Tap Dance in America Essay

Posted on

Harmonizing to Funk & A ; Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. “ pat dance [ is a ] manner of American theatrical dance. distinguished by percussive footwork. [ which ] Markss out precise rhythmic forms on the floor. ” Besides. “Tap is an exciting signifier of dance in which terpsichoreans wear particular places equipped with metal lights-outs. Tap terpsichoreans use their pess like membranophones to make rhythmic forms and timely beats. ” Treva Bedinghaus. graduated from Holli Barron’s School of Performing Arts and The Ballet Academy. writes in Tap for novice. “The term “tap dancing” is derived from the tapping sound produced when the little metal home bases on the dancer’s places touch a difficult floor or surface. ” In 125 Old ages of Tap. Jane Goldberg. a dancer-writer who is considered as one of the most fecund voices in the filed of pat dance. writes: “What distinguishes tap [ dancing ] from most other dance signifiers is that it is two humanistic disciplines in one: music and dance. The terpsichoreans are ‘playing their feet’ and moving at the same clip. ” In another article – The Art of Tap Dancing. Amy Brinkman-Sustache. artistic manager of Dance-works on Tap ( DOT ) . describes. “A measure is a word.

You put stairss together to do a sentence. Questions are raised and answered through beat. It’s like listening to a conversation. ” Literally. pat is America’s alone part to dance. “Tap history is largely an unwritten tradition. ” Kikelly. performer/scholars from Virginia Tech. says. “and a individual unequivocal history has non yet been written. ” Still. Kikelly and many other people like her are working hard to uncover the truth about how this art signifier developed. Tap is believed the two-base hit of diverseness. “The history of pat has been a narrative of endurance. resurgence. Renaissance and invention. ” Jane Goldberg indicates in her 125 Old ages of Tap article. “the controversial roots of which discharge still being debated. though the primary beginnings are normally considered to be Irish and Afro-american. ” Harmonizing to Constance Valis Hill. Ph. D. in Performance Studies from New York University. “tap dance is an autochthonal American dance genre that evolved over a period of some three hundred old ages. Initially a merger of British and West African musical and step-dance traditions in America. pat emerged in the southern United States in the 1700s.

The Irish gigue ( a musical and dance signifier ) and West African gioube ( sacred and secular stepping dances ) mutated into the American gigue and juba. These in bend became juxtaposed and fused into a signifier of dancing called “jigging” which. in the 1800s. was taken up by white and black minstrel-show terpsichoreans who developed tap into a popular nineteenth-century phase amusement. ” Furthermore. “early manners of tapping utilised hard-soled places. getas. or hobnailed boots. It was non until the early decennaries of the 20th century that metal home bases ( or lights-outs ) appeared on places of terpsichoreans on the Broadway musical phase. ” Hill summarizes. “in the late 20th century. pat dance evolved into a concertized public presentation on the musical and concert hall phase. Its soaking up of Latin American and Afro- Caribbean beat in the mid-fortiess has furthered its rhythmic complexness. In the 1880ss and 1890ss. tap’s soaking up of hip-hop beat has attracted a ferocious and multiethnic new strain of male and female terpsichoreans who continue to dispute and germinate the dance signifier. doing tap the most up-to-date dance look in America today. ”

Yet. harmonizing to theatredance. com. “no one truly knows when the phrase ‘tap dance’ was foremost used – possibly every bit early as 1900 – but it didn’t appeared in print until around 1928. ” “Unlike concert dance with its codification of formal technique. pat dance developed from people listening to and watching each other dance in the street. dance hall. or societal nine where stairss were shared. stolen and reinvented. ‘Technique’ is transmitted visually. aurally. and corporeally. in a rhythmic exchange between terpsichoreans and instrumentalists. Mimicry is necessary for the command of signifier. ” Hill points out. Furthermore. she continues bespeaking. “The dynamic and interactive procedure of copying the other to contrive something new is most of import to tap’s development and has perpetuated its cardinal characteristics. such as the pat challenge. [ … ] The unwritten and written histories of pat dance are full with challenge dances. from jigging competitions on the plantation that were staged by white Masterss for their slaves. and challenge dances in the walk-around coda of the folk singer show. to showdowns in the street. shows of one-upsmanship in the societal nine. and juried buck-and wing-contests on the music hall phase. ”

Indeed. Jane Goldberg besides writes. “one documented fact is that many tap fables began executing any topographic point they could — particularly street corners — before the subject Invaded music hall shows and. finally. the Ag screen. In a competition by the performing artists to surpass one another. pat kept germinating. transforming into an art signifier of self-expression every bit good as extremely stylized production Numberss. ” For such a long clip. pat was considered “a man’s game” or even “a mostly black. male-dominated signifier. ” Peoples easy notice assorted celebrated male pat terpsichoreans in history like Bill “Bojangles” Robinson ( 1878-1949 ) . John W. Bubbles ( 1902-1986 ) . or Sammy Davis Jr. ( 1925-1990 ) . Female terpsichoreans. in contrast. were non really honored in history books. Yet. Jane Golden nowadayss. “a figure of immature white adult females got into the act get downing in the mid-1970s. These adult females studied and frequently performed with their male wise mans. ” even though the fact Stacie Strong has noted in History. Herstory. OUR STORY article: “While male pat terpsichoreans acted as stars. adult females tapsters filled out the chorus lines.

