"The Story of Tap: 20th Anniversary" at Dixon Place
“The Story of Tap: 20th Anniversary” is a continuation of a series of conversations with tap dancers, originally done at Dixon Place for six evenings in 1998 and 2005 and returned for one night in 2015 and 2017. It comes back again for another night. It is a narrative of tap dance, rather than some definitive history of it with Mr. Smith engaging performers to talk about tap and associated art forms. Film clips, dance and music add to the stories. Guests have included: James “Buster” Brown, Marion Coles, The Copasetics, Tina Pratt, Harold Cromer, Mable Lee, Michelle Dorrance, Ayodele Casel, Dianne Walker, David Pleasant, Josephine McNamara, Michela Marino Lerman, Max Pollack, Kazu Kumagai, Mickey Davidson, Frank Owens, Bernice Brooks, and Loretta Abbott.
Mr. Smith’s guests, on this 20th anniversary of the show, will be Jason Samuels Smith and Derick Grant, with Ayako Shirasaki on piano.
Hank Smith has done mime, clowning, dance, photography, video and television production. For twenty years he was a Stage Manger on Sesame Street, also functioning as Associate Director, Actor and Choreographer. As a tap dancer and educator, he has participated in the NY Committee to Celebrate National Tap Dance Day’s Tap Extravaganza, the Tradition In Tap Experiences, NY Tap City and NJ Tap Festival. His performance work has also been presented in and around the NYC area. An Associate Professor Emeritus at Bloomfield College, New Jersey, he has two blogs and is writing a book about his creative journey.
Jason Samuels Smith, an established leader in the world of Tap Dance, is also Choreographer, Performer and Humanitarian. He received an Emmy, Dance Magazine Award, and American Choreography Award as well as grants/residencies supporting the development of new work. He is the director of the Los Angeles Tap Festival and designer of a professional tap shoe sold exclusively by Bloch.
Derick K. Grant (Performer, Choreographer, Director) was an original company member and Dance Captain for Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Mr. Grant was the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for Upcoming Young Artist. He created the critically acclaimed show Imagine Tap!, and his production of the history of tap, A NIGHT OUT: TAP!. He is currently the national tap spokesperson for So Danca.
Jazz pianist and composer Ayako Shirasaki has been playing the piano since the age of 5. She began performing in jazz clubs at the age of 12, and has won numerous piano competitions in her native Japan. She co-founded Sakura Music School in 2010 in NYC, and in August 2013, her piano trio album, "Some Other Time" (Jan Matthies Records) was released.
The Dixon Place Lounge is open before and after the show, and you can bring your drink in the theater! Bar proceeds directly support DP’s artists and mission.
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