The 6th annual Australian Tap Dance Festival shuffles into Melbourne 30 September – 6 October with a world class line-up of dancers arriving for Australia’s premiere celebration of tap from across Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United States.
The Australian Tap Dance Festival is the only festival of its kind in Australasia and offers an action-packed week of tap and choreography introductions, master classes, jams, dance battles and competitions, group practices, seminars and special events for all ages and levels. The festival will run across two of Melbourne’s best arts venues, the Dance Factory and Chapel Off Chapel.
This year’s Festival faculty features an exceptional line up of tap artists including international French headliner and choreographer Roxane Butterfly (first woman to win the prestigious Bessie Award for tap dance and founder of Jimmy Slyde Institute), Winston Morrison (founder of Melbourne Tap Dance and Australian Tap Dance Festival), Nathaniel Hancock (current touring member of ‘Tap Dogs’), Jack Egan (coach of the Australian International Dance Organization tap team), Thomas Wadelton (principal dancer Tapestry Dance Company – North America’s only professional full time dance company), Darren Disney (original member of ‘Tap Dogs’), Thomas Egan (creative/ performer ‘The Tap Pack’), Peta Anderson (touring member of ‘Riverdance’), Brianna Taylor (one of Australia’s leading professional tap dance artists), and Shane Preston (teacher, choreographer and performer - currently commissioned to create the ‘Australian Teachers of Dance’ organization). Each carefully selected faculty member will also be offering special 5-day residencies teaching full performance routines from 2- 6 October.
“The art of tap dance is always evolving and still thrives across the globe since its early American roots in the 1900’s,” says festival producer and dancer Ella Lehaf. “From childhood tap lessons and adult fitness classes to the world stage showmanship of ‘Tap Dogs’, ‘Riverdance’ and even ‘The Book of Morman’, tap dance continues to be rich with possibilities and new techniques which we aim to showcase at the festival,” says Ms. Lehaf.
This year’s line of up exciting events includes a free Never Tapped Before (beginners class), Talking Tap (faculty Q&A), Rhythm Creation (improvisation night with live jazz band), the Future of Tap presented by Capezio (artist showcase), Cutting Competition (tap battle), Learn the Famous Shim Sham and BS Chorus(lesson), free Lunchtime History Talks & Jams and the penultimate event, the Australian Tap Dance Festival Gala, showcasing the superb skills of a calvacade of international and Australian tap dancers.
(SOURCE: AUSTRALIAN TAP DANCE FESTIVAL)