For one night, Kingsborough Community College will be transformed into Tap City.
On State at Kingsborough is kicking off a collection of October performances with an evening of top quality tap dancing, led by director and producer Tony Waag, who is also the founder of the American Tap Dance Foundation that produces Tap City, a festival that takes place in Manhattan during the summer.
“What we’re doing is presenting the best of the Tap City Festival,” said Executive Director of On Stage at Kingsborough, Anna Becker. “Waag took the best of the best. What you see here, you won’t see anywhere else.”
Becker discussed why Waag, who is considered an icon in the tap dancing world, will make this performance a special one for attendees. “Waag is a celebrated tap dancer,” she said. “He is one of the greatest of all time and is an incredible human being and a joy to be around.”
In addition, Waag will be joined by top dancers from around the world. The cast includes Kazu Kumagai of Japan, Felipe Galganni of Brazil, Max Pollak of Rumba Tap, Karen Calaway Williams of Riverdance, and other performers who performed in the New York City Tap Festival.
“He’s putting together a show just for us and it will include master tap dancers from all over the world,” Becker said. “It’s a high energy form. “
In an attempt to adapt the performance to Brooklyn, Becker spoke with Waag to figure out how to make the show unique. “This show is formed with Kingsborough in mind,” she said. “Tony and I discussed what audiences like and appreciate. It’s really a customized evening.”
One of the strategies was to introduce both classic and modern tap dancing. “It’s really the range of performers and styles,” she said. “They won’t see just one iteration of the art form, but everything it can be.”
The other special element is that a live jazz trio will be a part of the show which will make for a really exciting performance. “When you have that many live artists on stage, with live music and vocals, they play off each other and the energy is higher,” Becker remarked. “There’s no canned music. Audiences can see how these forms intersect and excite each other.”
Waag is also excited to bring tap dancing to Kingsborough, where he will perform for the first time in nearly 20 years. “I came out there a week ago with the stage manager and checked the floor. I recognized the place immediately. It’s such a nice venue,” he said.
As they prep for the show, Waag says the performers are in great spirits. “We’ve been having a ball during rehearsals. We’re in the midst of it right now. I’ve worked with them for a number of years,” he said.
Waag also stressed the diversity of the talent.” One of the amazing things about tap dancing is pulling together a diverse group of people ranging in age, nationality and style. We are interested in showcasing the variety inherent in tap dancing,” he said. “It’s been around so long. It’s been influencing people all over the world.”
Tap City will take place on Friday, October 2 at 8 p.m. at Kingsborough. For tickets and more information, visit. www.onstageatkingsborough.org.