Diary of a Tap Dancer

Dance History (Tap)/Women’s History/African American History and Culture/Gender Inequality

Diary of A Tap Dancer is an evening-length theatrical work using tap dance as the primary mode of storytelling. It also includes written, spoken and recorded text. The piece follows four dancers, including choreographer Ayodele Casel, as they respond to themes such as erasure, gender inequality, the long-reaching after effects of slavery, legacy, identity, and the pursuit of self-expression. Tap is music, and its relationship to jazz music anchors the form. This connection to jazz, references to African drumming, complex contemporary rhythms, and more provide the pulse and groove of the musical landscape for the piece.

By working on this project, a research partner will be able to delve into research that provides historical, social, and cultural context to art and dance today; work on a project that is at the intersection of women’s studies and social justice; and be an integral part of the development of a theatrical work.