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When I was studying modern dance in college, one of my favorite instructors would make up rhythmic gibberish to describe the movement. “Aaa, bay ka say. Seka-seka, way bay ka saa,” went our warmup combination. Likewise, when Toni Lombre, director of Taps & Company, tells her dancers to take it from “Digga Di Da Da Da” they all start on cue. This new evening-length tap work underscores how tap is about rhythm, not plastic smiles and cutesy hand gestures. “Digga” covers the history of the art form from African drums, through slavery, on to the jazz era, and finally to hiphop, with a guest rapper and poets providing historical narration. Lombre also shows that women can “hit” as hard as men when it comes to foot-stomping rhythms. At 8 p.m. tonight and 4 p.m. Sunday at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $12. (202) 269-1600. (Holly Bass)