Tapping into jazz

The sound of Branford Marsalis's saxophone will accompany work by New York tap choreographer Michelle Dorrance at Sadler's Wells, 14-16 November

Dorrance Dance perform Jungle Blues. Photo by Dana Lynn Pleasant

Tap dancing might usually be associated with an earlier epoch of jazz but the affinity between tap and jazz has always been strong in the popular imagination. The relationship is extended 14-16 November when tap choreographer and performer Michelle Dorrance brings her New-York-based Dorrance Dance company to Sadlers Wells in London to perform three works, one with jazz accompaniment.

The explicit jazz interest will be in Jungle Blues, where a humorous mood is accompanied by the sound of Branford Marsalis’s saxophone in New Orleans mode.

Meanwhile, in Three To One, Dorrance places herself between two barefoot contemporary dancers, performing to the music of Aphex Twin and Thom Yorke – a presentation perhaps not so far from jazz given the copious interpretations of contemporary pop by many jazz players in recent years.

The centrepiece of each evening will be Dorrance’s Myelination, inspired by electrical transmissions between nerve cells. It features original live music and a degree of improvisation – from the dancers.

Dorrance Dance: Myelination and Other Works.
Sadler’s Wells, London EC1R 4TN, Thursday 14 – Saturday 16 November 2019. Performances at 7:30pm each night. Tickets: £15-£45 from 020 7863 8000 or sadlerswells.com