Though many of their names have been lost. these adult females were improbably various and gifted. Headliners frequently did the same act hebdomad after hebdomad ( or even twelvemonth after twelvemonth ) . but the chorus had to larn a new modus operandi every few hebdomads. frequently working with props and in bizarre costumes. executing every bit many as four shows a twenty-four hours. ” Professor Constance Valis Hill’s inclusive history is the first to besides foreground the outstanding female terpsichoreans. she wrote in Tap Dance in America: A Very Short History. “In 1986. La Mama presented Sole Sisters an all adult female. multi-generational pat dance show directed by Constance Valis Hill that brought together high-heeled hoofers and low-heeled steppers. the seasoned grande dolls of pat and younger Prima taperinas. ” Following. she indicates. “Soul Sisters was non the lone production to open the door for the acknowledgment of female wind pat terpsichoreans. On the West Coast Lynn Dally. who founded the Jazz Tap Ensemble in 1979. combined her extended experience in modern dance with wind pat to form a group of terpsichoreans that insisted on acting and interacting with a unrecorded wind ensemble.

On the East Coast. vocalist. wind and tap terpsichorean Brenda Bufalino. once a spouse of Honi Coles. founded the American Tap Orchestra. and set about experimenting with how to layer and orchestrate rhythmic groups of terpsichoreans on the concert phase. ” “Today the type of pat that largely closely resembles the manner current during Robinson’s epoch is wind or beat pat. These terpsichoreans concentrate on improvisation and stage dancing that incorporate the complicated beat of authoritative wind music. Often they look crouched over. listening to their pess — and that’s precisely what they’re making. While some beat tapsters have begun choreographing for their upper organic structures. the accent is still on the terpsichoreans hearing themselves. The wise mans of today’s taking beat tapsters have frequently been called ‘hoofers’ . ” writes Jane Goldberg.

In add-on. The Basic Characteristics of Tap Dancing shows. “Tap terpsichoreans make frequent usage of syncope. Choreography typically starts on the eighth or first beatcount. Another facet of pat dance is improvisation. This can either be done with music and follow the beats provided or without musical concomitant. otherwise known as acappella dance. ” This article besides points out another major fluctuations on pat dance. besides rhythm pat: “Early tapsters like Fred Astaire provided a more ballroom expression to tap dancing. while Gene Kelly used his extended concert dance preparation to do tap dancing incorporate all the parts of the concert dance.

This manner of pat led to what is today known as “Broadway manner. ” which is more mainstream in American civilization. ” Specially. the article give some illustrations of common tap stairss and how professional pat terpsichoreans make their new stairss: Common tap stairss include the shuffling. scuffle ball alteration. flap. flap heel. spasm axial rotation. American bison. Maxi Ford. individual and dual tiebacks. wings. Cincinnati. the shim fake shimmy ( besides called the Lindy ) . Irish. Waltz Clog. the paddle and axial rotation. the roll. stomp. coppices. mules. and individual and dual toe clouts. hot stairss. heel chinks. individual. dual and ternary clip stairss. Riffs. over-the-tops. military clip measure. New Yorkers. and chugs. In advanced pat dancing. basic stairss are frequently combined together to make new stairss.

Timesteps are widely used in pat and can change in different countries. These consist of a beat that is changed to do new timesteps by adding or taking stairss. The images of tap terpsichorean and their places has besides changed. particularly for female terpsichoreans: “Boundaries have shifted dramatically since the seventiess. when high-heeled pat places were reserved for Broadway-style pat and level oxford-style places were associated with beat pat. ” harmonizing to Darrah Carr – MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Additionally. Carr notes that “Introductory high-heeled lights-outs range from 1? to 1?? high. while more advanced heels can be up to 3? high. [ … ] Dancing in heels besides forces you to keep your organic structure more unsloped. which can alter your phase presence. [ … ] ‘Heels encourage you to integrate your hips and your shoulders into your dance and have oning heels makes you think about widening the line of your leg’ . ” In contrast. “many tap terpsichoreans find that nil beats the comfort of flats. ” Carr reveals. “Flat pat places are made in the same Oxford manner for adult females and work forces. and many terpsichoreans feel that the shoe looks best when paired with bloomerss or denims.

