Tap company offers its annual show times five

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Feat x Feet, Montana's only performing tap company, dances its way across the country in its seventh annual show, "Tap Nation."

The company, directed by Ashley Wold, has compiled dances that originated in some of the biggest tap cities in the United States, as well as numbers from around the world.

Feat x Feet company members study each week with Wold, but also travel together and as individuals to improve their skills.

In Chicago each summer, the company dances eight hours a day for nine days with the nation's best tap teachers. Feat x Feet performed at the Chicago Human Rhythm Project in August of 2003 and were asked back to perform in August 2004. Feat x Feet company members have also studied at intense workshops in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York City and New Orleans and will bring pieces from all these areas to the stages of the Flathead Valley.

Two alumni will perform as special guests. Jenna Roe recently spent a year dancing professionally in Chicago, and Taylor Clayton is currently a freshman at Stanford University.

For the past seven summers Wold has brought a tap professional to Whitefish and each professional has offered three days of beginning level classes to the public, while working on technique with the company and then setting a piece for its upcoming show.

Last summer's guest, Julie Cartier from Chicago, helped create the first piece, and the work of a past guest, Brill Barret of Chicago, will also be featured. There will also be a Chicago-based solo from Roe.

The company dives into material that originated in New York City, "Jump Joint" and "Oxfords in the Air," featuring intricate footwork and fast feet.

Company captain Tess Fitzgerald will perform a Los Angeles-based piece that she learned from Derrick Grant, a Los Angeles tap professional who performed with Savion Glover in the Tony Award winning "Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk"

Guest performers from Wold's general classes will grace the stage with the traditional "Take the A Train" which Wold learned in New Orleans.

All Feat x Feet members will perform a piece called "Taps Down Under," choreographed by Australia's Tim Awl, and C laire Stanfill and Breanna Leopold will bring to the stage "Marakuha," a piece they learned in Chicago from Valaria Pinherio, a Brazilian tap professional.

Improvisational tap will also be part of the show. Feat x Feet company member Cam Clayton will be challenged to improvise by his brother and guest artist, Taylor Clayton. This difficult skill requires exceptional rhythm, perfect timing and a wide repertoire of tap steps.

The show will be offered five times locally:

Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts, Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. tickets are $12

Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts, Jan. 8, 8 p.m., tickets are $15

O'Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish, Jan. 14, 8 p.m., tickets are $15

O'Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish, Jan, 15, 8 p.m., tickets are $15

O'Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish, Jan. 16, 4 p.m., tickets are $12

Feat x Feet ticket outlets are Electric Avenue Gifts in Bigfork and the O'Shaugnessy Center, open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling 862-5371.

On Jan. 8, La Provence restaurant in Bigfork is donating a portion of all proceeds that day to Feat x feet, and on Jan. 14-16, Tupello Grille in Whitefish will do the same.

Please contact Artistic Director Ashley Wold on 270-5806 or 862-2667 with any questions or more information the press release.

Feat x Feet photographer of Choice is Karen Weyer. All Feat x Feet Photos are from Karen Weyer. Photos will be sent from Karen Weyer

Photography. 257-3856

Feat x Feet Artistic Director: Ashley Wold

Feat x Feet Company Members: Tess Fitzgerald (Jr at Whitefsih HS)

Claire Stanfill (Jr at Bigfork HS)

Breanna Leopold (Freshman at Bigfork HS)

Cam Clayton (Sophomore at Bigfork HS)

Pattie Brown (adult from Bigfork)

Merry Jo Smith (adult from Kalispell)

Molly Anfenson (Jr at Flathead High)

Abby Kirschbaum (Freshman at FVCC)

Feat x Feet Alumni: guest artists: Taylor Clayton (graduate of Bigfork High and currently a Freshman at Stanford University)

Jenna Roe (graduate of Flathead High and just returned from dancing for one year professionally in Chicago)

Jr. Company Members: Holly White (jr FHS)

(understudies) Breanne Erickson (freshman at Columbia Falls HS)

Dylan Rodrick (Linderman in Kali)

Kelsi Soto (Soph at FHS)

Apprentice Members: Haley Hammet (edgerton)

(understudies) Lauren Baumgardner (edgerton)

Hilary Syvertson (edgerton)

Baily Pisk (linderman)

Feat x Feet, Montana's Only Tap

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