Thursday, September 17, 1998 Published at 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Tappers & hip-hoppers delight
The two separate dance groups met in New York
Cool Heat Urban Beat stormed the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and have now arrived in London to display their incredible skill and energy.
The show brings together two separate dance troupes - Urban Tap and Pure Movement. Both names aptly describe what the audience gets. The three tap dancers are streetwise, while the eight-strong hip hop freestyle crew know all the moves and then some.
But hang on: hip hop and tap? Surely some mistake?
Even Cool Heat Urban Beat's publicity people appear confused. Promotional material claims the show is the most exciting thing to hit the UK since the Australian hunks called Tap Dogs.
Admittedly, the crowd at the Peacock Theatre goes wild every time one of the dancers takes his top off - causing the police to be called three times in one evening - but such comparisons demean what is essentially a performance of living culture.
Pure Movement's leader Rennie Harris, who is also the show's director, says: "Hip hop and tap is African dance - it's nothing more than African culture that has been carried on to this particular generation."
"There's a lot of influence from around the world - you'll see a little bit of everybody's culture. But it all stems from rhythms, rhythm and blues and just hoofing. It's all about rhythm and drums."
He says logs written in 1783 first record a phenomenon called Dancing of the Slaves, which contains the origins or tap.
"In Dancing of the Slaves, they picked up these kettles or whatever and they made these rhythms and the Africans danced in chains and shackles and they danced with the rhythms and they tapped out rhythms."
Cool Heat Urban Beat bring that right up to date. And whether you follow the logic or not, the two disparate elements combine to make an electric show.
Cool Heat Urban Beat are at the Peacock Theatre, London, till 27 September
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