Buckets and Taps perform Lionshead and Beaver Creek
VAILSince the 19th century, America has produced a long line of hoofers that have carried on this nations tap dance legacy. Stars like as Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly, Shirley Temple, Gregory Hines, Savion Glover and of course, the penguins in Happy Feet, have shuffled their way to stardom.And then there is Buckets and Tap Shoes. Founded by brothers Rick and Andy Ausland, Buckets and Tap Shoes was born when the Minneapolis natives teamed up with three friends for a dance competition. Since 1997, this unique company of musicians, percussionists and rhythm tap dancers has astounded audiences, creating intense driving rhythms with five-gallon buckets, metal cans, barrels, found objects and tap shoes.All of this, and probably more, will be on full display at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater Tuesday evening as the Ausland brothers bring their eclectic blend of percussion and dance to Vail for a free Bud Light Hot Summer Nights performance, in conjunction with the 2008 Vail International Dance Festival.In addition to their Tuesday night free performance, the brothers will also give two free Village Vignette performances in Lionshead and Beaver Creek Villages respectively on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 1 p.m.The free village vignettes are our way of reaching out to the community and asking them to experience the joys of dance, without having to come to a theatre or pay for a ticket, festival artistic director Damian Woetzel said. This is a great way to gather with family and friends and enjoy a busking-inspired performance. We hope these free shows get everyone in the mood for the rest of the Dance Festival.Saturdays performance will take place in the new Arabelle at Vail Square (formerly known as Lionshead), outside the Starbucks. Sundays performance will take place on Beaver Creek Plaza.According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Buckets and Tap Shoes are the new tap generation, and it’s funky, fantastically fast, a little bit Zen, and lots of happy. Along with the Auslands, the carefree Kaleena Miller and flat-out amazing Ricci Milan twirl like ballerinas, suspend themselves on their toes in tap freezes, pitter patter both melody and rhythm with quicksilver speed, and suddenly fold flung out arms, legs and feet into a meditation position.Their performance combines music and dance creating rhythms with roots in funk, soul, jazz, classical, hip-hop, blues and rock. Buckets and Tap Shoes brings the audience into the show, breaking down the walls between audience and performer.In addition to the free Buckets & Tap Shoes performances, individual tickets for the 2008 Vail International Dance Festival are priced from $8 to $85, with an array of ticket packages also available. The 2008 Vail International Dance Festival runs through Aug. 9, with performances at both the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail and the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek.The 2008 Vail International Dance Festival is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation. For additional information on the Dance Festival, visit http://www.vaildance.org. For more information on the Foundation, visit http://www.vvf.org or call 970-949-1999.