Sought after for her exceptional improvisational skills, tap dance artist Roxane Butterfly has been a leading figure on the world tap stage for the last two decades (both in The Americas and Europe). Very first woman to win a Bessie Award (1998) in the history of tap, first european born tap dancer to have been granted a greencard as a hoofer, she represents a direct link to the generation of her mentors, the Original Hoofers. She is known to constantly push the art-form further while passing on the knowledge of her masters. Baptized “Butterfly” by legendary Jimmy Slyde in the early nineties, she is the only European woman who has had a recognized tap career in America and to have received high marks of artistic distinction such as a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2006).
In the New York of her youth, she was fortunate to dance with some of the most famous musicians in the world such as George Benson, James Carter, Stanley Jordan, Roy Haynes, Phil Woods, Benny Powell, Les Paul… to name just a few of them…. She was a featured soloist with the New York Virtuosi Orchestra, Stamford Philharmonic, the Cab Calloway Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra… and was invited to numerous festivals like Jazz à Toulon, The Nice Jazz Festival, Festival d’ Un Monde á L’ Autre (Lyon, France ), Clifford Brown Jazz Festival (USA), Nuits D ́Afrique at Kola Jazz (Montreal), and world-music stage : (ex) her Djellaba Groove Project opened the renowned GlobalFest at the Public Theater (NY 2006), Summerstage (Central Park 2006), Lincoln Center Outdoors (NY 2007) etc … Such experiences have attracted to her the interest of music critics who have compared her to musicians as exemplary and diverse as jazz legendary John Coltrane and king of minimalism Steve Reich. She was also fortunate to collaborate throughout two decades with the pioneering and critically acclaimed production of Tamango ́s Urban Tap.
A ground-breaking choreographer whose works have been as diverse, applauded or controversed, Roxane has brought tap to many international dance festivals and venues such as the American Dance Festival in Durham (2004), Harkness Dance Festival (NY, 2005), ImpulsTanz in Vienna (Austria, 2002), DanceSalad (Houston 2002), Institute del Teatre (Barcelona 2010) etc ….She is the only woman of her generation who has led a worlwide solo-career under her own name, presenting original work in Africa, the Middle-East, Europe, South and North America, Asia and the Caribeans.
Her multiple achievements include teaching at universities, lecturing at world-dance conferences and music-ethnology panels, publishing in dance and music magazines in french and english, coaching actors and dancers such as Pablo Veron (Tango Lesson 1997), appearing in films and multi-media projects (notably the world-touring video-dance-installation SLOW DANCE by David Michalek), radio, television, directing and choreographing for commercials (: HSBC commercial, Istanbul 2007) etc…
In 2005, she attracted to Barcelona american fundings to work on her celebrated flamenco-tap fusion project Djellaba Groove and to form her first european tap-company. Since then, her influence has left a deep mark in the Barcelona tap-landscape where she runs the Jimmy. Slyde Institute, a tap program in her own studio (founded in 2010), and which attracted into town some of the best tap makers in the world. She is collaborating with various world-known artists such as japanese Taiko drummer Leonard Eto and recently performed their new work at the Acropolium of Cartagena in Tunisia. Her investigations in the experimental music environment are as endless as her creative energy and her urge to transmit a legacy she is one of the few hoofers to have inherited directly from the source.
Her latest and long term project RAISING ZULY is a direct reflection of her art and life, a 15 years long documentary film on her raising her child with down syndrome around the art, under the direction of New York film maker Veronique Doumbé. Roxane lives between New York, Paris and Barcelona. She is of swiss romansh descent, born and raised in France, permanent resident of America with alternative tap homes in Spain and France.