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  • 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MANHATTAN TAP INTENSIVE | www.tapdance.org
    questions pushed the students to ask themselves Why do you hit the floor What is YOUR role right now in this situation What is YOUR focus What is the intention behind the music What is the intention behind YOUR music Are you collaborating with the music or dictating While grappling with those and other questions Heather along with Eddie Ornowski Alan Murphy bass Tony Romano guitar and Michel Gentile flute offered a wealth of information on how to communicate effectively in jam sessions or in band rehearsals and on using correct jazz terminology The students learned the nonverbal signs for take it home lay out and other terms like head and A B or bridge all of which creates the structure of most jazz tunes Most importantly the students were given time to learn to use the vocabulary and were urged to work within the form at all times Students learned to do things like playing a standard in an odd time signature asking for specific grooves changing a groove like putting a latin beat on a tune working with rubato and even delving into free jazz They counted in the band inserted vamps and fills did trades tried stop time provided foundation comped and opened up during the going home choruses The supportive environment helped each student grow as a musician Kristel Baris a participant from Holland agreed that working with musicians makes you conscious of your own style and what is important to promote that Everybody went through their own process each at their own level The exercises often traveled beyond the classroom On Saturday night of the first week Heather invited all of the students to her house for a barbecue and then to a gig at Tasha s Café in Nyack NY Heather balafon conga tap Andy Algire lead balafon conga and Adriel Williams balafon violin played the first set In the second set Heather invited all of the students to sit in This was the first time some of the students had ever jammed to live music while others were more experienced One of the important aspects of Heather s style of teaching is that all students learn together It is remarkable how much it enriches the atmosphere to have students of all levels and from all backgrounds and cultures feeding each other After the long days in the studio the group met up at some of Heather s favorite New York spots They ate chicken at Flor de Mayo the place where Heather and Buster Brown used to go every week and went to Brazil Restaurant where on the fourth night in a row they reserved the whole restaurant with a live guitar player for a thank you presentation to Heather Each night the students had the opportunity to go to the gigs of the musicians who leant their time and talents in class Heather concludes that the 58 hour annual event is life changing not only for the students but also for me This is where I get to re set re charge my ideas inspire and get inspired Students who have returned to the intensive year after year echoed Heather s sentiments Carol Efron Flier a tap instructor at the Boston Conservatory has attended the intensive almost every year since 2000 As a professional tap dancer and teacher she notes that continuing education is a priority for me Finding a tap intensive designed to fine tune one s professional skills in musicality dancing and teaching is difficult Finding a tap intensive that consistently propels one s skills forward year after year is almost impossible Attending Heather Cornell s NY Tap Intensive which embodies all these unique qualities is priceless Lizzie Oxley from London United Kingdom has attended the intensive for four years She says Heather promotes a beautiful relationship between tap dancing and music inspiring so many to finally view tap as part of the music and not outside of it Jazz music and tap dancing have never merged so stunningly as in a work by Heather Cornell It is always a privilege to study with her Finally Jussi Lindroos a native of Finland who has attended the intensive for six years says the Intensive is truly about you and what you want and need to learn Dancing as a musician is actually not so easy It s not always pleasant to give up your ego and really try to develop a deep connection to music This is one of the greatest opportunities to learn humility and get tools how to truly collaborate with live musicians The process is sometimes painful but full of discoveries and new opportunities This is a hardcore rhythm tap event Five Questions for Heather Cornell by Pam Hetherington Why tap dancing Because it is inherently improvisational combines music and dance in the most profound way and is the hardest thing that I could choose to do And because it is and always was my medium my raw material my foundation When I became a modern dancer while searching for an improvisational dance form I never really understood the vocabulary and always felt like I was speaking a second language When I found tap I knew immediately that it was my first language Where was your most memorable performance There are so many of them Obviously the moments of dancing a duet with Ray Brown are irreplacable also collaborating with him The solo performance with the Lewis Nash trio when I was coming out of time off while having my kids was another altering experience Guest artist in London at the Southbank Center where I hooked up with a wonderful flute player and she and I did trades for ever Almost all the shows that I do with the band in Greece love Spyros piano Petros bass and their beautiful emotional playing Loved all the performances with simply voice and wooden taps with Malika Zarra and her Moroccan vibe with Sotiria and the traditional greek songs with all

