Fall Out

Founded by Avalon Rathgeb, Fall Out is tap-dancing like you’ve never seen before. A spectacular, breath-taking show. Not top hat and tails (though there may be bow-ties), nor cane in hand but with all the flair and charm of Fred Astaire transformed into jazz from Oscar Peterson’s Tin,Tin Deo to Kanye West’s Blame Game performed to a live band on stage.

The show goes out on a high, and so will you.

Expect nothing so predictable as all of the cast in one line-up all the time. Over ten sets, the six dancers move around on three wooden boards, varying solos, duets, threesomes or what have you. There are costume changes too, mainly in grey and black with grey tap shoes, and occasionally bare feet.

Buddy Riches of the dance floor, the musicality and inventiveness of the dancers is staggering as they replicate the exact rhythm of the band, or against it, engage in call and response or do their own thing. Technically difficult steps are made to look easy. One minute graceful, next exploding with raw energy, it’s apparent that Avalon, their choreographer and co-performer, has imparted the group with the same vitality she learnt from her Oz tutor, the famed tap-dancer, Grant Swift.

From cool slides to floor scrapes, high kicks, hand claps, slow, lazy beats or energetic, lightning fast rallies to cries of ‘Yeah’ from other dancers, the show has the feel of street dance. But there’s also the smoky atmosphere of a nightclub provided by the mellow voice of Tara Ivory. True to jazz, each musician, drums, guitar and keyboard has a spot-lighted solo while the dancers stand still in respect.

Memorably, there is an inventive three-person dance to Jenia Lubich’s Russian Gin, Tara Ivory’s lovely voice excels in Jamie Woon’s Shoulda and Benjamin Clementine’s Condolence where the dancer, after the music stops, cleverly continues with trailing footsteps. Danced in bare feet as well as shoes, watch out for the dancers’ casually back-kicking each other’s heels in Alexi Murdoch’s Orange Sky. A keyboard solo in piano mode in Kanye West’s Blame Game proves sometimes less is more with a lovely female and male duet. But, of course, the finale is all cast. The show goes out on a high, and so will you.

Reviews by Stephanie Green

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The Blurb

Led by a live musical force, Fall Out takes an experimental ride attempting to understand a journey of falling out of love. In particular, these fervent dancers find ways to uncover their passion, love and raw relationship with tap dance. Using a sparse set of wooden boards to conceal love's refusal to be defined, Fall Out pushes the boundaries of strength and intensity through the bare sounds of music and dance, articulated through complex rhythms and a spectacularly technical performance. So we ask you, how did it feel, when you fell out of love?