The 2020 Sessions:
Manhattan Tap Reboot: July 27 – Aug 8 (by Audition)
Guest Artist: Keith Saunders (original MT music director)
Heather was director and principal choreographer for the world renowned company, Manhattan Tap, from 1986 - 2004. Over two decades she trained 3 generations of dancers, choreographed over 100 new works, collaborated with an elite class of world and jazz musicians on original music for tap and toured to 5 continents. Her company was her training ground as it was for the tap community in New York City and abroad.
In this two week session, Heather will cast the participants in original Manhattan Tap choreography. The session will be run like a company rehearsal week and so the schedule will be determined by the process and will change daily. We will start the day with a one hour warm up Manhattan Tap technique class and then move into rehearsals. This is a performance based workshop and will culminate in a professional performance at the Nyack Hopper House in their Jazz in the Garden series.
Joining me will be Manhattan Tap's original music director Keith Saunders. The jazz trio will also feature our favorite bass player, Jim Donica. For the first time ever, I'm offering this two week session by audition.
To audition please send an email by January 1, 2020. Include 2 links to footage, one showing you dancing choreography and one showing you improvising, both performed to jazz music. Please view Manhattan Tap video on YouTube or on this website to understand the style that I'm looking for. For more info please email me:
Eddie Brown "The Lost Routines": Aug 10 - 14
(open level - no audition)
Guest Artist: Dayna Szyndrowski, collaborator and co-teacher
One of Heather’s most profound influences was Eddie Brown, called Mr. Scientific Rhythm. Heather studied with him privately in LA in the 80’s & 90’s and brought him to NY to perform with Manhattan Tap at the Village Gate Jazz Club, his first performance in NYC in 50 years and a month before he passed.
Eddie was a bebop dancer and had some of the most eloquent and difficult phrasing of all the dancers of his generation. Heather has created “The Lost Routines” which are a compilation of phrases that were taught to her in their private sessions and that she has formed into teachable routines. Dayna Szyndrowski, a former scholarship student of the Labs and a formidable independent artist today, assisted Heather through the entire process of the creation of these works. She will be co-teachng this Session.
During this week you will start at the beginning and work your way through the routines at your own speed. The lineup: #1 Eddie’s BS Chorus; #2 Paris; #3 The Blues; #4 The Time Steps; #5 Latin; #6 Yardbird Suite. Dayna and Heather will be fresh in Eddie's style as they will be starting another routine this year...so #7 is on it's way.
Heather has a unique way to pass on oral history, one that allows the student to experience first hand what it was like to work with these mentors. She studied privately and performed with a number of the masters of rhythm tap. Her "inner circle" were Eddie Brown, Charles "Cookie" Cook, Buster Brown, Steve Condos, Chuck Green, and Harriet “Quicksand” Browne. She was the only tap dancer mentored by the great bassist Ray Brown. Come and deepen your understanding of this oral tradition with someone who was a direct protégé of Eddie Brown.
Making Music Dance: Inside working w World Music
Aug 17 - 28 (open level)
Guest Artists: Antonio Vilchez, Andy Algire, Tony Romano
Making Music Dance is Heather's current project in collaboration with Andy Algire and Tony Romano. It is a unique musical experience that uses aspects of tap dance as the prime percussion instrument in their original world music. The present project incorporates Afro Peruvian music and Zapateo. Antonio Vilchez (Lima, Peru) will be visiting to share his Afro-Peruvian music and dance wisdom and his Zapateo. For those who experienced Antonio's classes in 2018, you know that this is not to be missed. Andy and Tony, both profoundly gifted composers, will be collaborating as well, sharing their wisdom and love of this music.
We'll be working on each of the elements that goes into our eclectic music, allowing you to gain insight into how we create, compose and orchestrate our works. You'll be playing the music on the traditional instruments as well as working on the technical elements of tap dance and Afro-Peruvian Zapateo.
This session will culminate in a performance of Making Music Dance at Maureen's Jazz Cellar.