Tapdancin' (1981) - Rotten Tomatoes

Tapdancin' (1981)

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Tap dancing had been a racially-divided art for many years, as witnessed in several of the interviews in this 39-minute documentary. Honi Coles talks about his own experiences in a white-dominated business that tended to keep black tap dancers on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. The Nicholas Brothers are also interviewed, and their early work is contrasted with the scenes of their introduction to Redd Fox's Las Vegas act. Routines in modern recitals and work-outs in current classes are shown in detail, revealing some of the training that is needed to achieve a level of high technical and artistic skill - not always appreciated in the past. The long hours of practice might suddenly pay off in hugely successful stage productions like "Oklahoma" that brought in crowds to watch tap dancing, and kept it alive as a uniquely American dance form.

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