    Original URL path: http://www.tapdance.org/content/20th-anniversary-manhattan-tap-intensive?destination=node/124 (2016-02-17)
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  • AMERICAN TAP IN CHINA | www.tapdance.org
    rather than being to the music We know that the essence of tap is in depth We need to know the true tradition to gain depth in teaching and dancing as well How Do We Learn American Tap Since tap is a language it has no essential difference in the languages of English or Chinese Many of the advanced methods and mature experiences should be all suitable in teaching tap dance For instance modern English takes an open mouth to speak as a goal From the very beginning one must arrive and the correct pronunciation and shape of the mouth to be accurate One then reads aloud and recites perhaps from classical writings and studies or sings the original songs to communicate effectively When studying the Chinese language for example if you want words to flow from the mouth as from the pen of a master you must introduce a large amount of written material in your mouth first You must chant a poem many times before you can create one Practice the poem hundreds of times first then improvisation will be reached naturally and so on When utilizing this in teaching tap we must study dance classics and steps fastidiously studying the rhythm to be able to sing the beat and be stable and refined One must also practice this foot communication to enable dialogue with others as in improvisation games So the teacher must incorporate a lot of reading aloud and reciting of all previous masters styles and techniques of tap dance so that we may better learn our predecessor s outstanding works The first step is to find classics and teaching foundations suitable to the majority of ordinary students here in China so that we can then ultimately achieve the goal of pursuing higher levels of expertise to enable a deeper exploration of choreography and improvisation For all the goal of study must come from knowledge of tap language to express one s self and successfully communicate with each other through the dance We Are Working Our State of Education At this juncture the ITA s Chinese members according the aforesaid theory are working in a different way from each other in respect to tap education Some from the very beginning grasp the rein of rhythm unifying the soul and the body through work with the classic Shim Sham Shimmy as the main teaching material Each tap step is clarified and the principals of technique and placement are stressed While studying each sentence a phrase or a chorus they request the students to be able to sing and thus help to execute the dance steps correctly This practice has proved that with such teaching method the student passes through a semester approximately 3 months and can then successfully execute the first two chorus of the tap dance anthem the Shim Sham With another semester adds the Shim Sham II and The Revenge of Shim Sham In other words with no experience from the beginning a student can

    Original URL path: http://www.tapdance.org/content/american-tap-china?destination=node/123 (2016-02-17)
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  • SCIENTIFIC RHYTHM | www.tapdance.org
    Alaskan fishing boat Leander called up Eddie Brown by telephone She was not a professional tap dancer but she wished to learn the Eddie Brown B S Chorus the mythic dance real tap dancers did to get through the long dark nights up by the Arctic Circle What you want Eddie yelled into the phone Do you teach at the Embassy Hotel downtown Be there at one o clock tomorrow he yelled and slammed down the receiver The next afternoon packed and ready to go Leander pulled the hand brake on her blue Volkswagen Her tap dance courage had not failed She flung herself out opened the trunk in front and grabbed her old high heeled tap shoes by the straps She was waiting for the red light at Ninth and Figueroa a small person in downtown Los Angeles when she spied him across the street Eddie Brown was leaning on the Embassy Hotel like a tired king his dance bag on one shoulder It could only be him She stepped forward off the curb before the light turned green squinting in the sun that shone off the gold dome of the Embassy Hotel She held up one hand to shield her eyes When she stepped up on the other side of the street the glare subsided She started toward the dark man who pushed off the wall at her approach and did not touch his brown derby hat Eddie Brown For some reason Leander held out her tap shoes He regarded her as if she were a rhinoceros with bad posture You re lucky you ain t late he snarled He turned and went into the hotel Leander followed at a safe distance Tall and fine boned he moved with elegance but it was obvious to Leander he would not survive this class He was too tired to have left the house too tired to cross the lobby At any second he might collapse He pushed the elevator button leaning in with the whole weight of his bones chin down The antique car arrived at their feet with an unsettling screech Follow me said Eddie his chin on his collarbone Leander stepped in Eddie put one thumb on P button for Penthouse breathing like a sick man and they rode up slowly amid dangerously squeaky cables The elevator stopped for no one As they passed floor seven his head in its brown derby hat rose off his chest I wish I had a chocolate muffin he said bitterness in each word A chocolate muffin Her waitress muscles twitched but she was in an elevator She repressed her longing to serve food and Eddie s head dropped with a conk onto his collarbone again She stood prepared to catch him if he collapsed He was somewhere between forty and eighty and each breath sounded hard as if it might be his last She was grateful when the door opened Holding her tap shoes she followed his long legs and dark

