VAIL — On the heels of the Vail International Dance Festival comes an event about the history and culture of tap dance, hosted by the Vail Symposium on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the Vail Public Library. The program features a matinee screening of “No Maps on My Taps” (1979, 58 minutes), a Q&A with the film’s producer and a tap performance by special guest Tony Mayes.
“If you enjoyed the Dance Festival over the past week, you’ll love this program,” said Alby Segall, Vail Symposium president. “George and Tony are both experts in this field; you’ll learn something new and be entertained. Stop by and join us right after the Vail Farmer’s Market wraps up on Sunday afternoon.”
About ‘No Maps On My Taps’
“No Maps on My Taps” is a one hour film on jazz tap dancers featuring Lionel Hampton, Sandman Sims, Bunny Briggs and Chuck Green. It was initially released theatrically in 1978 and later aired nationally on PBS as a special.
“No Maps on My Taps” offers a unique insight into jazz tap dancing as an indigenous art form. It captures the spirit of tap in its heyday, shown in rare photos and Hollywood film clips of the 1930s and provides a backdrop for intimate portraits of three surviving “hoofers.” Sandman Sims, Chuck Green and Bunny Briggs tell the story of tap as an expression of African American heritage and culture. “No Maps on My Taps” is a historical record of this distinctly American art form.
George Nierenberg is an acclaimed filmmaker whose career has spanned the worlds of independent features, network, cable and international television and corporate productions. His fascination with the roots of American music has led to a series of remarkable non-fiction films.
His award-winning theatrically released film, “Say Amen, Somebody” explores the lives and works of the pioneers of Gospel music. Celebrated at major film festivals including Cannes, Telluride, New York, Toronto and London, “Say Amen” was named one of the Ten Best Films of the Year by People Magazine, Rolling Stone and Roger Ebert.
He also received an Emmy nomination for directing “That Rhythm ... Those Blues,” a film exploring the early days of Rhythm and Blues for the prestigious PBS series “The American Experience.”
Tony Mayes is a New York City-based performer and teacher. This Texas native has been working in “the business” his entire life. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in acting, he moved to New York City and quickly immersed himself in its theater culture. He fell in love with the city’s tap scene after seeing Savion Glover’s company perform at the now gone Variety Arts Theatre in Union Square. He immediately began to study tap dance at Steps on Broadway under master teachers Lynn Schwab and Barbara Duffy.
As an actor, writer, teacher, director, tap dancer, stage manager, technician and a producer, he works constantly in theatre and tap.
Tap credits include dancer, producer, technician, and teacher for: C3 Tap Collective, River to River Dance Festival: Evening Stars (Joyce Theatre & Lower Manhattan Cultural Council), Dorrance Dance’s The Blues Project (Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2013), Jared Grimes (Spoleto Festival USA 2013), Tony Waag’s Tap City, the New York City Tap Festival & Tap City on Tour, Tap Ole (Dance INN Productions), Sound Check, a Tap Dance Concert Series (Judson Memorial Church, New York City), Sound Check: at Tap Dance Journey (Dance Theatre Workshop, New York City), and countless more.
After an 11-year tenure with the American Tap Dance Foundation, Mayes is currently faculty at PeriDance Capezio Center in Union Square, New York City and is a guest teacher at Broadway Dance Center (Times Square, NYC).
This program starts at 4 p.m. following a reception at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 general admission, $25 for Symposium donors, and $10 for students. Visit www.vail symposium.org or call 970-476-0954 to purchase tickets and for more information.