Steps Artists Talk with Jane Goldberg
On Saturday, January 11, Steps Beyond will present By Word of Foot: Tap Masters Pass on Their Tradition, a film by famed tapper Jane Goldberg, followed by a lively panel discussion on passing on the tradition of tap and how the creation of tap festivals helped in the codification and understanding that tap can be taught.
Panelists for this discussion are: dancer, writer and filmmaker Jane Goldberg; The Bang Group’s David Parker, who is on faculty at the Juilliard School; Melinda Mousouris, who worked on the film with Goldberg; Steps faculty member Barbara Duffy, who won the 2013 Tap City Hoofer Award and is Artistic Director of Barbara Duffy & Co.; and Broadway choreographer Heather Cornell, Artistic Director of Manhattan Tap Company.
By Word of Foot is a film that documented tap festivals organized by Jane Goldberg’s Changing Times Tap. Held in New York City venues in 1980, 1982 and 1985, these festivals paved the way for tap’s continuity by bringing together tap masters and students. A whole new generation of young tappers was able to study with some of the tap greats, thanks to the pioneering efforts of Changing Times Tap. Many professional dancers met at these initial By Word of Foot gatherings, and tap festivals now blossom through the U.S. and Europe. There are now maps on taps as young and old tappers travel to continue to move the art forward.
Jane Goldberg, the main speaker for this event, is recognized as one of the most prolific voices in the tap dancing field. In 1972, while a government major at Boston University, the dancing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers infected her imagination, and the virus spread throughout her body. She began to study tap and write about dance for several publications before moving to New York and apprenticing herself to many of the remaining entertainment greats of the 20th century, while also interviewing the old time great hoofers and documenting their work. Today, her archive lives at the New York Public Library’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts as part of The Gregory Hines Tap Collection.
As a performer, Goldberg’s comedy/tap act, Rhythm & Schmooze, which examines politics, sexuality, tap roots, career vs. family, and other issue-oriented themes, has been performed in countless venues in this country and abroad. She is the recipient of two Fulbright Scholarships to India where she performed throughout the country. She is artistic director of Changing Times Tap, Inc., and has received numerous grants. Plus, she has received the Flo-Bert Life Achievement Award, Mama Lu Parks Award and St. Denis Award for Creative Choreography. A New York resident, the ever-imaginative Goldberg is the inventor of tap-a-gram, a tapping telegram service.
To hear more about Goldberg and the other panelists joining this discussion hosted by Steps Beyond, the performance and special events division of Steps on Broadway, attend the Steps Artists Talk on Saturday, January 11 at 8 p.m. at Steps on Broadway, located at 2121 Broadway on the fourth floor in NYC. Tickets are $10 and there will be an open reception afterward. For more information, visit www.stepsnyc.com.
Photo: Jane Goldberg. Photo courtesy of JaneGoldberg.org.