    Original URL path: http://www.tapdance.org/content/scientific-rhythm?destination=node/122 (2016-02-17)
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  • RHAPSODY IN TAPS: THE FIRST THIRTY YEARS | www.tapdance.org
    you and that s exactly what I ve done Sometimes it s been successful and well received and other times not but having the opportunity to explore break new grounds keeps me interested in the form Working with only live music I enjoy colors and a range of dynamics Sometimes in our musical arrangements the taps are not exposed There are places in our arrangements where I consciously let the music push or drive the dance and maybe the taps for that moment are sacrificed I feel that s OK when you have a whole evening of tap dance and live music Milestones which I created in 1988 for the whole company with a feature spot for Eddie Brown was originally a piece built to showcase the company s more visual style contrasted by Eddie s improvisational style At our 15th anniversary I re created it with a major change that was having Bob Carroll do Eddie s part and to have Bob join us in some of the ensemble work as well as to solo When Bob danced in this piece I sometimes looked up above and thought that Eddie was smiling Every year I choreograph a new solo and or group pieces I enjoy working with jazz music but I also work with other musical styles Many of my experiments include other forms of dance and or percussion including Two Ta Tambour 1994 which used a 12 8 rhythm and in which M B Gordy playing wood gourd and bamboo instruments actually moved on stage and participated in the physical action of the dance In 1986 I choreographed Stickato a piece done in jazz shoes using modern dance movement and rhythms played with sticks dowels The commissioned score by Swami Deva Asanga used odd meters and a Japanese koto to lend an Asian quality in tone music and costuming Another multi form piece was Live Wire in 1987 with three dancers in tap shoes and two dancers in jazz shoes performing counter rhythms and larger traveling patterns The score by Steve Fowler included breaks where the musicians actually stopped playing and clapped responses to the dancers I created Duet in 1987 with Brent Lewis accompanying me on his Ikauma drums which are 22 chromatically tuned bongos In 1989 I created Piru Bole a solo to John Bergamo s original percussion score with percussionist Mark Berres and later M B Gordy on Indian tabla drums Chinese bowls and vocal chanting In 1990 I collaborated with renowned drummer percussionist Al Tootie Heath to create Raindance It was one of my early multi section group pieces about 20 minutes in length with textural percussion interlocking rhythms with six dancers who performed modern dance movement and tap percussion sequences with 7 rain sticks In 1991 I created Drum Thunder a tap duet performed on amplified wooden platforms In 1995 I choreographed Prelude and Fugue supported by a grant from the California Arts Council The creative process for that project was very rewarding The piece was inspired by the music of Bach The Fugue was actually my first a cappella piece RIT dancers Pauline Hagino Christy Hernandez and Bob Carroll were integral in the creation of this work It incorporated their skills in improvisation and relied on their excellent sense of timing and ability to shade and modulate the taps In creating the piece I felt like a painter painting at first one color then adding other colors over the top then going back to shade blend mix rearrange or replace It was a very loose and open process that I don t normally use when I m working with a jazz tune where I m more inclined to follow the structure of a standard chorus For me it was a freeing kind of creative process and I really enjoyed it very much especially because of the dancers skills and willingness to work this way My love for tap percussion collaborations continues throughout the evolution of Rhapsody In Taps and also includes many other pieces such as BEAT Percussion Discussion 1997 a collaboration with Michael Bissonnette whose percussion score included Taiko African and Arabic rhythms was a twenty minute work for seven dancers who tapped and played specially designed wood drums created by Bob Carroll Espiritu 2001 was a collaborative duet between Monti and I with Monti playing the berimbau We explored a range of rhythms and the dance included dramatic and playful interchanges Riptide 2001 a 9 minute work featuring 5 tap dancers performing counterpoint rhythms included showcase solos for the dancers with an African based polyrhythmic drum score performed by Monti and 3 other drummers Dat s Right 2004 was another duet I made with Monti on vocals and percussion to songs popularized by singer Harry Belafonte In 2009 Monti and I collaborated on Chugarump a 20 minute work in which the tap dancers and Monti play decorated paint buckets stick percussion and wooden frog instruments In 2010 I commissioned current company members Mindy and Gabe Copeland to create Drop da Beat a tap quartet with a hip hop flair It was time to incorporate the younger energy of the company and I really enjoyed watching them grow as choreographers This year we ve spent the entire summer working on Salute to Soul an 18 minute theatrical five part work created for Rhapsody In Taps 30th anniversary season It is performed by the company s 7 dancers and 2 apprentices to the music of American soul singers Otis Redding And Sam Cooke sung by Monti Ellison with the RIT band I have tried to incorporate or take into consideration who the actual dancers in the company are and there is something true about each person dancing the piece We have also been reconstructing notable works from the company s past and have been preparing for our 21st annual lecture dem for our free L A U S D Children s Program which started in 1991 and happens the Friday prior to

    Original URL path: http://www.tapdance.org/content/rhapsody-taps-first-thirty-years?destination=node/121 (2016-02-17)
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  • Fred Strickler Announces New Video Series | www.tapdance.org
    Strickler Announces New Video Series Announcing Masters of American Tap Dance a series of videos featuring more than 25 mini master classes with many of the best tap dance artists teachers in the U S Among the tap masters participating in this project are Dianne Walker Lynn Dally Lane Alexander Linda Sohl Ellison Heather Cornell Josh Hilberman Acia Gray and Fred Strickler Currently in production the series will be launched on YouTube as a part of this year s celebration of National Tap Dance Day May 25 2010 Also under construction is a brand new website www mastersofamericantap com which will provide information about the YouTube videos as well as links to the videos photos bios and links to many of the tap masters websites For more information contact fred strickler ucr edu Quick Links Join the ITA Advertise coming soon Propose an Article Be considered for our Dancer Spotlight Submit an Event News Item or Feature Article Apply to be a Regional Representative Join a Board Committee User login Username Password Create new account Request new password Choose your language Who s online There are currently 0 users online How to Search the ITA Site Members and registered users

