The U.S. has two major traditions in tap dancing, as far as we can tell: the corny one, and the one that's fun to watch. Little girls wearing bow ties, ruffled butt fabric, and bad hats hold down the bulk of the corny stuff. Adults with soul and talent take care of the genuine dance form; think of performers in recent Broadway musicals like Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk or Jelly's Last Jam, because that's who's featured at the Bay Area Rhythm Exchange. (Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards! Yow!) Funny thing, though: Both types of tap dancing are a lot more difficult than they seem. The simplest flap-ball-change step is hard! And truth be told, there's a third type of American tap dancing, hailing from Appalachia: clogging, which is also featured this weekend. It's performed by the Barbary Coast Cloggers, with a genuine joy that transcends its undeniable connection to, gulp, corniness.
Aug. 21-22, 8 p.m., 2009