"Energetic and original tap dancing"
by Matthew Partridge for remotegoat on 26/07/18

“OSCiLLATE” is a tap performance by Old Kent Road, currently running at Saddler’s Wells studio theatre. In it nine performers (Avalon Rathgeb, Dre Torres, Ryan Campbell-Birch, Adele Joel, Veronica Fulton, Alastair Crosswell, Helen Duffy, Rosie Howell and Babette Rami) perform dances and movements to the backdrop of electronic music composed by Kenneth Mockler and derived from sine triangular waves. As well as attempting to explore human interaction they also focus on eleven mini- themes including: “Opening”, “In Search”, “Triggers”, “Equality”, “Trio”, “Quirky Legs”, “Human Family”, “Taps and Voices”, “Harmonic”, “Light” and “Oscillator”.

Runing at around an hour, the production is certainly energetic, with the performers throwing themselves around with breath-taking speed. The only problem is that it is also a little repetitive, so by around the forty-minute mark one starts to long for some more variation. The good news is that at this point the company slow down the pace and abandon the shock and awe strategy in favour of “Light” a number that lets the performers glide around the stage, using large lamps as props, in a manner reminiscent of the classic musical “Singing in the Rain”. They then finish the performance with “Oscillator”, which sees them come together as a one pulsating collective.

The show is choreographed by Avalon Rathgeb and co-choreographer Dre Torres.

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