My Favorite Things -- TAP CITY 2010

by Nicole Harris

As I mentioned yesterday, last night I was lucky enough to perform in Tony Waag's TAP CITY Show.  What I could only begin to hint at was how AMAZING some of the things that took place on that stage were.  I performed in the concert last year, so I had some sense of what to expect, but I was completely blown away by the dynamic, inventive, engaging work that was presented this year.  The show opened with Cartier Williams, a young powerhouse of a tap dancer who set the bar for the evening, and he set it high.   I wish I could tell you about every piece in the show, but for time's sake I will just give you the highlights (aka My Favorite Things).  

Xander Weinman's new tap company Sophisticated Sounds performed TwentySomething, and his company of twenty somethings is something to watch.  A strong performer, Xander danced in practically every piece in the first act and I am excited to see him putting his own work on stage too. 

I was fortunate enough to dance with Chikako Iwahori at last year's TAP CITY and I was thrilled to finally see some of her work.  Baiao Destemperado is a beautiful piece that made me secretly wish that I was on stage with them!  Danced by six of the hardest working tap dancers I know, I loved every swirling and flowing moment of it.

Another piece I actually told the choreographer I wanted to dance in was Danny Wallace's Inception.  ("Your piece was wonderful, I would love to dance in it", is apparently not how most people introduce themselves to stranger.  Who knew?)  His work was quirky and sweet and rhythmically intoxicating.

Barbara Duffy's Speedball is a high energy barrel of fun that had everyone dancing in their seats.  What more do you need?

(Since I'm telling you about all my favorite things, those last three pieces I mentioned had Carson Murphy and Claudia Rahardjanoto dancing in them, and they are both an absolute JOY to watch on stage and lovely women to boot!)

In a tribute to the ever wonderful Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards, who received a 2010 Hoofer Award, Jason Samuels Smith, Chloe Arnold and Derick K. Grant turned, slid and jitterbugged themselves and the audience into a frenzy with their high tempo, crystal clear tapping.  I have known Derick for a number of years now and I still marvel at his ability to enrapture an audience every time I have the chance to see him perform.  (Jason and Chloe are pretty amazing too!)

Last, but certainly not least, Lynn Schwab.  Since I danced in it myself, I can safely say that Lynn's Waters of March was BRILLIANT.  Of course, the brilliance came from Lynn's ability to wrangle fifteen dancers of all different levels into what can only be described as a simply beautiful piece.  It took you on an emotional ride, was visually stunning and filled your ears with delicate counterpoint.  Lynn is an amazing asset to the New York tap community and to my life. 

There you have it.  And that doesn't even begin to cover the range of pieces Tony presented this year.  There was Nicholas Young and his ukulele, a whole segment called Tap Internationals, Tony himself singing Just in Time and so much more!  I hope next year you can all make it down to take in this amazing evening of tap dancing.

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