Sweet Tap Chicago
A celebration of Chicago musicians and music, with all-new arrangements by Kurt Schweitz, a live jazz quartet and tap dancing Musicians/Bands to be covered include: Herbie Hancock, Smashing Pumpkins, Muddy Waters, Ministry and more.
“This is a special one-of-a-kind dance concert that brings us full-circle as a Company. I grew up tap dancing in the jazz clubs of Kansas City, and the connection between live music and tap dance has always been the root of my love affair with tap. When I started CTT part of the mission was to take tap out of the jazz club and put it on the concert stage, in the process embracing tap as a theatrical art form. We’ve done 14 seasons worth of pushing the boundaries of tap and its capabilities to tell stories, explore emotions, and deal with concepts and ideas not typically associated with percussive dance.
What is exciting about Sweet Tap Chicago is the opportunity to show our audience the other side of tap dance. This is good old-fashioned rhythm tap, focusing on tap as a musical form, functioning as a cross between secondary percussion and lead instrument. There will be unexpected music choices with thoughtful arrangements and tap dance designed to complement, comment on and expand the sonic range of the songs.
Audiences will also have a few opportunities in this show to witness the improvisational nature of tap dance. Like the jazz music that we frequently dance to, tap dance is an art form with a strong respect for the surprises, joy and virtuosity of artists at the top of their game.
While the band for this show will be jazz-based, the music will be a cross-section of bands and artists who have strong ties to Chicago. I think the most difficult part of creating this show is deciding which song to draw from each artist.”
-Mark Yonally - Artistic Director, Chicago Tap Theatre About Chicago Tap Theatre
Chicago Tap Theatre (CTT) is a young and vibrant dance company with a unique mission to preserve the quintessentially American dance form of tap and to take tap to the next level of creativity and innovation. CTT stands apart from other dance companies by bridging the gap between tap and other forms of concert dance (such as jazz, ballet and modern) by adopting a conceptual, narrative (i.e., story-based) and more emotional approach to its work. Under the dynamic direction of internationally renowned dancer and choreographer Mark Yonally, CTT has gained a loyal following in its hometown of Chicago and continues to develop and enhance its reputation nationally and around the world.
CTT has distinguished its own unique voice from the very beginning. Yonally founded the company in 2002 after a successful career dancing in the U.S. and Europe as a tap soloist and ensemble member. He immediately put his stamp on tap choreography by presenting the first of CTT’s signature works, the tap “story show.” In 2003, the company became a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and took up residence at the Joel Hall Dance Center in the Andersonville neighbourhood of Chicago. By 2004, Chicago Tap Theatre had gained a strong enough foothold in the extremely competitive Chicago dance world to inaugurate its first self-produced, three-show season, putting itself on the same level as such established companies as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and River North Dance Chicago.