Adele Joel (tap dancer) and Pete Rosser (piano/accordion), May 31 2019

This was a ‘support act’ in name only; and it was too amazing not to write a review, if largely in the form of a grateful appreciation.

To those of us with little or no familiarity with live tap dancing, it was a revelation that Adele was producing music as well movement—an astonishing range of percussive effects, with a rhythmic complexity that was often breath-taking. This was dancing, but it was also improvisation of a high order. Welcome to the world of jazz, further expanded.

Pete Rosser and Adele had had a brief discussion beforehand, but no rehearsal, which only adds to what a musical feat their interactions comprised. Pete threw enough musical challenges Adele’s way—and for each, she had the physical and musical responsiveness to create something with him that was at every turn more than the sum of the parts. Most impressive was the way in which she was able to use the slower numbers as arenas for counter-rhythms; and given the variety of sounds she was able to bring forth, one is tempted to say, counter-melodies.

And then there is the sheer athleticism involved. There were passages when Adele was straight from waist, but the movement of her arms, the way she propelled herself across the platform, the graceful pirouettes (if that is the correct term!) and the alarming way she was able to lift one leg while continuing to tap made the entire performance a treat to see as well as to hear.

Sometimes, an audience is more than impressed, more than appreciative: we were thrilled from start to finish.

‘What’s on Next? >


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