2015-01-01 / Living

The Whiting presents Rhythmic Circus in Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!


The Rythmic Circus performing. 
Photo provided The Rythmic Circus performing. Photo provided FLINT — Home-grown hoofers from the Minneapolis arts scene, Rhythmic Circus are performing at The Whiting on Jan. 25 at 3 p.m. 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. FEET DON’T FAIL ME NOW! is an Off-Broadway hit embarking on its third national tour. The Whiting is predicting this performance to be one of the highlights of the season, and urges patrons to take a chance on this relatively unknown name that is receiving rave reviews across the nation.

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. 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. 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.

This performance is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and Health Alliance Plan (HAP).

All tickets are reasonably priced at $35 and are available at TheWhiting.com, by phone at 810-237-7333 or (888) 8-CENTER or by walk-up at The Whiting Ticket Center and at the new Flint Farmers’ Market. The Whiting is located at 1241 E. Kearsley Street in Flint, just off I-475 between the University of Michigan Flint and Mott Community College on the Flint Cultural Center campus.

For further information on the show, please visit www.TheWhiting.com. G.G.

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