Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



Telling Stories Through Dance
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 3158 times since Fri Dec 8, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

TAPEPLAS, a contemporary percussive dance company from Barcelona, Spain, recently performed a program called 'BoomBach' at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, as part of a showcase hosted by The Chicago Human Rhythm Project. Before the performance, Windy City Times conducted an e-mail interview with TAPEPLAS choreographer/artistic director Sharon Lavi to find out more about this fascinating troupe.

Windy City Times: What does the name TAPEPLAS mean?

Sharon Lavi: In northern Spain, 'No me vengas con Peplas' means 'speak to the point, don't tell me stories … be direct.' A lot of times, tap is frontal and direct. Before founding TAPEPLAS, I grew up searching for an individual style of tap and dance where tap wasn't as direct or frontal. I looked for a versatile and abstract range of expressions, moods and stories.

When I arrived in Spain in 2001 and someone told me 'No me vengas con Peplas,' ( meaning 'speak to the point … don't tell me stories' ) I realized that my artistic intention was actually not to speak to the point and rather tell abstract stories, to tell abstract peplas. And so it was that when I founded this abstract tap storytelling company I called it Tap Peplas—TAPEPLAS.

TAPEPLAS today is the name of the company, of its members and of a new style, a new language.

WCT: What does TAPEPLAS offer that's unique?

SL: The TAPEPLAS musician-dancer aspires to widen his or her definition as a visual musician as much as possible. The TAPEPLAS language has primarily a musical aspect. We all define ourselves as musicians, but there's more; at the same time, we give much emphasis and importance to movement quality and stage design. These last two aspects tend to be not so popular among artists of the younger generations because they associate movement quality and design with stereotypical old-fashioned settings.

I obviously don't believe that, as a young tap dancer, I have to dance like they danced in the '30s and the '40s but I also don't think that contemporary tap dance has to be rough and urban. I think you can be cool and modern without being rough and urban. TAPEPLAS includes roughness and urbanity, but those are not the only components of feelings and expressions that are part of life today.

WCT: What is the auditioning process like? What does the troupe look for in getting new dancers?

SL: TAPEPLAS is a particular style and language. Even really professional tap dancers and musicians have to go through extensive processes in order to speak this language. We, therefore, prefer committed people to extraordinary performers. Ever since the beginning, TAPEPLAS included as part of its growth long-term training programs in Barcelona in which the company's future generations are shaped. However, we audition dancers and musicians constantly.

Everyone has to go through at least part of a training program in order to be selected. Training programs are always the best way to filter away egos, etc.

WCT: Tell me about 'BoomBach.' What will viewers see?

SL: BoomBach is an introduction to the TAPEPLAS language. The show is an encounter between TAPEPLAS 'speaking' performers and elements of music and light that bring new ideas, thoughts and emotions. A contemporary, visceral and 'eastern' setting encounters elements that are classical, cerebral and somewhat 'western' in definition. Boom stands for the light ( light boom ) and Bach stands for an emblematic musical piece which we use in the show. ( The rest of the music is created by Musical Director Yaron Engler. ) So, basically, it's an encounter between TAPEPLAS and BoomBach. There is a constant feeling of an abstract storyline behind it all without there being an actual script. All these elements serve as catalysts to the introduction of an original and versatile language—the language of TAPEPLAS.

WCT: What choreographers have influenced you and the group as a whole?

SL: I always say that the people with whom I work are those from whom I learn the most. The different creative partnerships I had are those that taught me the most. First it was Mandy Kol in Israel, with whom I grew together for years and with whom I created the piece to the Bach music. Later, it was my partner in the creation of TAPEPLAS, Yaron Engler.

However, I had the privilege to work and study with teachers, choreographers and directors who were crucial to my education and extremely influential in my human and artistic upbringing: Zvia Brumer, my teacher, director and first choreographer in Israel; Elida Geyra, the founder and artistic director of the National Israeli Young Choreographers' Festival; and Sarah Petronio, master tap artist.

WCT: What does Tapeplas hope to accomplish in the short and in the long terms?

SL: TAPEPLAS hopes to move people worldwide and to share its excitement for music and dance as much as possible. We'd like to be a project that grows because of internal belief and strength and would be honored to share it as an example of faith in one own's creativity.

WCT: What does dance mean to you?

SL: I can say that dance saved me. Ever since I found dance, it guided me and directed me in life. I followed dance to where and who I am.

