New Artistic Director Announced for Vancouver Tap Dance Society
Vancouver Tap Dance Society is pleased to announce that international performer, choreographer, educator and TED fellow, Andrew Nemr will become the society's new Artistic Director.
Nemr, a Canadian-born dancer, is coming home after 25 years of honing his craft in New York City among the greats of the Tap world, including Gregory Hines, Dianne Walker, Ted Levy, Mable Lee, Harold Cromer, Dr. Jimmy Slyde and Savion Glover.
His appointment comes at a natural juncture in the lifecycle of VanTap as it transitions to an artistic lens from that of its founder and retiring Executive Director Sas Selfjord.
"In my 22 years providing leadership to VanTap, I have often realized dreams we never thought possible," says Selfjord. "Having Andrew offer his energy, insight and leadership to this magnificent organization is another dream come true. It is such an honour to welcome him and I am sure the future will require sunglasses!"
Nemr has played with Grammy Award winning musicians across multiple genres, founded the tap dance company Cats Paying Dues, directs the Tap Dance Freedom education platform, and co-founded the Tap Legacy Foundation, Inc., along with his mentor Gregory Hines.
Under his artistic direction, Vancouver's tap community will flourish and new audiences will discover the rich art form that continues to evolve while honoring its past. Nemr says he is excited to focus his energy and talents in Vancouver and especially at VanTap, a dynamic not-for-profit organization he sees as uniquely positioned to provide a North American hub for tap dance.
"New York casts a long shadow, but oral traditions are not only about geography. They are about people. So when someone tied to the roots of an oral tradition comes to a new city, that city is like new soil for the tree.
"VanTap provides the best of both worlds for me: a space to explore artistically and a place to pass on the lessons I've learned from my many mentors. That's a rare combination as opportunities go. I am honored and excited to be entrusted with the reins moving forward."
Vancouver Tap Dance Society was founded in 1996 by Sas Selfjord and Lana Caputi. It is a thriving arts organization that leads a resurgence of tap dance in North America. At its core is an academy that teaches tap to students of all ages, body types and abilities and which is known in Vancouver as the place to come if you want to learn to tap at the elite level.
Nemr assumes his position October 29, 2018.