The world of tap is alive and kicking as was seen in the fresh and entertaining Piccolo show entitled Buckets and Tap Shoes. Four energetic, young, and talented dancers delivered an electric collection of high-quality tap dance and musical jams that included professional banging on five-gallon paint buckets like you may have seen on street corners around the country.

The grungy and endearing group hails from the streets of Minneapolis where they have transferred the raw energy of the street to the stage in a 90-minute show where they dance and play musical instruments. The dancers are Kaleena Miller, Ricci Milan, and Brothers Andy and Rick Aulsand who lead the group. They are joined by bassist Jeremy Mundth. Each one adds to the show and time will only solidify their prowess as performers.

Since 1997 the group has been performing in dance and musical festivals as well as gigs with greats like Savion Glover and Jimmy Slyde. They have also been seen on MTV and VH1 to show their talents.

The show of percussion-filled jams from feet to instruments is relaxed with easy, almost improvisational transitions. The choreography and execution not only as dancers but as musicians is impressive. Their personalities come out in the tap solos and duets, but they are at their strongest in the ensemble work. They use humor and wit and engage each other and the audience with their dancing, which is filled with foot work at breakneck speed. Percussion pours through them, and the rhythms of hip-hop, rock, and r&b spin through the air.

The Ausland brothers obviously enjoy what they do and their goal is to communicate through the art of tap and honor its history and influences. I look forward to seeing more from them as they are well on their way to becoming very popular.
Two delighted youngsters next to me agree that this is great entertainment for the whole family. Run; don’t tap, to get tickets for their four remaining shows at the Charleston Music Hall.

BUCKETS & TAP SHOES • Piccolo Spoleto’s Charleston Music Hall Series • $25, $20 seniors/students • June 4 at 8 p.m., June 5 at 1 p.m., June 6 at 3 p.m., June 7 at 4 p.m. • Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St. • 554-6060

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