The Astaire Awards presentation last night in New York was all about honoring dance in film and on Broadway. But it opened with the tap dancing students of Valerie Harman’s New Jersey studio, Art of Dance. Girls of all ages (and one boy!) filled the stage in sequins and smiles. They looked terrific!
The last time we talked with Harman (for the Winning Ways supplement to Dance Magazine), her 10 and 11 year old tappers had tied for the 2006 Critic’s Award at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals. Their performance on that occasion was anything but glamour and sparkle. In place of top hats and canes they performed in tattered street clothes, sunglasses, and white-tipped canes for the blind.
Oh, in case you were wondering:
Peter Darling, Best Broadway Choreographer for Billy Elliott
Longines Fernandes, Best Film Choreographer for Slumdog Millionaire
Kearran Giovanni, Best Female Dancer for Guys and Dolls
David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish, Best Male Dancer for Billy Elliott
Director/choreographer Stanley Donen was honored for his lifetime achievement, best known for Singin’ in the Rain, Royal Wedding, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.