On Tuesday, January 22, preeminent tap dance company Dorrance Dance landed in Louisville to embark on a whirlwind visit filled with community engagement, instruction, and powerful performance.
To start their visit, members of the company led beginner tap workshops with 25 ballet-trained dance majors at the Youth Performing Arts High School, focusing on foot improvisation. Next, company members Nicholas Van Young and Leonardo Sandoval met with 34 second grade students at Lincoln Performing Arts School to lead them through a body percussion workshop that layered hand and foot rhythms to strengthen math skills. That evening, company member Christopher Broughton led a community tap class comprised of 12 tappers of all ages from local dance schools in warm-up exercises, foot technique, confidence building through dance, and a group tap routine.
On Wednesday, January 23, music production students from Jefferson Community & Technical College observed the company’s technical rehearsal which involved the dancers and tech crew ironing out the lighting and cues for the interactive dance floor. The students got a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what goes into the technical process of moving a show into a new theater in each city and how The Kentucky Center works with artists and their management on a show from booking through the final curtain call.
Prior to Dorrance Dance’s public performance on January 23, The Kentucky Center partnered with the Kentucky Music Heritage Foundation and the National Jug Band Jubilee for a community conversation led by local author and journalist Michael A. Jones about legendary Louisville vaudeville tap dance duo “Buck and Bubbles” to a standing-room-only audience of more than 80 people in the Frazier lobby. Following the show, which arguably blew away the whole audience, the entire company participated in a question and answer session led by Kentucky Center Vice President of Programming Dan Forte.
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