    Original URL path: http://www.tapdance.org/content/fred-strickler-announces-new-video-series (2016-02-17)
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  • Feature Articles | www.tapdance.org
    is Rusty Frank Transcribed by Sandy Adler Read more about MIRIAM NELSON NEW RELEASE TAP DANCING AMERICA A CULTURAL HISTORY By Constance Valis Hill Here is the vibrant colorful high stepping story of tap the first comprehensive fully documented history of a uniquely American art form exploring all aspects of the intricate musical and social exchange that evolved from Afro Irish percussive step dances like the jig gioube buck and wing and juba to the work of such contemporary tap luminaries as Gregory Hines Brenda Bufalino Dianne Walker and Savion Glover Read more about NEW RELEASE GOTTA MOVE GOTTA MOVE WOMEN IN TAP A New Film by Lynn Dally March 2010 News Release Read more about GOTTA MOVE MASTERS OF AMERICAN TAP DANCE A COLLECTIVE GIFT TO TAP DANCERS FROM FRED STRICKLER www mastersofamericantapdance com Read more about MASTERS OF AMERICAN TAP DANCE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MANHATTAN TAP INTENSIVE HUMMING YARDBIRD SUITE By Pam Hetherington United States and Kristel Baris Holland August 2010 Just when you think you own it it s already gone Eddie Ornowski Drummer Read more about 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MANHATTAN TAP INTENSIVE AMERICAN TAP IN CHINA ONE HUNDRED FLOWERS BLOSSOMING ITA s Chinese Members Chen Jiefang Fan Pei Xia Su E Wei Wei Gu Ying Jin xiao Bo November 2010 The History and Actuality of American Tap in China Read more about AMERICAN TAP IN CHINA SCIENTIFIC RHYTHM By Rhoda Huffey First published in Green Mountains Review Volume XX Nos 1 2 Read more about SCIENTIFIC RHYTHM RHAPSODY IN TAPS THE FIRST THIRTY YEARS by Linda Sohl Ellison as told to Carolyn Clarke Sam Katz October 2011 Read more about RHAPSODY IN TAPS THE FIRST THIRTY YEARS Pages 1 2 next last Quick Links Join the ITA Advertise coming soon Propose an Article Be

    Original URL path: http://www.tapdance.org/Features?destination=Features%3Fpage%3D1 (2016-02-17)
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  • Feature Articles | www.tapdance.org
    of the best tap dance artists teachers in the U S Read more about Fred Strickler Announces New Video Series Pages first previous 1 2 Quick Links Join the ITA Advertise coming soon Propose an Article Be considered for our Dancer Spotlight Submit an Event News Item or Feature Article Apply to be a Regional Representative Join a Board Committee User login Username Password Create new account Request new password

    Original URL path: http://www.tapdance.org/Features?page=1&destination=Features (2016-02-17)
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  • Tapestry's Are You Listening to Me? | www.tapdance.org
    lined up across the stage and spoke rapidly all at once until they were silenced by some inexplicable force though still left to gesture wildly with their arms their mouths simultaneously moving like a fish s underwater One by one Gray touched them giving them voice before relinquishing their power The voice often functioned as a source of comedy In Find the Quiet Brenna Kuhn was the object of jibber jabber as each of her fellow dancers approached her to utter nonsensical sounds Tanya Rivard laughed herself into hysterical crying Matt Shields voiced what can best be described as a whiny Italian cadence and Thomas Wadelton s jig jibberish combination induced the audience to laughter At other times words were powerful The opposite of courage is not cowardice The opposite of courage is conformity pronounced Miller The dichotomy between courage and conformity was very much present throughout the evening It was highlighted in The Journey in which the group of six perfectly synchronized moved forwards and backwards in profile One by one they broke from the herd to forge their own path in this world of daily routines before rejoining the group The music by Jani Sieber sounded like it could have come off the American Beauty soundtrack though it didn t whimsical with a touch of melancholy There s no denying the fact that Tapestry s dancers are talented In many ways the most compelling bits of the evening were when they were all out dancing pure and simple As an audience member it was almost as though I could feel every fiber of my being getting sucked into the vortex of their energy In one solo Wadelton performed quick tiny movements at times standing up on his tippy toes like an awkward ballerina Lost in his own world

    Original URL path: http://www.tapdance.org/content/tapestrys-are-you-listening-me?destination=node/54 (2016-02-17)
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