An editor's ramblings on anything I damn well please
Josh Hilberman knows how to tap. Clicking of shoes, yes, but also tapping into an audience. You see, he likes to chat during his performances.
“He’s a phenomenal tapper,” says Vicki Adams Willis, co-founder and artistic director of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. “He’s a real relaxed performer and chats with the audience and engages the audience and he’s that sort of old-school invite-everybody-in tap dancer.”
DJD’s latest production, 2010: A Tap Oddity, which starts March 19 and runs until March 28 at The Grand, features a blend of jazz and tap, with Hilberman as a special performer. In one performance, Hilberman will be tapping while the rest of the company performs a jazz number.
The evening is heavy with improvisation, with the outline laid and the rest lying in the hands of the performers. Dancers improvising moves to improvised music — just as jazz and tap should be.
“The thing about jazz artists, it’s something that we do a lot of, so although the specifics of what’s improvised every night remains to be see, we know that they’re all talented improvisers,” says Willis.
The inspiration for the evening came in the depths of the recession that we’re supposed to be shaking off. As gloom permeated the city’s pocketbooks, Willis thought people could use a rest.
“I was like: ‘We just need an evening where people have a chance to be uplifted and healed a bit,” she says. “So that’s what this evening is. Rhythm really speaks to us on a deep level and kind of gets us all aligned in many ways. That’s what this evening is all about for us.”
This video, courtesy of DJD gets into the creative process behind the performance: