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Tony Waag’s Tap City 2010 – The Main Event at Symphony Space

- Onstage with the Dancers: Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Salon Ziba

200 West 57th Street
New York, NY
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Tony Waag’s
Tap City 2010 – The Main Event
The New York City Tap Festival

Tony Waag, Artistic/Executive Director
Tony Waag, Master of Ceremonies
Bernice “Boom Boom Brooks”,
Musical Director/Drums
Jess Jurkovic, Piano
Joe Fonda, Bass

Audrey Ross * Publicity, Press

Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street
NY, NY 10025

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
July 9, 2010

The American Tap Dance Foundation, founded in 1986 by Tony Waag, Brenda Bufalino, and Charles “Honi” Coles, used to be called the American Tap Dance Orchestra. From 1986 to 2002, the Orchestra entertained audiences in concert programs around the world, as well as producing events and tap classes at Woodpeckers Tap Dance Center in NY. In 2002 Tony Waag renamed the Orchestra as the American Tap Dance Foundation, with training programs, a scholarship fund, the International Tap Dance Hall of Fame, and tap archives at Lincoln Center Library. The new American Tap Dance Center opened just this year, home to, with teen and youth tap programs, workshops, tap talks, films, and dance rental spaces. ( Program Notes)

Act I

New Voices/New Faces/New Visions:
Final Test: Music by Charlie Clouser, Dancer/Choreography – Cartier Williams.
The Chain: Music by Ingrid Michaelson, Choreography by Shelby Kaufman, Danced by an Ensemble.
TwentySomething: Music by Jamie Cullum, Group – Sophisticated Sounds, Choreography by Xander Weinman, Performed by and Ensemble.
Baião Destemperado: Music by Fernando Barba, Group – Chikavision, Choreography by Chikako Iwahori, Performed by and Ensemble.
Can’t Run But: Music by Paul Simon, Group – Hamilton Dance, Choreography by Rita Hamilton, Performed by and Ensemble.
Inception: Music by DeVotchka & Mychael Danna, Choreography by Danny Wallace, Performed by an Ensemble.
Ruby Throated Hummingbirds: Music by David Morneau, Group – Les Femmes Plus, Choreography by Germaine Salsberg, Performed by an Ensemble.
Waters of March: “Anexxus”, Music by Carlos Jobim, Choreography by Lynn Schwab, Performed by an Ensemble.

Tap Internationals
Sueño Vivo: Music by Renaud Garcia-Fons, Dancer/Choreographer – Cristina Delius.
In a Sentimental Mood: Music by Duke Ellington, Choreography by Brenda Bufalino, Performed by Grégoire Vandersmissen.
Ultimo Fandango: Music by Renaud Garcia-Fons, Group – Chili con Tap, Choreography by Cristina Delius, Performed by an Ensemble.
Sand and Flamenco: Guillem Alonso & Juan de Juan.

Act II

Back and Forth!
Interface: Music by Louis Bellson, Dancer/Choreographer – Brenda Bufalino, Caravan: Music by Duke Ellington/Juan Tizol, Group – Tap City Youth Ensemble Alumni, Choreography by Susan Hebach, Performed by an Ensemble.
Speedball: Music by Lee Morgan, Group – Barbara Duffy and Co., Choreography by Barbara Duffy, Performed by an Ensemble.

Tribute to Acia Gray, 2010 Hoofer Award Recipient
Slip Sliding Away: Music by Simon & Garfunkel, Dancer/Choreography – Nicholas Young, with Ukuleles and Percussion.
All Blues Play: Music by Miles Davis, Dancer/Choreography – Acia Gray.
Wrestling with My Heart: Group – Katherine Kramer Projects, Inc., Music/Choreography by Katherine Kramer, Performed by Carson Murphy, Nicholas Young, Katherine Kramer.

Tribute to Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, 2010 Hoofer Award Recipient
Cotton Club Sophisticate Ladies: Music – Traditional, Choreography by Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Performed by an Ensemble.
Must We Swing All the Time: Music – Untraditional, Choreographed and Performed by an Ensemble.
Just in Time: Music by Comden/Green/Styne, Choreography and Vocals by Tony Waag, Performed by an Ensemble.

