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  • Tap dance:

  • one of America's major contributions to the world of percussive dance,

  • born out of the melding of African and European dance traditions.

  • There's so many variations within tap dance,

  • as many approaches as there have been tap dancers.

  • And there have been a lot!

  • Since its birth, over 125 years ago,

  • tap dance has grown up

  • in the world of American popular entertainment.

  • From minstral shows and vaudeville,

  • to night clubs, musical theater, and movie musicals,

  • tap dance has held a featured role.

  • And your approach depends on when in the history's lineage

  • you decide to connect.

  • The landscape of American entertainment shifted in the 1950s and 60s.

  • Big bands became cost-prohibitive,

  • rock and roll was becoming a popular music,

  • and American musical theater moved

  • towards a format incorporating ballet with narrative

  • rather than the extension of variety shows

  • that it had been in the past.

  • All these factors pushed tap dancing

  • to the fringes of the entertainment world.

  • Tap dance still existed;

  • there were dancers,

  • but it was outside of the popular discourse.

  • There were fewer and fewer places to dance

  • and very little need for new tap dancers,

  • so those who have been dancing in the 20s, 30s, and 40s,

  • really had no one to pass along the art form to.

  • In the 1970s, a multifaceted resurgence began.

  • Modern dancers became interested in the older tap dancers,

  • drawing them out of retirement to teach.

  • Grassroots-organized tap festivals began to spring up,

  • featuring the older tap dancers teaching the technique

  • and the history of the craft.

  • Older dancers also came out of retirement to perform

  • with groups such as The Copasetics and The Original Hoofers, traveling the world.

  • Even Broadway regained interest in the form,

  • with Gregory Hines becoming a public figure

  • for tap dance on the stage and in feature films.

  • Since then, the resurgence has spawned a more popular interest,

  • with Savion Glover at the nexus of the crowd.

  • Considered the quintessential tap dancer,

  • Glover presents the form as a pure musician.

  • Since the 1990s,

  • and thanks in a large part to the work of Savion Glover,

  • we've seen a rise in young people's interest in tap dance.

  • I'm part of that generation.

  • Today, as we begin to rediscover the craft,

  • we continue to look back

  • and take examples of what tap dance was from past generations,

  • at the same time, discovering our own unique approaches.

  • There is so much freedom today.

  • We can take what exists

  • and apply past examples within our own unique context -

  • today's perspective on tap dance.

  • It all really boils down to

  • two pieces of metal on a leather-soled shoe,

  • the wood to dance on,

  • an audience to watch and listen,

  • and something to say.

  • It's the balancing of these elements

  • that is a tap dancer's craft work.

Tap dance:

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B1 TED-Ed tap glover craft dancer entertainment

【TED-Ed】A tap dancer's craft - Andrew Nemr

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    wikiHuang posted on 2014/01/14
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