And flats have larger metal lights-outs than heels. so the sound produced is a deeper. heavier bass tone. ( The smaller metal lights-outs on high-heeled places make sounds that are higher in tone. ) ” Another thoughts showed by Carr are: “A dancer’s organic structure arrangement in level pat places is centered between the toes and heels. [ And ] certain stairss. such as side shufflings and toe bases. are easier to put to death in flats because your weight is more equally distributed. ” Still. “Whether you’re a heels lover or everlastingly committed to flats. it’s of import that you become comfy with both shoe manners. ” she advises. Indeed. harmonizing to Elena North-Kelly. “High heeled. low heeled. soft leather. difficult leather. split soled. and full soled–all pat places are non created equal. Different manners of pat places ease different manners of pat dance. When shopping for a shoe. you need to see comfort. flexibleness. aesthetic. form. and. of class. sound. ”

Besides. North-Kelly quotes a statement from Lynn Schwab. who teaches pat at New York City’s Steps on Broadway. to assist people with taking pat places: “While portion of a pat dancer’s sound is a merchandise of technique. it besides relates to the stuff of the shoe. For beat tapping. the best sound comes from a harder shoe with a wider heel. ” Finally. North-Kelly says. “Dancers trusting for a calling on Broadway. nevertheless. hold a small more leeway. partially because most Broadway terpsichoreans use different pat places for public presentation. categories. and hearings. ” Briefly. with a comparatively brief but rich history. the tap tradition is turning bigger. better and broader every twelvemonth. In fact. keeping an tremendous regard for the yesteryear. Jason Samuels Smith. the first tapster to win an Emmy award for stage dancing since Hermes Pan in 1958. used to state: “Tap civilization is all about observing the past and roll uping its vocabulary over clip.

If we don’t keep our history. we lose what’s valuable about pat. ” He is non the lone individual who thinks that manner. Donna-Marie Peters – professor at Temple University. besides express her thoughts in Passing On: The Old Head/Younger Dancer Mentoring Relationship in the Cultural Shpere of Rhythm Tap: “Respect for the artistic tradition” of pat is the value that humbles even the most seasoned performing artists. This value demands subservience to the art that is seen as bigger than the single and takes a life-time to maestro. By honouring the art over the person. the pat dancers become retainers to the art. working to the best of their ability to put to death it good. The long-run endurance of this fighting art signifier is dependent on a cot munity of persons with a sense of intent. dedicated to maintaining the art signifier alive and traveling frontward.

Plants Cited
“TAP DANCE. ” ( n. d. ) : Funk & A ; Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. EBSCO. Web. 26 Oct. 2011. Bedinghaus. Treva. “Tap for Beginners. ” About. com n. pag. Web. 26 Oct 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //dance. about. com/bio/Treva-Bedinghaus-32821. htm & gt ; Carr. Darrah. “Heels vs. Flats. ” Dance Spirit 14. 8 ( 2010 ) : 98. MAS Ultra – School Edition. EBSCO. Web. 26 Oct. 2011. Hill. Constance. “Tap Dance in America: A Very Short History. ” ( 2002 ) : n. pag. Web 26 Oct 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. nypl. org/locations/tid/55/node/70581 & gt ; Holmes. Vance. “All ABout Tap Dance. ” TheatreDance. com n. pag. Web. 26 Oct 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. theatredance. com/tap/ & gt ; . Goldberg. Jane. “125 Old ages of pat. ” Dance Spirit 7. 5 ( 2003 ) : 34. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 26 Oct. 2011. North-Kelly. Elena. “Tap Shoes Meet These Dancing Feet. ” Dance Magazine 79. 3 ( 2005 ) : 68. MAS Ultra – School Edition. EBSCO. Web. 26 Oct. 2011. Peters. Donna-Marie. “Passing On: The Old Head/Younger Dancer Mentoring Relationship in the Cultural Shpere of Rhythm Tap. ” Western Journal of Black Studies 34. 4 ( 2010 ) : 438-436. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 26. Oct. 2011. Schneider. John. “The Art of Tap Dancing. ” n. pag. Web. 26 Oct 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. expressmilwaukee. com/article-11832-the-art-of-tap-dancing. hypertext markup language & gt ; Strong. Stacie. “History. Herstory. OUR STORY. ” Dance Spirit 11. 10 ( 2007 ) : 62. MAS Ultra – School Edition. EBSCO. Web. 26 Oct 2011. “The basic features of pat dance. ” Ballet Shoes n. pag. Web. 26 Oct 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //shoes-collection. net/2011/10/05/tap-shoes-capezio/ & gt ; .