Chicago Human Rhythm Project
Tap is to dance what Jazz is to music: America's contribution to global culture. Tap fused African rhythmic and Irish dance traditions into a new and living art form. Tap evolved on southern plantations and urban street corners, in minstrel shows and vaudeville, on Broadway and during the Golden Age of movie musicals. Some of America's most enduring cultural icons (Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Gregory Hines) emerged from this timeless tradition. Broadway phenomenon Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk revolutionized the way audiences perceived tap. A classic American dance, evoking memories of top hats and canes, was reinvented as a contemporary, dynamic and relevant art form. But before Noise, Funk burst onto the scene, tap repertory companies and festivals were laying a broader foundation for tap art presentation. CHRP was the first tap festival in the world to evolve into a year-round presenter of tap dance and continues to lead the field by presenting concerts, educational programs, year-round outreach and conferences for the field. CHRP goes beyond presenting concerts and festivals, acting as a true advocate for the art form. It also uses percussive dance to build community.