Media Contact:Dana Lopez
303 Hofstra Hall
Send an E-mail
Date: Mar 30, 2011
TAP! A Master Class
Hofstra Dance Professor to hold Tap Dance Lecture-Performance and Master Class in Local High SchoolHofstra University, Hempstead, NY – As part of a recent initiative with the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program, a lecture-performance and master class about Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s influence on modern dance will be held at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School on Thursday, March 31st. The class will be led by Anita Feldman, assistant professor and director of Hofstra’s Dance Education program, and 14 Hofstra student dancers, and will include 68 high school students from JFK’s tap dancing, music and history classes.
The Partners in Education program links school districts, universities and arts centers in order to promote arts integration into all curriculum areas. As the only higher education partner in Long Island, Hofstra is the newest addition to the New York/Long Island Partnership team which includes the Great Neck Arts Center and Plainview/Old Bethpage Central School District.
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was a featured headliner of vaudeville and the Broadway stage and a fixture of radio and film, who helped to bring tap dance to the forefront of American popular entertainment, while bridging racial barriers in the first half of the 20th century. Professor Feldman will juxtapose Robinson’s upright style with the earthy, jazz-influenced bebop or “rhythm tap” style popularized in the mid to latter part of the 20th century and seen today in the artistic styling of such current tap greats as Savion Glover and Jason Samuels Smith. During the master class, Professor Feldman will also premiere excerpts of a new tap piece created for Hofstra University’s 75th Anniversary Celebration. The piece entitled 1935: Cage Meets “Bojangles” deals with the confluence of various forces shaping the performing arts of the 1930s.
Anita Feldman gained an international reputation as a leading innovator of tap dance beginning in 1983, choreographing pieces in collaboration with new music composers that incorporated electronics and the patented "Tap Dance Instrument,” a wood and brass multi-timbre floor. Anita Feldman Tap, a company of musicians and dancers, performed at over 100 venues in the U.S., Japan and Germany, including the Smithsonian, the Whitney Museum, Colorado Dance Festival, the Boston Dance Umbrella, the American Dance Festival, the Village Gate, Seibu's Studio 200 in Tokyo, and Podewil in Berlin. Her work has been supported by numerous grants, including six National Endowment for the Arts choreography fellowships. Feldman was one of the tap artists featured in a recent documentary by Jenai Cutcher, titled Thinking on Their Feet: Women of the Tap Renaissance, which will have its New York City premiere on April 2nd, 2011, as part of the NewFilmakers Festival. Her book Inside Tap: Technique and Improvisation for Today's Tap Dancer is published by Princeton Books.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution of higher education where more than 12,000 full and part-time students choose from undergraduate and graduate offerings in liberal arts and sciences, business, engineering, communication, education, health and human services, honors studies, a School of Law and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. With a small average class size (22 students) and low student-teacher ratio (14-1), the University also provides excellent facilities with state-of-the-art technology, extensive library resources and internship programs that match students’ interests and abilities with appropriate companies and organizations. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future. Located in Nassau County, New York, on over 240 acres, the University is less than an hour from midtown Manhattan.