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The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Podculture: Tonik Tap performs “Timeless” spring show

A behind-the-scenes look at “Timeless,” the spring show of the Tonik Tap dance group.

[nat sound of tap dancing]

CARLOTTA ANGIOLILLO: Those are the sounds that filled the Wirtz Ballroom last weekend as Tonik Tap, Northwestern’s premier tap dance group, performed in its second show of the year. Today, we’ll take a look at how the group put it all together.

[music fade in]

CARLOTTA ANGIOLILLO: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Carlotta Angiolillo.

JILLIAN MOORE: And I’m Jillian Moore. This is Podculture, a podcast about arts and culture on campus and beyond.

[music fade out]

CARLOTTA ANGIOLILLO: The theme of Tonik Tap’s spring show was “Timeless.”

Weinberg senior and co-Artistic Director Lily Cohen said the idea came from the songs in the show that were from different time periods and genres.

The dancers tapped to songs like “Come Together” by The Beatles and “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer.

SOPHIE DAVID: I think that this show had a great variety of different types of pieces. There were more contemporary style tap, some groovy disco tap. There was just a very big range of things, so it’s always fun to expand my dance repertoire and get to dance with my friends.

JILLIAN MOORE: That was Communication junior Sophie Liu David. While the primary focus of the show was tap dancing, David said the choreography allowed the dancers to show off their personalities and, in some cases, act.

Communication sophomore and Tonik Tap Development Director Erin Soko said that during the song “Fake I.D.” by Riton and Kah-Lo, the dancers portrayed what happens when someone tries to use a fake ID.

ERIN SOKO: At the very end of the dance, we’re supposed to try and use our fake ID to get into a club, and I’m the last person to try to get into the club, and I don’t get into the club, and that moment was always funny because my Tonik freshman baby Chloe, we kind of have like families, she was the club bouncer, so then she would always reject me every night, and we would have a fun, cute moment.

JILLIAN MOORE: Soko said the dancers check in on each other even during their busiest times.

ERIN SOKO: Tonik just has a sense of camaraderie, and caring for each other and making sure everyone’s okay, and I feel like we’re all really attentive and we really pay attention to those small shifts that people might have, so I feel like we really look out for each other.

[nat sound of tap dancing]

CARLOTTA ANGIOLILLO: Tonik Tap finished off its hour-long performance the same way it always does: with the Shim Sham.

Cohen said the Shim Sham is a combination that most tap companies know. Although it’s supposed to be standardized, she said it usually isn’t.

LILY COHEN: At least with Tonik, I think over the years it has morphed a little bit. But it’s something that every member of Tonik learns. We do it at every show, and invite alumni to come up and do it with us.

CARLOTTA ANGIOLILLO: Some Tonik members choreographed pieces for the spring show. Others participated in the planning process in different ways, including choosing the theme.

SOPHIE DAVID: We always choose a theme that encompasses our show, and it’s how we select songs for our introduction and our finale, and the pieces covered a variety of different decades and themes and styles.

JILLIAN MOORE: But according to Soko, the spring show also celebrated continuity.

ERIN SOKO: We came up with “Timeless” because we felt there were some songs that were timeless, that are considered to be timeless, like classic songs.

[nat sound of tap dancing]

JILLIAN MOORE: Soko said tap is a unique art form distinct from other dance styles because of its auditory aspect.

She said tap might look like it has a lot of repetitive movements, but choreographers and performers can change the sounds they produce to match their desired meanings.

CARLOTTA ANGIOLILLO: Although “Timeless” had its last show on April 6, Tonik has more opportunities for the rest of spring quarter.

So grab your tap shoes, because some open classes are in store.

SOPHIE DAVID: We will be holding open classes, schedule TBD, but that will be happening all this spring. So anyone who wants to come take a tap class ranging from beginner to more advanced is welcome to come join.


JILLIAN MOORE: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Jillian Moore. Thanks for listening to another episode of Podculture. This episode was reported and produced by myself and Carlotta Angiolillo. The audio editor of The Daily Northwestern is Carlotta Angiolillo, the digital managing editors are Sonya Dymova and Micah Sandy, and the editor in chief is Jacob Wendler. Make sure to subscribe to The Daily Northwestern’s podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud to hear more episodes like this.

Email: [email protected]
X: @carlottaang76 


Email: [email protected]
X: @jillian_moore7


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