TAP FAMILY REUNION
Celebrating National Tap Dance Day in NYC
May 23-26, 2019
New York, NY, (May 8, 2019) -- Artistic Directed by world-renowned tap dance
luminaries Dormeshia, Derick K. Grant, and Jason Samuels Smith, with Executive Producers Elka Samuels Smith and Tamia Santana, the second annual Tap Family Reunion returns for a 4-day celebration of National Tap Dance Day celebrating an original American art form on icon Bill "Bojangles" Robinson's Birthday. Made possible by generous support from
the Debbie Allen Dance Academy with additional support from The Schomburg Center and Swing 46 Jazz & Supper Club, events include performances, gatherings, workshops and so much more! Taking place at key locations throughout the city, all programming aims to highlight the intergenerational importance of the culture; celebrate our elders and make Tap dance accessible to youth and everyone in between. The Tap Family Reunion focuses on the historical connections of the original American art form of Tap Dance that is unique to New York City.
Programming kicks off on Thursday May 23rd with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture housing a special pop-up featuring historic Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and other Tap dance artifacts. Friday May 24th continues at the Schomburg with an original performance conceived and choreographed by the Award-winning collaboration of Dormeshia, Derick K. Grant & Jason Samuels Smith. Happy Birthday Bill! is a full on celebration of Tap Dance and Mr. Robinson’s contributions to our art from as well as Harlem Community. On Saturday, events take place at the Ailey Studios including tap dance workshops for all levels, The Tap Family Feud game show, and Tap Con. Workshops will take place between 10am-8pm while Tap Con takes place on location featuring products, demos, barter/trade, giveaways and more.The evening ends with Tap Family Feud, an original game show experience that utilizes Tap Dance questions surveyed in advance. Contestants will be selected from audience members with the opportunity to compete for great prizes! The final day begins with
the Footsteps of The Giants scavenger hunt which fully engages participants as they progress to each of the monuments of significance to Tap Dance history and culture throughout New York City. Events culminate in the Cutting Contest 1-2pm and Tap Jam/ celebration at Swing 46 Jazz and Supper Club from 2-6pm in honor of the historic Buster Brown Tap Jam.
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Tickets are on sale at www.Tap-Family-Reunion.Ticketleap.com. More Info: [email protected]
This event is made possible by generous support from the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, The New York Public Library - Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Da Super Villainz (Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Derick K. Grant & Jason Samuels Smith), MYTE (Metropolitan Youth Tap Ensemble, Bloch, Capezio, So Danca, Elka Samuels Smith/Divine Rhythm Productions, Tamia Santana/The Brooklyn Arts, and TapTakeoverHarlem.
About the Artistic Directors
Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards is a two-time Bessie Award winner (as performer and choreographer), Princess Grace Award, and Astaire Award for Best Female Performer in Broadway’s After Midnight. Additional Broadway credits include Black and Blue and Bring In Da’Noise, Bring In Da’Funk.Dormeshia was integral to Noise/Funk’s International Tour (dance captain/principal) and performed as special guest for Grammy artist Fantasia and International Jazz Day featuring the legendary Al Jarreau and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Film credits include “TAP” with Gregory Hines, Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled” (Assistant Choreographer/actress), and “The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang” (Best Lead Actress nomination). Choreography credits include Michael Jackson’s Rock My World, The Cotton Club’s Sophisticated Ladies, The Blues Project (co-choreographer/creator), and Jacob Pillow debut And Still You Must Swing (New York Times’ The Best of Dance for 2016). With over 30 years touring the world, she also spent 11 years as Michael Jackson’s tap instructor.
Jason Samuels Smith, is a recipient of an Emmy Award; Dance Magazine Award; American Choreography Award to name a few. His choreography has been commissioned and supported by a Joyce Foundation Grant, Alpert Residency among others. His company ACGI launched the careers of many of its members after several consecutive seasons of successful touring. Jason’s choreography and film credits include “Black Nativity” (associate tap choreographer/security guard #1); Hit Series Psych; CBS’s Secret Talents of the Stars (MYA); “So You Think You Can Dance”; Dancing with The Stars; UPAJ:Improvise; Dean Hargrove’s “Tap Heat”, Outkast’s “Idlewild”; Debbie Allen’s “Cool Women”. He has appeared with Grammy Award winning artists including Lalah Hathaway and Jennifer Halladay to name a few. Stage Credits include Soul Possessed (leading role); Broadway’s Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk (principal/lead roles); Imagine Tap! (leading role). He also designed and developed a professional tap shoe sold exclusively by BLOCH. Jason continues to travel as an ambassador for tap around the world.
