Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Event Slides Per Node 1415

  • Two men and two women swing their arms straight behind them in a tap-dance move.
  • Seven dancers bend their knees and elbows in preparation of a tap-dance move.
  • Spotlights illuminate three tap dancers each balancing on one leg on a board.
  • Three dancers stand bent over on boards as they extend a bent left leg back and drag a section of chain in on the floor with their right hands.
  • Two dancers on risers of different heights tap dance on each side of a cellist who plays his instrument.
  • A dancer stands bent at the knees with feet pointed outward while a cellist next to him plays his instrument.

Dorrance Dance
ETM: Double Down

7:30 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Dorrance Dance honors tap dance’s history while pushing its rhythmic, technical, and conceptual boundaries. By incorporating other forms that have shaped American culture — such as street, club, and experimental dance — the company highlights the traditional elements of tap dance and its musical rhythms in a contemporary context. Founded in 2011 by artistic director and MacArthur “genius” Fellow Michelle Dorrance, the ensemble’s first performance earned a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for “blasting open our notions of tap.”

ETM: Double Down, choreographed by Dorrance and company member Nicholas Van Young, is a 2016 evening-length work that uses electronic tap boards. The stage, in effect, becomes a musical instrument. The score is not just danced to but danced by the company. ETM, which stands for electronic tap music, features eight dancers and six musicians furiously exploring acoustic and digitally produced sounds.

“Since the beginnings of tap dance, practitioners have been lugging around wooden boards, instruments used to drum upon with their feet,” writes a New York Times reviewer. “Now, in an era of electronic dance music, new possibilities beg to be explored. What if you plugged those boards into computers? That’s what Michelle Dorrance does with her troupe, Dorrance Dance, in ETM: Double Down, a fresh and innovative show … .”

Following the performance, Dorrance artists will engage in a discussion with audience members.

Adult $38
University Park Student $15
18 and Younger $28

Blake and Linda Gall

Artist Websites: 

Secondary Events on Each Event

Artistic Viewpoints

6:30 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Eisenhower Auditorium

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist or artists, is offered one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Audio Description

Audio Description logo

Audio description, which is especially helpful to patrons with sight loss, is available for this performance at no extra charge to ticket holders. Reservations are required at least two weeks in advance of the performance. Phone 814-238-0132 to reserve this service.