You know that scene that's been in dozens of movies, where the guy or gal dances, and everyone makes a circle around them to watch and cheer them on?
Rhythmic Circus is kind of like that -- except there are four dancers in this group, tearing up the stage with their acrobatic tap moves. Working to their group's original music, dancers Ricci Milan, Nick Bowman, Kaleena Miller and Eddie Strachan take dance to a new level of communication and entertainment.
They bring the show to Perry's Egyptian Theater on Saturday, their second appearance in Utah.
Milan, who also serves as the troupe's artistic director, said that shows such as those by Rhythmic Circus and Stomp play on a unifying factor in human nature -- rhythm. Heartbeats, breathing -- rhythm is all part of who we are.
"We really are rhythmic creatures," said Milan, calling from a tour stop in California. "You cut through your personality, the chaos of your day and you get to your true self with rhythm. You just feel it. It is a language everyone speaks.
"With music, people are like, 'I like this kind of music, or that kind of music.' But rhythm is just right there, at the base of it all. There is no guessing about that."
First national show
Rhythmic Circus has a special affinity for Utah. The Minneapolis-based crew performed the first show of its first national tour in the 2010 Summer Nights With the Stars series at the Kenley Centennial Amphitheater in Layton.
The weather left a lot to be desired that night. Milan said the morning started out beautiful, and the crew, which also includes a band (Alex Rossi, Cornell Blanchard, Patrick Nelson, Dan Ristrom, Aaron Wiener, Elliot Blaufuss and Aaron Heaton), was pumped up for the first date on a 40-show tour.
"We got to the place, and about an hour before, here comes the clouds, and boom. We were really nervous about the whole thing -- what was going to happen? Then we had an hour delay because of that rain. We thought, 'We're not even going to have a show.' But no, everyone stayed, sat there in the rain for an hour."
Milan said the members agreed they had to give the show of their lives for the people who'd sat in the miserable weather, waiting for their performance.
"We pumped it up, and it was really fun in the end."
Trust and chemistry
The dancers in the show first met in childhood competitions, and started working together after they grew up and out of those contests on smaller projects since about 2000.
They finally set a date and got the choreography and music ready for the big time a little over a year ago with "Feet Don't Fail Me Now."
"Now we are doing so many shows, and getting more comfortable with what we do," he said. "Adding a little punch line here, punch line there -- it's become a beautiful experience."
Milan believes the work has paid off in how proficient they have become at reading each other and the audience.
"We've had so many intricate moments of music and tap dance to master. We've had to figure out the timing. I would say where we have really grown is that we have an overall feel for how the show should progress now.
"We have gotten where we can feel what is about to happen, then take those risks to make it happen. Everyone has a lot more trust in each other. Our chemistry and timing have grown."
Watch highlights of the Rhythmic Circus show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdDtBry7ONc&feature=player_embedded