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Flying Foot Forum Provides Pulse-Pounding Percussive Movement

Brian Evans and Rush Benson

Brian Evans and Rush Benson

During the 1990s, you couldn't throw a pair of tap shoes without hitting a percussion-based dance show, as the Blue Man Group, Stomp, various Lords of the Dance, and others prowled theaters around the world.

Joe Chvala and Flying Foot Forum have spent the last 25 years making athletic and gloriously noisy dance. The company takes a look back at its history and premieres several new works in a new revue in the Guthrie's Dowling Studio.

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Let's look at the new first. Rush Benson and Brian Evans take the everyday boredom of high school and turn it into something bold, beautiful, and tremendously entertaining. In "Passing Time #," a simple greeting between classes turns into an epic display of handshakes, chest bumps, and every move in between you can imagine.

"Passing Time #2" finds the pair getting into a bit of a fight, which evolves from pro-wrestling-style moves to Mortal Kombat battles to a light-saber duel before their teacher (Chvala) gives them detention.

That leads, naturally, to "Detention," where their boredom takes a percussive turn, as they use pencils, desks, and chairs to build up an epic, pulse-pounding routine.

Other, older moments hit more traditional forms. They still have unusual twists. "Like a Polaroid Picture" uses "Hey Ya," but employs the New Standards' version. Folk sounds fuel the multi-part "All of One Size" and the opening "Pornopolka."

It's the oldest work here that shows that Flying Foot Forum has been in this experimental game since day one. "Beserks" was built out of a collaboration between the Forum and experimental percussion group Savage Aural Hotbed back in 1993. It's a driving, almost pummeling work that builds the noise between furious tap dancing and intense, vicious drumming. It's a work that pushes the performers and the audience to the edge before arriving at its terrific end.

IF YOU GO:

Flying Foot Forum Through Sunday Guthrie Theater 818 S. Second St., Minneapolis $22-$30 For tickets and more information, call 612-377-2224 or visit online.