What the Eye Hears

What the Eye Hears

A History of Tap Dancing

Book - 2015
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"the first authoritative history of tap-dancing one of the great art forms originated in America"-- Provided by publisher.
"The first authoritative history of tap dancing, one of the great art forms--along with jazz and musical comedy--created in America Most dance arises from an interaction between music and movement. Tap is both dancing to music and dancing as music. We don't just watch it; we hear its rhythms and feel them in our muscles and bones. Like jazz, tap was born in the United States. It's a hybrid of traditional African dances brought over by slaves and jig, clog, and other folk-dance forms from the British Isles. Brian Seibert's magisterial history illuminates tap's complex origins and its theatricalization in blackface minstrelsy. He charts tap's growth in the vaudeville circuits and nightclubs of the early twentieth century, chronicles its spread to ubiquity on Broadway and in Hollywood, analyzes its post-World War II decline, and celebrates its reinvention by new generations of American and international performers. It is a story with a huge cast of characters, from Master Juba (whose performance Charles Dickens described) through Bill Robinson and Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, to Gregory Hines and Savion Glover. Seibert traces the stylistic development of tap while guiding us through the often surprising history of cultural exchange between black and white over centuries. What the Eye Hears is a central account of American popular culture, as well as the saga of African Americans in show business, wielding enormous influence as they grapple with the pain and pride of a complicated legacy"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780865479531
Characteristics: vi, 612 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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