Dixon Place Jazz Performing Arts Tap Dance

Hank Smith – “The Story of Tap” at Dixon Place

Saturday, April 8th @7:30 pm


“The Story of Tap…Etc.” is a continuation of a series originally done at Dixon Place for six evenings in 1998 and 2005. It returned for one night in 2015 and comes back again for another night. It is a narrative of tap dance, rather than some definitive history of it. Hank Smith will engage in conversation with performers about tap and associated art forms. Film clips will be shown and the performers will cover different perspectives of experience by telling their stories through words, movement and music. It’s all an improvisation. The story keeps going…

Guests Mickey Davidson, Bernice Brooks and Frank Owens

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Hank Smith has done mime, clowning, dance, photography, video and television production. For twenty years he was a Stage Manager on Sesame Street, also functioning as Associate Director, Actor and Choreographer. As a tap dancer and educator, he has participated in the NY Committee to Celebrate National Tap Dance Day’s Tap Extravaganza, the Tradition In Tap Experiences, NY Tap City and NJ Tap Festival. His performance work has also been presented in and around the NYC area. A retired Associate Professor Emeritus at Bloomfield College, New Jersey, he has two blogs and is writing a book about his creative journey.

Mickey Davidson, dancer, teacher, choreographer has worked with Sounds in Motion Dance Company, Norma Miller’s Lindy Hoppers, Frankie Manning, Charles “Cookie” Cook, Buster Brown, Harriet ”Quicksand” Brown, Savoy Swingers, Roots of Brazil, Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Ahmed Abdullah, Oliver Lake and Ntozake Shange, among others. She is primary choreographer for her company, MICKEY D. & FRIENDS, a group of dancers and musicians exploring the relationship between music and dance. She does numerous residencies for schools, community centers along with staff development workshops. Ms. Davidson taught Jazz Dance and Tap as Artist-in-Residence at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut for seventeen years.

Bernice Brooks has been a professional drummer for over forty years. She has toured nationally and internationally playing jazz, gospel, and blues rhythms, working with Tito Puente, Patti LaBelle and Gregory Hines. She is active in the tap community, drumming for NY Tap City and the NY Committee to Celebrate National Tap Dance Day’s Tap Extravaganza, where she received a Flo-Bert Award in 2015. She is an educator/artist-in-residence in the tri-state area teaching buckets, samba, reggae, traditional drumming and video production. She has a passion for music, working in every genre, her secret to success in a male-dominated industry.

Frank Owens has a vast musical background. He has been the musical director for Johnny Mathis, Chubby Checker, Melba Moore, Johnny Nash, Connie Frances, John Denver, Freda Payne, Ruth Brown, Petula Clark and Lena Horne, to name a few. He was conductor and pianist for the Broadway production of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and Maurice Hines’ “Uptown It’s Hot” and was also musical director for the first David Letterman Show in 1980, airing mornings on NBC-TV. He is the musical director for the annual NY Committee to Celebrate National Tap Dance Day’s Tap Extravaganza and hosts a weekly open mic run by Cobi Narita.

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General Admission

$15 in advance

$18 at the door




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Clown Juggling Music NY Clown Theatre Festival 2012 Performing Arts Photography The Brick Variety Arts

“Return of the Old-Timey Clowns” Cabaret – 2012 NY Clown Theatre Festival

Three years ago, John Towsen, artistic director of the first NY Clown-Theatre Festival in 1983, hosted a clown-theatre reunion of performers from back in the 80s. When he made plans for a “second tri-annual” clown-theatre reunion this September, Audrey Crabtree suggested he stage a cabaret of older clowns as part of the 2012 festival. The happy result was the sold-out September 28th cabaret, “Return of the Old-Timey Clowns,” which featured twelve acts from a total of fourteen performers.

Area man John Towsen put on his best circus tie to host the festivities.

Hank Smith performs The Mime, a parody of mime clichés to the music of James Brown.

David Tabatsky somehow convinces himself he’s a black cowboy in If I Tell You Now, There’s No Surprise, and Really, What Fun is That?

The Tunisian Toe Tapping Twins with Liz Bolick (left) & Therese Schorn.

Storytelling and face painting come together in Story Faces by Christopher Agostino, a finalist for the 2012 Unique Artist Awards. The volunteer is none other than festival luminary Summer Shapiro.

Hovey Burgess introduces Jim Moore and his film, The Ridiculous Romantic.

Jim Moore’s The Ridiculous Romantic, winner of the Best Silent Film award at the Coney Island Film Festival

Jan “Yoyo” Greenfield defends his right to dance to the music in his piece The Music Box, accompanied by his son Daniel..

Terry Dineen (Ireland) performs The Birth Day, a selection from her latest solo show.

Stephen Ringold confronts the audience as Charlie The Hunchback Geek.

Zeke Peterhoff charms the audience and gets them singing along with his sweet, contemplative, and original song, Stone Buddha.

Celia McCarthy & Joan Merwyn twist words and their own bodies in Help Yourself

Fools Unlimited take a curtain call.

After a mere five minutes, we were all worshipping our new guru, Bernie Kramer as The Mime Master.

Michael Trautman proves he’s not as old as he looks as he performs King Pong’s Ping Pong Rodeo

With only a mirror he was able to knock the can off his head with a ping pong ball.

Michael Trautman yells to the audience ‘Say OH YEAH’

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