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In Tap Form 

Jazz Tap Ensemble: The Hollywood Journey

Wednesday, Oct 10 2007

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, the Nicholas Brothers, Ann Miller, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Eleanor Powell, Gregory Hines. Their tap dancing, especially in movie musicals, made them legends. Unfortunately, the surrounding plots often did not age as well as those performers’ immortal dance numbers, leaving their work seldom seen except in brief clips. For Jazz Tap Ensemble artistic director Lynn Dally, those iconic, show-stopping numbers cried out to be danced again by a new generation of tap artists. Over the years, JTE has sprinkled some of these reconstructions in its performances, but this program offers a broad swath of tap dance history. JTE dancers Sam Weber, Derick K. Grant, Michelle Dorrance, Josette Wiggan, Sebastian Goldberg and Ananda Bena-Weber are backed by live music from a quartet led by JTE’s longtime music director, Jerry Kalaf, and vocalist Leslie Lewis recreates some of those memorable performances aided by film clips of the originals. The show opens locally before touring throughout California, offering several chances to experience magical moments that inspired generations of tap dancers and continue to delight anybody moved by movie musicals. Pepperdine University, Smothers Theater, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu; Fri., Oct. 11, 8 p.m.; $40. (310) 506-4522 or Also at Irvine Barclay Theater, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine; Sun., Oct. 13, $10 (part of the Fall for Dance Festival). (949) 854-4646 or And at Citrus College, 1000 W. Foothill Blvd., Glendora; Mon., Oct. 14, 2 p.m.; $28, $26 students & seniors. (626) 963-9411.

—Ann Haskins

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