Co-Choreographer: Katy Meeks
Project: Experimental Tap Dance Piece
Timeframe: 3 months
Shown In Random With A Purpose XXVII: Via (Directed by Kat Brault, Sabrina Baños, Megan Schneider) and Santa Cruz Dancing In The Streets 2019
View a recording here!
Art & Design
A disturbance in the rhythmic framework. To pay homage to the visionaries who carried tap from its conception through to the present.
Dancers: Sydney Birakos, Kat Brault, Amy Calderwood, Taylor Garrison, Robert Jeffrey, Cam McKay, Madeline Perkins
Musicians: Caleb Gomes, Helen Wuellner, Jared Zook
Lighting Design: Ash Brown
Photography: Stephen Louis Marino
Development & Production
Piece Structure & Choreography Development Syncopation was made in response to the show's theme of process over product. Instead of using tap as a vehicle for an idea we wanted to convey, we wanted to make tap the focus. The dance world in which we were working revered modern dance and creating deep, sad pieces. In this dance world, tap is given limitations and seen as single faceted. There are only certain floors you can tap on and tap can only be happy pieces. There is no way to give meaningful depth to tap. This view is problematic. Why can’t dance be both happy and have depth? Additionally, why is the focus on one side of tap when it is a dance style with a rich history and evolution? The piece is divided into three sections. The first section is dedicated to exploration and chaos to reflect what it is like when a bunch of tappers come together to warm up and enjoy making sound. The second section is rhythmic. The layers of sound come together to create something complete and satisfying. The third section showcases individuality within a community. Each dancer shows off their best moves. The piece ends with the classic “shave and a haircut...two bits!” Everyone comes together for a cheesy moment.
Auditions & Rehearsals It was important for our dancers to be able to improvise and dance solo; therefore, our audition focused on seeing how comfortable the dancers were in their tap style. We translated that in rehearsals by allowing dancers to work with us on what kind of tap they wanted to execute. Choreographing to specific individuals' preferences and capabilities was an extra challenge but well worth it.