This article shared 3158 times since Fri Dec 8, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Hubbard Street Dance back on the stage with 'RE/TURN' 2021-10-21
- Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) will present Fall Series: RE/TURN to herald its return to the stage at the Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph St. The program will feature new premieres as well as audience favorites ...

Gay News

MOVIES 'Bolshoi Ballet' series to start locally Nov. 7 2021-10-21
- The "2021-2022 Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema" series is set to begin Sunday, Nov. 7 with Bolshoi Ballet: Spartacus—LIVE. Spartacus is considered a ballet tour de force, set to Aram Khachaturian's score. Bolshoi Ballet: Spartacus—LIVE is set t ...

Gay News

Visceral Dance Chicago bringing world premieres to Athenaeum Theatre 2021-10-06
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Oct. 5, 2021 — Visceral Dance Chicago—a contemporary company committed to the progression of diverse artists, programs and community collaborations—announced its Fall Engagement 2021 program. The dance company returns ...

Gay News

LGBTQ History Month: Until legal ruling, Disneyland banned same-sex dancers 2021-10-01
- Deemed the "Happiest Place on Earth," Disneyland sadly didn't live up to that billing for same-sex couples during its first three decades. Opened in 1955 by the late Walt Disney, the family-oriented amusement park was built ...

Gay News

Joffrey's Nutcracker returns for the holidays 2021-09-27
--From a press release - (Chicago) — The Joffrey Ballet's reimagined holiday classic, The Nutcracker, by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, returns to Chicago during the Joffrey's first-ever season at the historic Lyric Opera House ...

Gay News

DANCE Hubbard Street presenting drive-in edition of 'Inside/Out' Oct. 2 2021-09-23
- Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will hold its annual "Inside/Out" choreographic workshop, "Drive-In(side Out)," on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. at ChiTown Movies, 2343 S. Throop St., preceded by a welcome party and DJ starting at ...

Gay News

Chicago Dance History Project moving to Ruth Page Center 2021-09-17
- Chicago Dance History Project (CDHP)—which investigates, documents and presents the individual and institutional past of Chicago dance—plans to move into The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., as an artist in residence. ...

Gay News

Joffrey welcomes four dancers from South Korea, Spain and the U.S. 2021-09-15
- The Joffrey Ballet's Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director Ashley Wheater MBE, The and President and CEO Greg Cameron announced the addition of four dancers to the Joffrey roster for the 2021-22 season: Brian Bennett (Lanham, Maryland), ...

Gay News

DANCE Ensemble Espanol to open Auditorium Theatre season Oct. 16 2021-09-10
- Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater, in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, will return to the Auditorium Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. The company will mark the finale performance of its 45th-anniversary "Zafiro Flamenco ...

Gay News

Footwork dancers to be featured Sept. 10 in Art on theMART event 2021-09-05
- "Dance Down by The River"—an evening of Chicago dance and music—is coming to the Riverwalk in conjunction with Art on theMART thanks to a Chicago Presents grant awarded by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and ...

Gay News

MUSIC Upcoming 'Carmen' featuring queer lead, male drag 2021-09-05
- On Sept. 16 and 18 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., Chicago audiences will have the rare opportunity to hear two world-class dramatic mezzo-sopranos debut new roles opposite one another ...

Gay News

TV 'Dancing with the Stars' to feature first same-sex partnership 2021-08-27
- ABC's Dancing With the Stars will be breaking new ground in the upcoming 30th season—with its first same-sex partnership. According to Deadline, on Aug. 26, host Tyra Banks and executive producer Andrew Llinares revealed that the ...

Gay News

MUSIC Diplo, Galantis part of Spring Awakening 2021-08-24
- The organizers of the Chicago electronic dance music (EDM) festival Spring Awakening have added the acts Diplo and Galantis to the Oct. 2-3 event. Spring Awakening will take place in Addams/Medill Park, 1301 W. 14th St. ...

Gay News

Joffrey Ballet's "Home: a Celebration" opens inaugural season at Lyric Opera House 2021-08-18
--From a press release - August 18, 2021 (Chicago) — The Joffrey Ballet opens its inaugural season at the Lyric Opera House and marks its return to live performances with Home: a Celebration, a triumphant mixed repertory program that spotlights original ...

Gay News

Aug. 12 dance film to explore gender, queerness in South Asian arts 2021-08-03
- Ashwaty Chennat, a Chicago Dancemakers 2021 Digital Dance grantee, has continued her collaboration with Abhijeet Rane to explore gender, queerness and the body in South Asian arts and traditions. An excerpt of Chennai and Rane's ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.