Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Critiquing Tap

November 17, 1990

As one who has studied with many of our greatest tap masters at tap festivals across the country, I was upset by Cathy Curtis' review of Rhapsody in Taps ("Rhapsody in Taps Performs Hines Work at Japan America," Oct. 29).

The review was an example of one of tap-dancers' major concerns now--the problem being that tap is not critiqued as an art form. Seldom are choreographic style, rhythmic accuracy and interest, musicality or technical ability mentioned; costume and body type are always discussed. Perhaps one solution: Tap, being a percussive art, could be reviewed by a jazz critic (who enjoys dance as well).

In the review, there was no discussion of the fantastic jazz music performed by the company's musicians, who at one point were joined by dancers playing percussive instruments.

I was flabbergasted at the comment that "maybe something's amiss with the concept of an all-woman tap company, which can't indulge in the theatrically effective gambit of teasing byplay between the sexes. Maybe tap just wasn't meant to be performed by bodies that aren't all small-boned and whippet-lithe." (I'm glad that no one said this to the late, great Steve Condos!)

This is not only closed-minded but outright sexist! How can tap move forward as an art form if it is critiqued on the basis of the sex of the dancers, body type and what they wore? If I want to see "teasing byplay between the sexes," I'll go to the movies. If I want to see and hear great tap-dancing, I'll go see Rhapsody in Taps.

SAMANTHA KATZ

La Habra

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|