All-female tap troupe Jorstap dances on the glass ceiling | Dance Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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All-female tap troupe Jorstap dances on the glass ceiling

Kendra Jorstad unveils "Disruption," at Stage 773


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A founding member of Chicago Tap Theatre, Kendra Jorstad is striking out on her own. Her new all-female company, Jorstap Chicago, debuts with a program titled "Disruption." Taking a cue from CTT's Mark Yonally, who's known for his tap operas, Jorstad embraces character and emotion but adds her own brand of whimsy. She chose a quiet tune by country-folk duo the Civil Wars for Cinderella Bells, which premieres here, taking the title and concept from the chiming at the song's close. The Cinderella Bells costumes won't be "super-ballgowny," she says, "but real girly." Meanwhile, the tapping creates its own pealing song.

Jorstap's feminine cast is uncommon in the tap world (though CTT has always been predominantly female). Guest choreographer Jessica Chapuis, who dances with two men in Jus' Listen, was eager to work with women. The resulting quintet, On the Radio, recapitulates the playful pauses and light, cascading notes of a breathy Regina Spektor song. The other guest choreographer, Tristan Bruns, is setting his Peace in 5 on Jorstap. And Jorstad supplies six older numbers in addition to Cinderella Bells, many of them reworked: My Subconscious (which debuted in July), Sorrow, Click, About Her, Hope, and the fanciful Perception, featuring guest artist Rich Ashworth, "popping and locking."

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