Symphony Space was bursting with energy tonight, for this incredibly expansive tap dance extravaganza, called Tap City 2010. The week’s Tap City events spread from July 5 through July 10, 2010, including Tap Films, Teen Showcase, Book Signing, Tappy Hour, Adult Youth, and Student Showcases, tonight’s Main Event, and tomorrow’s Awards Ceremony. Tony Waag is a charismatic Master of Ceremonies, and he put together a great night of Tap. The show began with “Final test”, Cartier Williams’ own choreographed solo, to new age music, that included a phrase where he even dances down to the floor. The early evening pieces were casual, youthful, and creative. I found Xander Weinman’s “TwentySomething” expressively jazzy, with vocals, rhythm, black shirts, and jeans.

“Can’t Run But”, danced by an ensemble to Paul Simon’s music, included men and women in black pants and white shirts in lines of Rita Hamilton’s choreographed joy. “Inception” brought some purple striped costumes out for a song called “The Winner Is”, choreographed by Danny Wallace. One of my favorite works was Cristina Delius’ “Sueño Vivo”, another solo danced by the choreographer. This performance was part of the four-dance, Tap Internationals segment. Next was a Duke Ellington scored Tap, to Brenda Bufalino’s choreography, “In a Sentimental Mood”, danced by Grégoire Vandersmissen. He’s a smooth, traditional dancer, who evoked white tie and tails.

Renaud Garcia-Fons’ “Ultimo Fandango” was exotic in costumes of blue and black, and the Turkish-infused tones enhanced the performance. The final Tap International was “Sand and Flamenco”, a lengthy duo for Guillem Alonso and Juan de Juan. The former made a dramatic gesture of slowly allowing sand to filter through his fingers, then dancing vibrantly on a scratchy sounding stage. The latter, a mesmerizing flamenco-tap dancer from Spain, brought the house down with wild, intense tap stamping, circling with arms in the air. Brenda Bufalino danced to live jazz with an engaging, seasoned personality. She seemed thrilled to be onstage, and she had many longtime fans in the audience. Her rhythmic metal pattering had ingenious combinations.

The Tap City Youth Ensemble “Alumni” danced to Susan Hebach’s choreography, scored to Ellington’s “Caravan”. Again, the jazz was live, and the performance was replete with sophisticated attitude and steady syncopation. They ended with flourish and pizzazz. Barbara Duffy’s “Speedball”, danced by an ensemble in suave black costumes, was very Broadway buoyant and very Tap savant. A tribute to Acia Gray, the 2010 Hoofer Award Recipient, included a fascinating segment. Nicholas Young’s solo to his own choreography was danced to a Simon & Garfunkel score on live ukuleles and percussion, including a wooden cajón. Acia Gray danced solo choreography to Miles Davis’ Blues, and the band was in tight connection to the hoofers’ feet. For Katherine Kramer’s “Wrestling with My Heart”, the live musicians danced as well.

The tribute to Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, another 2010 Hoofer Award Recipient, was danced by the Cotton Club Sophisticated Ladies. Their short sequined dresses were stunning, as was their ravishing footwork. Tony Waag was onstage for much of the Finale, dancing a bit and thanking the crowd. But he took a break for “Must We Swing All the Time”, choreographed and danced by Chloe Arnold, Michelle Dorrance, Derick K. Grant, and Jason Samuels Smith, a wild ride throughout. “Just in Time” brought Tony Waag back out on choreography, vocals, and dancing, with a Broadway styled ensemble extraordinaire. Tony Waag, with everyone onstage and off, enjoyed this brilliant finish.

Tony Waag, Master of Ceremonies
and Mayor of Tap City
Courtesy of Lois Greenfield

Brenda Bufalino
in "Interface"
Courtesy of Debi Field

Barbara Duffy & Company
in "Speedball"
Courtesy of Debi Field

Tony Waag
in "Just in Time"
Courtesy of Lois Greenfield

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at