International documentary dance film to be featured at Steamboat Springs library Wednesday
If You Go...
What: Dance on Film presents "Tap World"
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 17
Where: Library Hall, Bud Werner Memorial Library
Steamboat Springs — With tap dancing, there are many ups and downs and lots of moving around.
Beyond just the physical movement, the life of a tap dancer is not one of large monetary rewards, but rather a dedication to a culture and history that continues to thrive and evolve.
Told through personal stories of inspiration, struggle and triumph to keep this art form alive and thriving is the award-winning feature length documentary “Tap World.” Starring some of the most cutting-edge tap dancers from around the world, the film will be presented at 7 p.m. in a free screening as part of the Dance on Film Series. The film will have its theater opening July 10 in New York City and Washington D.C.
From the streets of New York to dancers in the studios of Japan, China, South Africa, the UK, France, Brazil, Australia and beyond, the film captures the universal passion tap dancers share. It’s a form and culture of dance that resonates with artists all around the world, despite language or cultural barriers.
“What we discovered after we began working with Chloe Arnold and Jason Samuels was that tap is making inroads all around the world with people dedicated to the dance form and infusing the culture of their own country into this American form of dance,” said Jeff Peters, who produced “Tap World” and is also a Steamboat Springs resident.
What began as a narrative, 14-minute short in 2004, “Tap Heat,” with Samuels and Arnold, soon became the inspiration for the full-length, 72-minute documentary.
During the course of 12 years, footage was shot all across the world, and more than 115 submissions were received from more than a dozen countries. Those stories of inspiration, struggle and triumph became the heart of “Tap World.”
“There is wonderful dancing in it, but the heart of it is the stories of these people, many of whom have truly struggled in life,” said Dean Hargrove, director of “Tap World” and one of television’s most prolific producers, creators and writers. “It’s not like other art forms, because this is based on dedication and not great monetary reward, but they do it because it’s something they love to do.”
What the producer, director and filmmaker found throughout the years was that tap dancers form more than just a community of like-minded individuals.
“It may sound cliche, but it’s like they are a family; they look after each other, and there is this sense of pride and interconnection with all of these people from around the world that we came to discover that was so impressive to us,” Hargrove said.
“Tap World” was screened in April at Filmfest DC, where it won the Audience Award. It has also been booked for limited engagements at the Village East Theatre in New York City, as well as theaters in Virginia and the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles. This will be the first screening of the film in Colorado.
“The reason we did this film is because it’s an underserved art form,” Hargrove said. “We knew that what we would put into the making of this film, we wouldn’t get back, but the goal is to get this out there and have people re-appreciate this dance form.”
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