This spring in Philadelphia holds the opportunity to check out The Lady Hoofers Tap Ensemble for their seasonal concert ‘On Tap.’
Taking place at the Independence Seaport Museum in Penn’s Landing, the performance will feature live jazz and three world premieres. The latter will highlight choreography by Princeton University Arts Fellow Michael J. Love, Philadelphia’s own Robyn Watson, and the ensemble’s Managing Director, Katie Budris. And ultimately, this occasion is special to the company, as it’s the ensemble’s first spring concert in three years.
“We’re excited to be back onstage on the Philadelphia waterfront,” says Artistic Director Kat Echevarría Richter in a statement. “Throughout the pandemic, we rehearsed and gave free performances in a variety of spaces, from Cherry Street Pier to Bartram’s Garden, so we’re thrilled to be performing at Penn’s Landing.”
The Lady Hoofers Tap Ensemble is comprised of approximately 35 professional and pre-professional dancers from PA, NJ, and DE, a release states. Programming includes performance, mentorship, and community outreach, with two mainstage productions each year in addition to free community performances, a residency in North Philly, and master classes with renowned tap dancers.
Founded in 2011, the Philadelphia-based, all-women ensemble is led by Kat Echevarría Richter, Founder and Artistic Director, Katie Budris, Managing Director, and Tamera Dallam, Associate Director. The organization showcases bi-lateral free community performances (‘The Tapcracker’ is the other rendition of their yearly productions) to ultimately “contribute to the revitalization of Philadelphia’s rich tap history by challenging the public’s perception of percussive dance.”
Every year, the ensemble also commissions a new work from a guest artist. In the past, choreographers have included Caleb Teicher—who will be performing at Penn Live Arts/Annenberg Center later this spring, Lisa La Touche—who worked with the ensemble virtually during the pandemic, and Robyn Watson, who had her work and vision set in the company just a few weeks before the pandemic began.
And 2023 officially marks the debut of Watson’s long-awaited work when it makes its mainstage debut in this year’s spring concert.
Also premiering will be a new work by interdisciplinary tap dance artist Michael J. Love.
“I’m excited and honored to set a new work for The Lady Hoofers,” says Love in a statement. “My research explores the Black American foundations of house and techno music, and I’m looking forward to thinking about the relationship between these and other Black genres alongside The Lady Hoofers.”
Love’s new work draws inspiration from Nina Simone and will provide a fitting finale for this year’s concert, challenging both the dancers and the audience’s expectations of tap, the release also states. The performance will take place on Saturday, May 13 at 7 pm. Tickets range from $30-$35 and are available to purchase via Ticketleap.
Support for The Lady Hoofers provided in part by The Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. For more information, visit ladyhoofers.org