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Dance Letter to the Editor Print

On the ADF's "Festival of the Feet"

July 24, 2004 - New York City, NY:

From: BTBeat Production

Letter to the editor\Backtalk
Hello, My name is Roxane Butterfly and I am writing this in response to the review by Kate Dobbs Ariail on the Festival of The Feet event at ADF. I was the dance-coordinator of the tap-trio and had the great honor to share the program with the dance-companies led by Carlotta Santana and Pandit Chitresh Das. I admire the honesty with which Ms Ariail admits between parenthesis "I don't like the dances" and I wish to express my concerns about the prejudice easily readable bewteen her lines when implying that anything that is not modern-dance (meaning "ethnic"), as is the tradition of ADF, is not "high art". Especially if expressing fredoom and joy (does that make it trivial and vulgar?). Resentment from the press towards art-forms based on improvisation such as tap (a life-long learning science), is not new. I wish Ms Ariail had attended the ADF talk the tappers gave to dance-critics (along with historian Constance Valis Hills). She would have learnt that talking about costumes and moves (which she does well) is not enough, if ignoring talking about the lyricism, harmonic choices, tones, rhythmic definition, dynamics and musicality of tap-dancers (no music refenrences were made in her article). It is allowed to wonder how one can hear the subtility of a refined musical language while unable to go beyond looks and gestures to perceive sounds, rhythms and music. We need more training classes for these writers who obviously never go to listen to live-music! Meanwhile, ADF took a great stand by conceiving this program (not our ideas). Many thanks for that!
Roxane Butterfly, NYC