For Immediate Release
Contact: Audrey Ross
TAP CITY 2006 OPENS WITH AN EVENING OF RARE TAP DANCE FILMS
HOSTED BY CONSTANCE VALIS HILL, with special guest
Tuesday July 11 at 7 PM
The Duke on 42nd Street, 229 West 42 Street
Tony Waag's Tap City 2006 will open with "An Evening of Tap Dance on Film," with emphasis on Tap Dance and Orchestral Collaborations. This one-time only event will show rarely seen tap films going back to the 1920's. Scheduled to be shown are:
***Duke Ellington's Black & Tan (1929), featuring the 5 Dancing Blazers
***The Duke Steps Out
***Duke Ellington's Concert of Sacred Music (1965) featuring Bunny Briggs and Jon Hendricks
***Touch, Turn, Return (1991) featuring Brenda Bufalino and the American Tap Dance Orchestra
As an added attraction, the program will open with a short preview from an upcoming feature documentary about the lives of four legendary women tappers: Brenda Bufalino, Lynn Dally, Sara Petronio, and Dianne Walker. Still in production, the film is directed by Jenai Cutcher of JamJam Productions (jamjamproductions.org).
Hostess for the evening is Constance Valis Hill, joined by special guest Mercedes Ellington (granddaughter of Duke Ellington).
Constance Valis Hill, a member of the Board of Directors of the American Tap Dance Foundation, has just received a 2006 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship to support the writing of a twentieth-century cultural history of tap dancing in America since 1900.
"This is a great victory for dance scholarship," notes Hill, whose fellowship is in the sole category of Dance Studies, adding "but it's a tremendous victory for tap dance. I am both humbled and exhilarated to undertake a project that will document tap dance in print and performance, film and video, festival and social history; and to tell the story of the hundreds of tap dance artists, black and white, male and female, who evolved this American vernacular dance form."
Jazz dancer, choreographer, and scholar of performance studies, Hill studied dance with Pepsi Bethel, Matt Mattox, Nat Horne, on scholarship at the Ailey School, Charles "Cookie" Cook, and various members of the Copasetics. She taught dance at the Ailey School, Conservatoire d'arts Dramatique in Paris, and NYU. She earned an M.A. in Dance Research and Reconstruction from City College of the University of New York, and a Ph.D in Performance Studies from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Currently a Five College Associate Professor of Dance at Hampshire College, Hill has written countless articles and numerous books. With the American Tap Dance Foundation, she helped found the Gregory Hines Collection of American Tap Dance, housed in the Dance Collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.