The Step Crew, a percussive dance team, will take to the stage of Sauder Concert Hall this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Performing Arts Series. The troupe specializes in three different types of percussive dance: Irish, Tap and Ottawa Valley.The Step Crew’s specialty is combining these diverse types of dance to create an energized new style that honors the traditions of each culture while creating a dance that is entirely their own.
The dancers and musicians have been part of a number of other groups, including The Chieftains, Cherish the Ladies and the violinist group, Bowfire. Members of the group have performed at Goshen College before.
A member of the six-time Grammy Award winning group, The Chieftains, Paddy Moloney said of the Step Crew’s dance skills that, “The Step Crew does not simply draw their audience in, they take them by the hand and remind us what dance is meant to be about—fun.”
Their performances are fast paced, with the dancers and musicians working together at rapid tempo to create an intense but entertaining show. Being step dancers, their movements are every bit as important to the music as the musicians’ instruments are, as the sound of their steps adds to the music.
The Step Crew is composed of five dancers, two of whom also play the fiddle, and a six piece band including vocals, keyboard, guitar, acoustic and electric bass, percussion and fiddle. The band works with the dancers to synthesize their sound into unique compositions that are as entertaining to hear as they are to see.
The mixing of styles ensures that everything one hears has an original sound and all the dances stay fresh in the audience’s mind.
The modern development breathes new life into traditional art. Any time the troupe is onstage, the audience is sure to have just as much fun as the dancers themselves. Although the Step Crew is a relatively new group, formed in 2010, their talent and experience has already gotten the recognition to perform at venues all over America, Canada and even Japan.
Although their usual venue is at music and culture festivals, their modern exploration of traditional music and dance is also well suited to Goshen College’s Sauder Concert Hall. The acoustics of Sauder will work well with their percussive dance and folk band.
Through dance, the troupe aims to tell stories about culture and life. A few dancers in The Step Crew have backgrounds in theater, making the story telling in their dances just as important as their steps.
Members of the troupe have competed and won on the world stage in Irish dance and performed for shows the likes of ‘Late Show with David Letterman’, ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ and ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien.’
Those in the troupe who also performed with The Chieftains performed during the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2003.
Tickets range from $25 to $40, and anyone who is interested can buy them online from the Music Center’s website, at the Box Office, or by calling (574) 535-7566.
Tickets for Goshen College students are being sold at a discounted $5 rate and can be claimed at the Box Office in the music center.
For more information on The Step Crew, one can visit their website, stepcrew.com or visit their Facebook page.