Buckets and Tap Shoes takes to Vail stage for free Hot Summer Nights of Dance show

By Real Vail
July 21, 2011

Ever since the 19th century, America has produced a long line of “hoofers” that have carried on this nation's tap dance legacy. Names such 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 Taps 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 5-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, July 26, as the Ausland brothers bring their eclectic blend of percussion and dance to Vail for a free Bud Light Hot Summer Nights performance that will also signal the beginning of the 2011 Vail International Dance Festival.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “It's the new tap generation, and it's funky, fantastically fast, a little bit Zen, and lots of happy.”Their performance combines music and dance creating rhythms with roots in funk, soul, jazz, classical, hip-hop, blues and rock. Buckets and Tap Shoes bring the audience into the show, breaking down the walls between audience and performer.

In addition to the free performance, the evening will also play host to the Salvation Army's new “Christmas Begins This Summer” toy drive, with all concertgoers encouraged to bring a toy or children's clothing for needy families throughout the Vail Valley to the show.

For the past 28 years, the Salvation Army has organized the Holiday Adopt a Family program, with over 500 families referred to the organization in 2010. In order to provide for all the needs of the community, the Salvation Army must maintain a well-stocked inventory in their Santa's Shop and volunteers will be on hand to collect items brought to the Ford Amphitheater July 26, along with a second drive August 9 at the Vail International Dance Festival's Dance for $20.11 performance.

All Bud Light Hot Summer Nights free concerts get underway at 6:30 p.m., with the gates of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater open at 5:30 p.m. The July 26 Bud Light Hot Summer Nights of Dance, featuring Buckets and Tap Shoes, is presented by Donna Giordano.

The 2011 Bud Light Hot Summer Nights free concert series and the Vail International Dance Festival are projects of the Vail Valley Foundation. For more information on Hot Summer Nights, visit www.hotsummernightsconcerts.com. For additional information on the Dance Festival, check out www.vaildance.org.

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