Urban Tap shows are unique hybrids of free-style dance, percussive and hypnotic music and live video environments that are best described as "visual music." Within this mix, the company creates magical and timeless happenings inspired by the rhythmic cadences of the street's global sounds and the roots of ancient cultural traditions.
"... this fusion of international dance and music, psychedelic projections, and poetry that takes the mesmerizing pervasiveness of rhythm as its unifying theme is one of the most stunning theatrical events to stop here." - The Boston Phoenix
Urban Tap was born within the underground New York scene of the 90’s as weekly ‘jam-sessions’, orchestrated by tap dancer Tamango. These would bring together dancers, musicians, singers, martial artists, video artists et other performers from around the world, sharing a passion for improvisation and rhythm. Invited in 1999 to perform at the Kitchen, Urban Tap immediately won an audience and critical acclaim ("One of the ten best performances » - The New York Times). This was also the beginning of long lasting collaboration between Tamango and video artist Jean de Boysson who have since created a substential body of work.
"If Cirque du Soleil, voodoo rituals and a refined hip-hop sensibility merged, the New York-based group Urban Tap might be the magical result." - Los Angeles Times
“Caravane” was subsequently presented during a three-week run at The New Victory Theater followed by an extensive tour throughout the US and abroad, which included: the Jazz Festival of Montreal (2003 & 2004), the Joyce Theater (2002 & 2007), the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, the Scottsdale Center for the Arts (2003 & 2007), the Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus), On the Boards and Bumpershoot Festival in Seattle, Stanford University, Leid Center in Kansas, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Monaco International Dance Festival, STEPS Festival in Switzerland, Vollos Dance Festival in Greece, Altstadtherbst Kulturfestival in Düsseldorf, Germany, the Holland Dance Festival in the Hague, and, in France, the Vaison-Danses Festival, le Volcan in le Havre, le théâtre de l’Agora in Evry, l’Hippodrome in Douai, le Carré des Jalles in Saint-Médard, Elmediator in Perpignan, Jazz à Vienne Festival and Jazz in Marciac..
"A whirlwind of percussionist performers brought together and led by the gifted visionary Tamango. Urban Tap is original and decidedly uncategorizable... It is a moment to be indelibly remembered." - The Dance Insider
Another recent project, "Stepping Out", was a co-production of Urban Tap and the International Dance Festival Ireland. This project brought together traditional Irish musicians (fiddle, accordion, guitar) and a sean nos step dancer, Seosamh O’Neactain from the Connomara territory with a bongo player from Haiti, a jazz trumpeter from Italy and Tamango. For a week of collaboration, which then lead to 3 sold out performances, the group closed the annual festival in Dublin with great success. In 2007, the company presented "Bay Mo Dilo" (Give Me Water), a work based on the rhythms and mythology of his Creole culture within a video tryptic. "Narcisse & Co", an interactive multimedia dance performance created in France in 2009, marks a new step in their collaborative work.
"Hauntingly beautiful shots... the video and live music rhythms interact excitingly at times. The technology is impressive. Tamango and Naj, who designed the visuals and is also the show’s onstage V.J., are clearly onto something." - The New York Times