by Paula Citron
The Celtic dance and music show TapEIRE – Driven by Rhythm is all about virtuoso flying feet and flying fingers. Irish-born, Edinburgh-based James Devine is in the Guinness Book of Records as the fastest dancer in the world with 38 taps per second. TapEIRE’s musical trio includes Canadian superstar fiddler Ashley MacIsaac, and two talented Scots – percussionist Paul Jennings and harpist Phamie Gow.
The historical narrative for TapEIRE uses an intriguing montage of archival photographs and movie footage as a backdrop journey through Irish dance history. Devine’s tap dances are presented in amusing contexts that are mostly playoffs between himself and the musicians, with the latter getting their own solos to sweeten the mix.
There is real chemistry between the three musicians and Devine. Together they create a appealing evening of Celtic music and dance that is all about talent and never about artifice.
TapEire tours to Markham Oct. 16 and Oakville Oct. 19.
From the Danforth Music Hall, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for The New CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.