What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing
By Brian Seibert
Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 624 pages; $18
In his first book, New York Times dance critic Brian Seibert explores the origins of tap dancing and how it has become one of the great American art forms. The book chronicles the history, from tap’s transfer to the stage through minstrel shows, vaudeville circuits and nightclubs of the early 20th century to Broadway and Hollywood. Siebert analyzes its decline after World War II and celebrates its rediscovery and how its history is central to American popular culture.
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