ABOUT THE INAUGURAL EVENT – LEGACY SERIES: TAP DANCE 2021 – 2022
Our first iteration – Legacy Series: Tap Dance – connected the local Black community to Tap Dance and its historical significance to Black culture. Led by Lisa La Touche and Travis Knights, attendees received a practical, theoretical, and metaphysical introduction to the original American street dance – Tap. Attendees were challenged by learning the intricate and groove-based physicality of Tap, as well as the distinction between the Black cultural expression of the dance and the many appropriated forms that became popular at different periods in Turtle Island’s history. Along with invited guest artists, live music in the classroom, a jam session and a social ball, this event enhanced the understanding and appreciation of the scope of Blackness through Tap Dance culture.
Renowned faculty members included: Bril Barrett (Chicago), Brinae Ali (Baltimore), Danny Nielsen (Vancouver), Mafa Makhubalo (Toronto), and Natasha Powell (Toronto). Musicians Michael Shand, Jonathan Chapman, Amhed Mitchel, Anthony D’Alessandro, Jennifer Lo, and Kwasi Dunyo collaborated with the faculty to provide live music education and performance throughout the event.
The Tap Dance Symposium took place at Hart House, University of Toronto, from December 3-5, 2021. We are grateful for their partnership and support in making this event happen.
The Artistic Directors incubated new work over the spring of 2022, and we presented it at the Legacy Series: Tap Dance Concert in June 2022 in High Park as part of the Canadian Stage Dream in High Park. The presentation garnered five (5) Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations, and Travis Knights won the award for Outstanding Performance in Dance by an Individual for 2022.
Image of the inaugural Legacy Series by Laurie Townshend.