Derick K. Grant, recipient of the Princess Grace Award, The Helen Hayes Award (Washington D.C.) for Outstanding Featured Actor as well as two additional for his role in Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk. He received two Los Angeles Ovation Awards for choreography and for best Ensemble performance in Noise/Funk, and was recognized for Best Choreography for Imagine Tap! He was also nominated for the Lester Horton Dance Award for Best Male Performance from the Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles. He was an original company member and Dance Captain for Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk at both The Public Theater and on Broadway and also starred in the role of ‘da beat for the first National Tour of Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk. Mr. Grant starred in The World Famous Apollo Theater's touring production “Get On The Good Foot” a Tribute to James Brown and created the critically acclaimed show Imagine Tap!. He is currently the National Tap spokesperson for SoDanca and founder of Tap2You, scheduling the highest quality instruction from today's leading tap dancers.
Featured Guest Artists:
David Gilmore, “The Metaphysician of Tap”, danced with Miles Davis
Dewitt Fleming, Boardwalk Empire/Cirque Du Soleil/TV/Film
Michelle Dorrance, Dorrance Dance Company, MacArthur Genius Fellow
Evan Ruggiero, Dance Magazine 25 To Watch, NJ Tap Ensemble
Bakaari Wilder, Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk/Spike Lee’s Bamboozled
The Foreman Brothers, Upcoming duo -“...conjures up the spirit of The Nicholas Brothers”
For Calendar Section
Tap Family Reunion
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Thurs/Fri) The Ailey Studios (Sat)
Swing 46 Jazz & Supper club (Sun)
May 23- 26, 2019
Thursday – Sunday at Various Times
Range from Free to $225 Full Package. www.tap-family-reunion.ticketleap.com 212.262.1394
In Person: Various locations throughout the city
DAY BY DAY Overview:
***Various Locations Throughout NYC
THURSDAY MAY 23rd:
Time TBD: Open Archive: Tap Dance
***Located at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10037
FRIDAY MAY 24th: (*Dress To Impress)
7pm doors, 7:30pm show: *Performance: Happy Birthday Bill
8:45pm: After Party at Spoonfed
***Located at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Langston Hughes Auditorium, 515 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10037
SATURDAY MAY 25th:
10am-7pm Tap Con (Vendors, Demos, Giveaways, Barter/Trade and more)
10am-7:45pm Tap Workshops
8pm-9pm The Tap Family Feud Game Show
***Located at Ailey Studios, 405 W 55th Street, NY 10019
SUNDAY MAY 26th:
9:00am-12pm Footsteps of The Giants (Scavenger Hunt)
***Various locations throughout NYC ending at Swing 46 per below 12:00pm: Doors at Swing 46
1:00pm-2:00pm The Cutting Contest
2:00pm-6:00pm The Tap Family Jam & Closing Celebration
***Located at Swing 46 Jazz & Supper Club, 349 W 46th St, NY, NY 10036
“Happy Birthday Bill” Performance
Conceived and Choreographed by Award-winning collaborators Dormeshia Sumbry- Edwards, Derick K. Grant & Jason Samuels-Smith, Happy Birthday Bill is an all out celebration of one of Harlem’s own Tap Dance Icon Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and National Tap Dance Day. With momentum from last year’s formula, this year once again features original choreography and a whole new cast of featured soloists and standout chorus dancers comprised of some of the greatest young talents from around the nation. According to one review last year... “the show was cookin' like the first barbecue of Memorial Day weekend. People, without exaggeration, this was one of the best and hottest shows of New York's jam-packed season.”
“Footsteps of the Giants”
Fun for all ages, participants will be guided through an interactive tour and challenged to race against time to solve a series of clues and perform activities throughout the course of the event. Footsteps of the Giants fully engages participants as they progress to each of the monuments significant to Tap Dance history and culture throughout New York City. Participants can work alone or in groups, but all must register to gain access to the clues and compete for prizes.
“The Tap Family Feud”
In the style of some of your favorite game shows, we have created an original game show that will put your knowledge of Tap Dance to the test! Contestants will be selected from audience members and have the opportunity to compete for great prizes. Join us for a fun evening of laughs, memories and good times at The Ailey Studios.
“The Cutting Contest”
The Cutting Contest is a tap dance improvisation battle formatted and made popular worldwide by Jason Samuels Smith. Audience members will be able to watch and engage in an exciting exchange that is never the same twice! Contestants compete in groups of two and receive credit based on their creativity, timing, phrasing and ability to follow the established rules.
Come engage, learn, and exchange at this interactive Tap Market geared towards all things Tap! The event will run all day Saturday and offer items for purchase, trade/barter, demos, giveaways, footage, cultural relics and more! Wear your favorite tap gear, share stories, take pictures, and help celebrate this special art form we all know and love...
“Tap Jam & Closing Celebration”
Honoring the legacy of Buster Brown's Tap Jam with live music, tap dance, and good times at Swing 46 Jazz & Supper Club.
Link to more information for Tap Family Reunion weekend of events: