After performing to sold-out audiences in Johannesburg the 18-year-old hit show ‘Tap Dogs’ is heading to Cape Town soon. LAUREN KANSLEY spoke to cast member NATHANIEL HANCOCK, who plays the part of Kid, about what it feels like to be part of Australia’s greatest theatrical export.
Tap Dogs has visited South Africa previously. Were you part of the original cast that toured here before?
No. I have only been part of ‘Tap Dogs’ for about a year and a half and this is my first time in South Africa. There are a few guys who were part of that cast, but most of us are new. Johannesburg has been great so far. The shows are sold out and the audiences are great, which is awesome for us because we feed off that energy and it makes the performance even better. I have heard a lot about Cape Town though and I am looking forward to heading your way.
So what can Cape Town audiences look forward to?
The show is part dance, part rock concert and is 80 minutes of pulsating energy. The set is also extremely good so we dance up and down ladders, in water, on scaffolding and even upside down. It’s really invigorating. This time we also have two female percussionists joining the action on stage.
Your CV is impressive- you have been tap dancing since the age of six, not to mention being a speed dancing tap champion. However, one of the most interesting jobs you’ve had was dancing on the animated film ‘Happy Feet’. Tell us more about that.
Yes, I was one of the dancers selected to perform in the movie and the clip is a short sequence in the movie. We had to wear these motion capture suites and tap dance then it was translated into a bunch of penguins dancing. It was a lot of fun.
What are some of the most gruelling aspects of being part of the ‘Tap Dogs’ cast?
We perform eight shows a week and it is 80 minutes of non-stop dancing, which definitely takes its toll on you. You literally come off stage dripping sweat so there is no need to hit the gym.
What do people not realise about the art of tap dancing?
When people think about tap they think old school dancing with a top hat and cane like Fred Astaire, but what creator Dein Perry has produced here is a really modern take on the dance. You’ve got six blokey blokes on stage with the two percussionists keeping us in time. It is completely revolutionary.
‘Tap Dogs’ has been seen by an average of 12 million people in 330 cities across 37 countries. How does it feel to be part of such an impressive show?
It sounds really clichéd, but I saw the show when I was 10 years old and I just knew that it was what I wanted to do and now that I am part of it I can’t believe how lucky I am. To be able to travel and dance at the same time is an amazing opportunity. So far I have visited Italy, France, Switzerland, Bahrain and toured all over Australia.
* ‘Tap Dogs’ opens at Artscape on March 13 for 16 shows only. Tickets are on sale at Computicket.