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Following months of construction, Jupiters Hotel & Casino will re-set scaffolding in their new $20 million redeveloped theatre, but this time it’s to welcome the venue’s second resident stage show, Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs.  Australia’s most successful theatrical export will tap into Jupiters Theatre for a strictly limited season from Saturday November 10, 2012.
The global sensation has returned home having toured continuously throughout the world for the last 18 years with performances in over 330 cities, across 37 countries, on six continents, boasting an audience of 12 million people.
Tap Dogs is set on a construction site in the steel work’s town of Newcastle, and features high-energy dance, theatrical performance and live music.
With a show that is part theatre, part rock concert and part construction site, the cast of six dancers and two musicians will bring the steel works to life in a fast-paced, unstoppable spectacular that everybody will enjoy.
Created by Dein Perry, Tap Dogs is an 80 minute show combining the strength and power of workmen with the precision and talent of tap dancing. Whether they are in water, upside-down or jumping through scaffolding, the Tap Dogs have been performing to the beat of their own drum since their world premiere at the Sydney Theatre Festival in January 1995.
Major milestones for Tap Dogs include an Oliver Award-winning six month run on London’s prestigious Shaftesbury Avenue, conquering New York and America, and winning over 15 international awards for the show’s creators Dein Perry (choreographer), Nigel Triffitt (designer/director) and Andrew Wilkie (composer) including a Pegasus Award at the Spoleto Festival in Italy and an Obie in New York.
The story of the Tap Dogs has even been immortalised by Hollywood in the movie BOOTMEN.
We managed to catchup with a few of the boys for a quick interview and asked them about their experience as a Tap Dog …

What do you enjoy most about being a ‘Tap Dog’?TAP DOGS VERTICAL Photo Credit James Morgan

Sheldon Perry: I get to do what I love as my career! TAP DOGS is a really unique show in that we get to tap the whole time – no other show exists that incorporates as much tap as we do. The choreography and technique of TAP DOGS is unmatched! Also, the travel associated with being a TAP DOG is pretty great.
Richie Miller: I love being able to tour around the world and see new places that I otherwise would have never seen! You get to live a bit of a “rock star” life, travelling to new countries and living in hotels. If I wasn’t a TAP DOG I probably would have never been able to visit the beautiful Gold Coast and it’s great to be here at Jupiters Hotel & Casino!
Jesse Rasmussen: I love the travel! I’m originally from the Gold Coast so it’s very exciting to be able to bring the show to my hometown and to the stunning new $20 million redeveloped Jupiters Theatre for four months! We get to perform in some great venues around the world and Jupiters Theatre is definitely world-class!

When did you become part of the cast and what was your previous background?

Sheldon Perry: I have been part of the cast since the beginning – the show’s creator/choreographer, Dein Perry, is my brother! I started dancing when I was four years old. My Mum was a fan of the old classic movies with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly so she signed me up and by the time I was 16 years old, tap had become a part of me. When Dein received a grant from the government to explore new ideas in tap dancing, we put together a workshop and TAP DOGS evolved from that. But before TAP DOGS, I worked for my Dad as a truck driver for two years. I still hold my truck licence!
Richie Miller: I joined the TAP DOGS in 2009 but I started tapping in high school at a local studio. When I was 5 years old, I was into gymnastics so I already had a bit of a background in movement so when I was 7 years old my Mum sent me along to watch a tap class. I did not want to go in the beginning and I remember sitting there crying, but after watching the class for a while, I came around and decided I wanted to give it a go!
Jesse Rasmussen: I became a TAP DOG four years ago but I’ve been in the industry for over 10 years. I first started dancing when I was 10 years old at a studio in Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast. I learnt tap as well as jazz and I love hip hop too! I have a background in musical theatre and I have performed in five shows so far.

What makes Tap Dogs so successful?

Sheldon Perry: TAP DOGS has been touring the world for over 18 years and we have performed in over 330 cities, across 37 countries. I think we’ve reached that level of success because the show is really like nothing else! It’s a modern take on tap dance and the “construction site” concept is really unique.
The other great thing about TAP DOGS is that there is no dialogue in the show which means there are no language barriers and we can take the show anywhere! There is a story line, but we tell the story through our feet.
Richie Miller: When people think of tap dancing they usually associate top hats and canes with the style, but TAP DOGS blows this out of the water! It’s definitely not a soft shoe shuffle! TAP DOGS has bought a whole new flavour to tap dancing and people just love the raw energy they experience when they watch us perform live.
Jesse Rasmussen: TAP DOGS is an amazing show and the combination of dance, theatre and music makes it great for all ages! There’s also a lot of comedy in the show which not a lot of people expect – it’s really an all-round entertaining experience. And there are a few surprises too including a pretty spectacular grinder routine. The show is always evolving and I feel so lucky to be part of the journey.

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Tap Dogs will bring their fast-footed frenzy to Jupiters Theatre for a strictly limited season with nightly performances Tuesday through Saturday at 7.30pm, Sunday Matinee at 4pm, Wednesday 1pm Matinees and a Saturday Matinee starting at 3pm.

Show only tickets are $59 for adults, children and seniors Wednesday through Sunday with a special “Tap Dogs Tuesdays” ticket price of just $49!
For the complete sensory feast, enjoy dinner before experiencing the shuffle-hopstep spectacle of the Glitter Strip’s latest stage show with dinner and show tickets from an incredible $69.
Tickets available through Ticketmaster at ticketmaster.com.au or by calling 1300 888 086.

For your chance to win a double pass to see TAP DOGS at JUPITERS HOTEL & CASINO, email us at win@dancelife.com.au!

TAP DOGS. photo Ralf Brinkhoff

Photography James Morgan and Ralf Brinkhoff

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