The American Tap Dance Foundation is one of a handful of dance companies committed to ensuring that Tap and its illustrious family of performers receive the recognition that is their due alongside the masters of ballet, modern and jazz. Preservation is one of the key tools used to educate and inform the public. Recent Reconstruction Projects include revivals of Brenda Bufalino’s “Buff Loves Basie Blues” and “Haitian Fight Song”, are just two examples of how we make the art form relevant and vital for today’s audiences. Through efforts like this, the ATDF is able to educate audiences and point a spotlight on little-known facts such as the 1980’s when Tap enjoyed a ‘renaissance’ thanks to a group of modern dancers, mostly women who discovered the tap masters of the 1930s, such as Charles ‘Honi’ Coles, John Bubbles, Steve Condos, Buster Brown, Leon Collins, Bunny Briggs and Chuck Green. What started off as a series of isolated partnerships, such as Bufalino and Charles ‘Honi’ Coles, it then evolved into the next generation who would continue the work of their mentors. The revivals of Bufalino’s work recall not only her living legacy but the legacy of those that came before her. Mounting classic works not only preserves a piece of history, but it also supports the underlying mission of the organization, which is to legitimize the art form of Tap and showcase the craft, complexity and artistic merit of our most treasured family of artists. In 2009, Bufalino was inducted into The Tap Dance Hall of Fame. As part of the Foundation's tribute to Bufalino, two of her signature masterworks were revived and performed during Tap City, the annual New York City Tap Festival and as part of Sound Check, a week long engagement at Dance Theater Workshop, placing her talents and legacy on stage for today's audiences to enjoy. Funding was provided by American Express and the National Endowment for the Arts.
New Tap Dance Orchestra rehearsal (left - photo: T. Waag) performances (below - photos: Debi Field)