For the past 16 years Joe Chvala has melded diverse forms of percussive dance into dramatic spectacles. He's created everything from Scandinavian epics with pagan Nordic heroes reconfigured as post-industrial punk stompers, to plainspoken Appalachian folk tales with the hardscrabble fatalism of Walker Evans's Depression photos. Now this master of percussive fusion goes all Gallic with an international dance/theater pastiche inspired by vaudeville, tap dance, cabaret, follies, opera, hambone, and clowning. Imagine a foppish French monarch slapping out rhythms on his fancy brocade, or decadent Parisians rhythmically seething in underground nightclubs. The show serves up an eclectic brew of new (live) music, dance, and comedy, and old favorites including the mad madrigal medley "All Creatures Great and Small," a piece that does for English madrigals what Savion Glover did for Bach in "Classical Savion." And all performed by un ensemble extraordinaire, the Flying Foot Forum, which includes Chvala, his muse Karla Grotting, rhythm-wizard Peter O'Gorman, and a host of performers who beautifully blur the line between music and dance.
May 8-17, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 1 p.m. Starts: May 8. Continues through May 18, 2008