What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing

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What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing

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Nov 23, 2015
Nov 23, 2015
Segal Theatre
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Dancing for Eels (1848)_courtesy of the Library of Congress

Photo: © Dancing for Eels (1848). Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Monday, November 23

Segal Theatre
6:30pm Performance + Discussion

FREE + Open to public. First come, first served.

Join us in celebrating New York Times dance critic Brian Seibert’s What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing, a new book on the history of tap dance, which illuminates tap’s complex origins and theatricalization. Seibert charts tap dancing’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. What the Eye Hears is a central account of American popular culture, as well as the pain and pride surrounding the complicated legacy of African Americans in show business.

Brian Seibert will speak about the challenges of writing tap history, screen clips from his film collection and introduce a performance by Ayodele Casel, one of New York’s top tap dancers. In 2010, Seibert presented a two-day event, The World of Tap Dance, at the Segal Center.


IMG_8052 Seibert_Brian, © 2015 Nancy Crampton (1)Brian Seibert writes for The New York Times and The New Yorker. His reviews, features, and essays have appeared in The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, Dance Magazine, and The Threepenny Review, among other publications. His history of tap dancing, What the Eye Hears, will be published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in November, 2015.


ayodele casel headshot

Ayodele Casel is a native Nuyorican New Yorker and has worked professionally as an actor and tap dancer for nearly two decades. She began her professional training at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is also a graduate of The William Esper Studio in NYC, having studied directly with the masterful William Esper. Ms. Casel’s television and film credits include “Third Watch”, “Law and Order”, “The Jamie Foxx Show”, “Bojangles”, “Savion Glover’s Nu York”. Ayodele currently serves on the Artist Board for New York City Center’s Encores! under the artistic direction of Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori. www.ayodelecasel.com



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