Lynn Dally, Artistic Director • Gayle Hooks, Managing Director • • 310.475.4412 • 1416 Westwood Blvd., Ste 207 L.A. CA 90024

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"It will make you jump out of your shoes and beat your feet."
- Wall Street Journal

Jazz Tap Ensemble has been commissioned by the California Arts Council to create American Tap Masterpieces: The Hollywood Journey: Dance, Music, Film, as a participating artist in the National Endowment for the Arts’ American Masterpieces Program. This full-evening length work is eligible for CAC Tour funding in the state of California. For guidelines and application forms go to:

American Tap Masterpieces, The Hollywood Journey: Dance, Music, Film– is a vivid, highly entertaining, ever changing action portrait. It captures Jazz Tap Ensemble’s 25 year tradition of and reputation for quality performances, skilled dancers and musicians and impeccable artistic vision.

ACT I opens with a reconstruction of Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson’s “Stair Dance” and goes on to “Doin’ the New Low Down.” The delicate a capella rhythms on the stairs let us in on the early roots of rhythm tap. We move on to a recreation of John Bubbles performance in Varsity Drag where the syncopations evolve as Buck and Bubbles recreate their vaudeville charm. Act I continues to develop multiple threads of tap’s “Golden Age” including Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell’s duets from Broadway Melody of 1940, sequences by Bill Robinson and the Nicholas Brothers from “Stormy Weather”, and highlights from the huge variety of vivid film sources of the era. Large scale images and brief film sequences are projected. They give strong visual information as they contribute to the rhythm and fabric of the piece.

ACT II features Solo and Ensemble works created by the contemporary masters including Jimmy Slyde, Gregory Hines, Eddie Brown, Charles ‘Honi” Coles, and more. These works do express a different energy. Their source is live theater, not film. As Jimmy Slyde described in his collaboration with the JTE which resulted in his masterwork “Interplay”, “It’s a matter of giving a little bit, so that each one can create.” These dances reflect the vibrancy of contemporary American tap dance, the brilliance of choreography and improvisation, and the ability of the dancers to draw on the past as they create the future.