Against the Grain @the Atlas
What: “Against the Grain”—Tappening in Concert
Who: Tappening with guest artists
When: Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 8:00pm and Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 4:00pm
Where: Atlas Performing Arts Center 1333 H Street, NE Washington, DC 20002
Tickets: $22 general admission; $15 children/seniors
(202) 399-7993, www.atlasarts.org
“Against the Grain” Showcases D. C.-Area Tap Company
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Tappening presents an evening of rhythm tap dance, “Against the Grain,” at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 8:00pm and Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 4:00pm. The eight-year old tap company’s full-length concert features seven works choreographed by Tappening director Heidi Schultz, and guest artists from Philadelphia, Michigan, and D. C.
“Traditionally tap is done to jazz music, but you can tap to any type of music, anything with a beat—you don’t even need music since our feet are our instruments,” says Schultz. “Different kinds of music lead me to different kinds of rhythms and steps. Exploring a wide range of music helps my work stay fresh and distinct.”
Schultz’s choreography combines intricate footwork with modern, jazz, and club-style movements, emphasizing the whole body. “Tap isn’t just from the waist down,” she says. Tappening’s style integrates several types of rhythm tap that celebrate the jazz, funk, rock, reggae, and electronic beats found in its eclectic selection of music that ranges from the Clash to German techno.
Tappening opens the evening with the first of seven pieces choreographed by Heidi Schultz in which the dancers use their feet to add a drum line to Speech’s cover of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” The tempo and energy level are cranked to high for “Sole Score” and “Are You Talking To Me?” featuring music mixed by the D. C.-based DJ collective Fort Knox Five. The rhythms then flow from a soul version of the Woody Guthrie classic “This Land Is Your Land” to a mash-up of a Herman’s Hermits cover and German techno in “Sumthin’ Good” to violin and piano over down tempo electronica in “Sweet Sadness.” The concert closes with a punk tap medley to songs of the Clash.
The guest artists featured in “Against the Grain” highlight both traditional and future directions in tap. Tap Team Two & Co. from Philadelphia brings the beat with a fierce a capella piece while Quynn Johnson and Alyse Jones, transplants from Flint, Michigan, look back to the roots of tap in African music and dance. At-large Tappening member Lauren Squires pushes the frontiers of tap dance with a piece she describes as “loosely guided noise.”
Under the direction of Heidi Schultz, Tappening has been a part of the professional D.C. tap scene since 2000. Currently with three core and several at-large members, the group has performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center, the University Arts Bank in Philadelphia, Lisner Auditorium, Carter Barron, Dance Place, USDA, American University, and the Jack Guidone Theater.
Heidi Schultz began teaching tap more than 20 years ago in Detroit, Michigan and currently teaches at Joy of Motion. Ms. Schultz is the founder, director, and choreographer of the D.C.-based rhythm tap company Tappening. In 2004, she was nominated for a Metro D.C. Dance Award for “outstanding individual performance” for her work in Tappening’s show, “Beautiful Noise.” With a master’s degree in anthropology, Schultz works as a research editor at National Geographic magazine.