Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



Telling Stories Through Dance
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 3493 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 3493 times since Fri Dec 8, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Theater Review: Billy Elliot, The Musical 2024-02-19
- Book and Lyrics: Lee Hall; Music: Elton John. At: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora Tickets: 630-896-6666 or; $28-$79. Runs through March 24 Billy Elliot: The Musical may nearly be two decades old, but ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ JoJo Siwa, Tom Holland, Bowen Yang, Pet Shop Boys, Mariah Carey 2024-02-02
- In the wake of Nigel Lythgoe exiting So You Think You Can Dance, queer personality JoJo Siwa is returning to the series, per Deadline. Siwa, who was a judge on season 17 of the Fox show, will replace Lythgoe, who left ...

Gay News

DANCE Choreographer Dwight Rhoden talks David Bowie, Alvin Ailey, queerness 2024-01-31
- In "STAR DUST: A Ballet Tribute to David Bowie," Complexions Contemporary Ballet co-founders Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson—backed by their Alvin Ailey lineage—and their dance troupe tackle many of the ...

Gay News

Chicago Dancers United and The Dancers' Fund become Chicago Dance Health Fund 2023-12-14
--From a press release - Chicago Dancers United, which has supported the health and wellness of Chicago's professional dance community through The Dancers' Fund for more than 30 years, announces that, effective January 1, 2024, the organization will operate and distribute ...

Gay News

DANCE 'Sugar Hill: The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker' running Dec. 20-30 2023-12-12
- Tony-winning producers David Garfinkle and Dr. Ron Simons announced the world-premiere of "Sugar Hill: The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker"—a holiday dream told in dance—which will play at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. ...

Gay News

MOVIES Rick Cosnett chats about 'Shoulder Dance,' Molly and Jason Momoa 2023-12-05
- In the new movie Shoulder Dance, which is out on streaming, friends Ira (played by out actor Matt Dallas, looking and sounding quite different than from his days on TV's Kyle XY) and Roger (played by ...

Gay News

DANCE Deeply Rooted performing Nov. 3 at the Auditorium Theatre 2023-09-27
- The Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., is presenting Deeply Rooted Dance Theater—a Chicago-based contemporary dance company rooted in traditions of American and African-American dance—in a one-night-only performance ...

Gay News

Chicago Dancers United raises more than $365K at Dance for Life 2023-08-29
- Chicago Dancers United (CDU)—which supports the health and wellness of Chicago's professional dance community—welcomed 1,600 people to the 32nd annual Dance for Life on Aug. 19 at Auditorium Theatre, per ...

Gay News

Teen suspect arrested in killing of gay dancer 2023-08-05
- The New York Police Department arrested a suspect in the fatal stabbing of 28-year-old O'Shae Sibley, who was attacked last weekend at a Brooklyn gas station. According to The Advocate, Sibley, a professional dancer, had been ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Drag news, HIV-bias lawsuit, Disney, Brittney Griner, gay dancer 2023-08-04
- Swastika flag-toting neo-Nazis, some of them armed, were at a Wisconsin LGBTQ+ Pride celebration that included a drag show, The Advocate reported. Members of the neo-Nazi extremist group Blood Tribe joined other right-wing hate groups, like ...

Gay News

Billy Masters: Cattrall passive-aggressively returns just like that 2023-06-06
- "I kinda look like a 200-year-old pole dancer now! I don't think that's gonna happen, but thank you anyway." —Sylvester Stallone's response when Sherri Shepherd asks if he'll wear his tank top and booty shorts in ...

Gay News

ART on THE MART's summer programs include Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, Pride celebration 2023-05-11
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL — ART on THE MART, an innovative digital art project that transforms a Chicago architectural landmark into a larger-than-life canvas, will introduce two new commissions this summer. Building Light, a new projection by Gensler, ...

Gay News

South Chicago Dance Theatre to debut 'Memoirs of Jazz' on June 10 2023-05-09
--From a press release - (May 8, 2023) Through the 1960s and '70s, Jazz in the Alley on Chicago's South Side was a hotbed for jazz and a meeting place for some of the country's prominent musicians, visual artists, poets, activists, ...

Gay News

Artemis Singers presents June 10 "Better Times Will Come" Pride Concert and Dance 2023-05-03
--From a press release - CHICAGO─Artemis Singers, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will present "Better Times Will Come" Pride Concert & Dance, Saturday, June 10, at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave. ...

Gay News

Andersonville Midsommarfest to return June 9-11 in its 57th year 2023-04-30
--From a press release - CHICAGO (April 27, 2023) — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to welcome summer with Andersonville Midsommarfest, one of Chicago's oldest and most beloved summer street festivals. Now in its 57th year, the ann ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

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 Transgender 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
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     
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.