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"The New York Times" July 13, 2002
Jack Anderson

 

DANCE REVIEW; Sometimes Those Tapping Feet Are Hands

Tap is a dance language known around the world. That message clattered forth joyfully in ''Tap Internationals,'' the program presented on Tuesday night at the Duke on 42nd Street as an attraction of the New York City Tap Festival.

Two Russian dancers offered unusual solos. Many acrobats can turn upside down and balance on their hands. But when Konstantin Nevretdinov, an acrobatic dancer, turned upside down, he wore tap shoes on his hands and tapped nimbly away in them. In his own solo, the formally attired Vladimir Kirsanov raised a baton like an orchestral conductor, and as his feet tapped to recorded music of Bach, he gesticulated like a flamboyant maestro.

Sebastian Weber of Germany made his entire body a musical instrument, combining tap steps with claps, snaps, grunts and hums.

Alexander Ivashkevich, a lanky Estonian dancer, looked easy-going. But his feet sped through brilliant allegros.

Two performers from Israel, Sharon Lavi, a dancer, and Yaron Engler, a drummer, were also pleasantly informal in manner. As drum rhythms were followed by tap rhythms and tap rhythms received percussion replies, this pair seemed like old friends trading banter.

Another frolic paired Igor Sabla, from Slovakia, with his son Adam Sabla. Their jaunty duet revealed that the little boy had no trouble keeping up with his father.

Evie Ladin, an American dancer, presented traditional Appalachian clog dancing. Other works transcended cultural boundaries.

Kazu Kumagai started off by tapping emphatically without accompaniment. But when Quing Hua Zhang played a plaintive melody on a Chinese flute, this Japanese dancer's steps grew delicate.

A group called Dha Fuzion presented Akim Ndlovu from Zimbabwe, Chikako Iwahori from Japan and Stephanie Larriere from France in a number that included a tap-dancing dragon and some martial-arts movements.

Roxane Butterfly, another French dancer, collaborated with Nicki Parrott, a bass player, in a devil-may-care improvisation. In contrast to the evening's overall briskness, Herve Legoff, also from France, made his tapping seem meditative.

The program, for which Tony Waag was master of ceremonies, came to a boisterous conclusion with a carnival procession of dancers and musicians led by Valeria Pinheiro of Brazil.