TAP DANCE FESTIVAL
Co-produced by Toffan Rhythm Projects & Harbourfront Centre
June 2-4, 2017
Over 3 days, audiences experienced the best in tap dance and the wide range of how it lives today:
Percussionists - Class Acts - Choreography - Improvisation
New choreography debuted from local commissioned artists Travis Knights, Dianne Montgomery, Johnathan Morin, and Paula Skimin. International headlining acts Heather Cornell's new project Making Music Dance and Emmy Award Winner Ted Louis Levy, one of America's premiere tap artists represented the opposite ends of tap’s spectrum - one being the music, the other accompanied by it in full force. Closing it all up, we celebrated the local scene through a night of open tap improvisation and live music hosted by Rhythm & Sound. Festival programming also included masterclasses and workshops with festival artists, a residency program with Ted Louis Levy, and a series of panel discussions moderated by Artistic Director, Allison Toffan.
Toffan plans to present the festival bi-annually, navigating programming choices through her curiosity of tap’s currency in the world today, a bridging of generations, perspectives and cultural backgrounds, new commissions, and the commitment to present full length work to legitimize and elevate the platform of the local scene alongside international leaders.
The next festival was on track for August 21-23, 2020, but due to COVID-19 we are postponed again until summer 2022. Check back here for updates, news, and other projects related to the festival and professional development. For the festival format and style of programming to expect this year, please have a look at our photos, videos, and content from the Inaugural event:
Selected Canadian tap dancers ages 18-25 had the opportunity to be a part of a unique residency program with festival headliner, Ted Louis Levy. Click the button below to learn more about the program, and check back for future opportunities!
TED LOUIS LEVY
Tap In Canada - Our history, present state, and future
Panelists: Paula Skimin, Sas Seljford, Heather Cornell, Carole Anne Piccinin, Johnathan Morin, Dianne Montgomery, and Stephen Greig, Janet Kelly, and Jessica Westerman from William Orlowski’s National Tap Dance Company
Careers in Tap Dance - Ted Louis Levy and Heather Cornell
Panelists: Heather Cornell & Ted Louis Levy
Wearing Multiple Hats - Dancer, Producer, Curator, Collaborator, Choreographer, etc.
Panelists: Brandy Leary, Soraya Peerbaye, Michael Caldwell, Heather Cornell, Carole Anne Piccinin, Jon Pilatzke, Sas Seljford, Josh Grossman
Tap In The World Today:
a multi-generational & multi-cultural discussion
Panelists: Antonio Vilchez, Heather Cornell, Dianne Montgomery, Travis Knights, Ted Louis Levy,
MAKING MUSIC DANCE
Headlining opening night, Making Music Dance captivated the festival audience. Headed by Canadian Tap Dance icon Heather Cornell dubbed “The Oscar Peterson of hoofing” (Globe and Mail), it was an evening of unexpected cross pollination. Making Music Dance includes African balafon, violin, classical guitar, and highlights the musicianship of percussive dance by including tap and zapateo as the band’s main percussion.The NYC based ensemble consists of Tony Romano, Andy Algire, Adriel Williams, Heather Cornell, and guest artist Antonio Vilchez from Peru.
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CONCERT:
2017 COMMISSIONED ARTIST SERIES
Artistic Director Allison Toffan commissioned 4 local artists with a wide range of perspective, background, and diversity in approach to premiere a 15 minute segment of new material. As a main goal of the festival is to present full-length work as well as showcase the calibre of the local scene, Toffan planted 4 distinct seeds, and will to continue to aid in the development of this work, with the goals for future full-length presentation.