Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Feet Beats-Tyler Knowlin's Urban Tap Dance

Feet Beats-Tyler Knowlin's Urban Tap Dance
story and video by Jocelyn M. Goode

Most eighties babies remember Gregory Hines kickin' up funky street tunes in the 1989 movie,Tap. The film also featured veteran tap dancer, Sammy Davis, Jr. as well as the then fledgling performer, Savion Glover. The most memorable scene for me was when Hine's character created an impromptu performance to the sounds and vibrations he heard in the city streets.
The history of tap dancing is a rich story of cultural overlap and stylistic remixing. "Tap was created from combining elements of African drumming and dancing with the techniques of European clog and step dancing. The unique rhythms of jazz music distinguish American tap dance from all other kinds of dancing based on percussive footwork." (http://performingarts.net/Shafman/Rhapsody/history.html)

Fast-forward to 2009, you have street performers Tyler Knowlin, Moustapha Thim, and Edward Jackson putting on urban tap shows right on the sidewalks of downtown San Francisco. Crowds circled around the soak up the feet beat flows. Check out the video to see for yourself. Tyler Knowlin teaches every Sunday at City Dance Studios, 10 Colton St., San Francisco, from 5:30-6:30 and 6:30-7:30. Visit www.citydance.org for more info.