The 11th Australian Tap Dance Festival shuffles into town

Emma Wickham and Omar Edwards at 2019 ATDF.
Emma Wickham and Omar Edwards at 2019 ATDF.

The 11th Australian Tap Dance Festival is shuffling back into Melbourne this Spring, for the first time since 2019, from September 24 to October 1. It will be an action-packed week of tap dance, featuring a world class line-up of spectacular tap dancers on show at Australia’s premiere celebration of tap. 

The week schedule offers choreography residencies, masterclasses, battles, tap jams and will culminate with the highly anticipated Gala event, Sounds Inspired, featuring tap dancers from age six to 90 years old on one stage at the renowned Melbourne theatre, Chapel Off Chapel. 

Despite the constant murmurs ‘tap is a dying art’, the event will debunk this belief and shine a spotlight on the contemporary and innovative possibilities of the art form as a creative mode of expression bringing dynamic moves, musicality and pure entertainment that will surprise, thrill and excite participants and audiences. 

Garry Stocks. Photo by AMPM Images.
Garry Stocks. Photo by AMPM Images.

“Tap is an art form of infinite depth and possibility, unique in its merging of two genres essential to the human experience — dance and music,” said Bill Simpson, faculty mentor and creator of Taptopia, a global community for tap dancers. “Though often stereotyped and misunderstood, Australian tap artists are now challenging this perception through bold and daring new work, ushering the form into an exciting new era of artistic freedom and expression. 

Tap dance is relevant and stands up alongside ballet and contemporary dance on a global scale. This will be prevalent in the festival finale with cutting edge choreography from the likes of Peta Anderson (Eireborne), Jack Egan (The Tap Pack), Shane Preston (Tap Dogs), Garry Stocks (The Australian Ballet), Eden Read (Paris Underground) and Festival Artistic Director Winston Morrison. 

The festival is proudly sponsored by leading dancewear company, Capezio, and specialist dance industry insurer, Dancesurance. The event will run at the renowned Ministry of Dance, a full accredited dance and training studio founded by acclaimed Australian dancer and choreographer Jason Coleman with the highly anticipated finale at the iconic arts venue, Chapel Off Chapel. 

The 11th Australian Tap Dance Festival will be held from September 24 to October 1. For more information and to book, visit australiantapdancefestival.com.au.

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