly art series on Twin Cities Public Television, collaborated with Vocal Essence in Witness: A Tribute to Duke Ellington at the Ordway Performing Arts Center and appeared in the Crash Bang Boom!Festival at the Minnesota Orchestra Hall.
FEET DON’T FAIL ME NOW! premiered in August 2008 at the Ritz Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and went on to tour both nationally and internationally, including a recent six-week tour throughout China and 25 show run in New York City at the New Victory Theatre. The ensemble was awarded in two categories of the Minnesota SAGE Awards for Outstanding Performance and Outstanding Ensemble and was also named the “Best Dance Performance” by the Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages.
Under the Artistic Direction of Ricci Milan and Executive Direction of Nick Bowman, Rhythmic Circus includes dancers Nick Bowman, Galen Higgins, Ricci Milan and Kaleena Miller. The musicians of Rhythmic Circus include guitarist Alex Rossi, beatboxer Aaron Heaton, keys player Cornell Blanchard, drummer Patrick Nelson, bassist Dan Ristrom, saxophonist Peter Vircks and trumpeter Aaron Wiener.
“A family-friendly tap extravaganza!” - NEW YORK POST
“Spectacular, joyous and inspirational, Feet Don’t fail Me Now! will have you dancing all the way home!” - THE BIG ISSUE
“An exuberant, toe-tapping, hand-clapping hour-and-a-half of music and dance!” - THEATERMANIA