Chicago Human Rhythm Project to Make Kennedy Center Debut in December


The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will present Chicago Human Rhythm Project's (CHRP) "JUBA! Masters of American Tap" December 7, 2012 in a rare, full-length performance of American concert tap dance. This performance will be the first full-length tap concert in any of the Center's three largest theaters since it opened in 1971. Tickets go on sale October 3 on the Kennedy Center's website (

Chicago audiences have the opportunity to preview elements of CHRP's Kennedy Center debut during the culminating performances of CHRP's Rhythm World, the oldest and most comprehensive festival of American tap and contemporary percussive arts in the world. "JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance" takes place August 1, 2 and 4 in The Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA).

Rhythm World, CHRP's 22nd annual festival of performance, education and community outreach programs, directed by Founder and Director Lane Alexander, features an extraordinary master faculty in two weeks of residencies, courses, workshops, master classes and conferences for the field at the Fine Arts Building, as well as faculty concerts, student showcases and lecture demonstrations at the Jazz Showcase and The Edlis Neeson Theater at the MCA.

2012 JUBA! Award
CHRP annually honors esteemed members and supporters of the tap community with its JUBA! Awards during the "JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance" performances. This year's honoree is Japanese tap master teacher, choreographer, producer, director and historian Yukiko Misumi. Mentored by Broadway legend Henry LeTang, Misumi has helped lead and organize tap dance education and performance programs in Japan for more than 30 years. Misumi's entire ensemble, ARTN Company, performs at the MCA.

Scholarship program
Each year, CHRP awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to deserving, talented teens so that they may participate in Rhythm World. This year more than 30 deserving students earned a total of $20,000 in scholarships at the Leo Harris Tap Scholarship auditions during CHRP's February 2012 Winter Tap JAMboree and at select auditions around the globe (Tokyo, Paris, Rio, Stuttgart and Toronto). "These scholarships support CHRP's mission to build community by bringing together students from different backgrounds and places to meet their international peers and study with great and emerging masters," said Alexander.

Education programs--Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Rhythm World begins July 23-27 with intensive residencies led by CHRP Founder and Director Lane Alexander; Derick K. Grant of Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk and Imagine Tap; next generation tap phenomenon Jason Janas; and the legendary Dianne "Lady Di" Walker, the "Dean" of the Rhythm World festival and one of the world's most respected teachers..

Courses, workshops and master classes take place July 30-August 5. The highly respected faculty of master teachers, many of whom have taught at the festival throughout its 22-year history, includes Lane Alexander, Bril Barrett, Julie Cartier, Zada Cheeks, Michelle Dorrance, Martin "Tre" Dumas, Derick K. Grant, Jason Janas, Gene Medler, Yukiko Misumi, Nico Rubio, Billy Siegenfeld, Randy Skinner, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jumaane Taylor, Yuji Uragami, Dianne "Lady Di" Walker, Sam Weber and Mark Yonally.

The KIDS Program July 31-August 2 offers intermediate tappers ages nine through 12 a curriculum including oral and video histories, tap technique classes, improvisation instruction and individual development of style and expressive ability. After Work Adult Courses also take place July 31-August 2.

Conferences for the field
Now in its 11th year, CHRP’s annual Youth Tap Ensemble Conference (YTEC) and PrepTEC, now in its fourth year, take place July 30–August 3. YTEC is one of the most comprehensive programs available to tap ensembles. Students work with masters on technique and improvisation, meet with specialists regarding related disciplines and learn new choreography. PrepTEC offers the same opportunities for study to intermediate-level tappers. More than 90 dancers between the ages of 12 and 19, representing 10 youth tap ensembles from the U.S., China, Brazil, Canada and Mexico, gather to study new choreography, technique, improvisation and theatre-related topics. This year’s YTEC includes work with Michelle Dorrance and Derick Grant, who return to set the third movement in a suite of dances begun in 2010 and continued in 2011. One of the two suites of will be on the program at the Kennedy Center December 7.

To register for education programs, visit or call 773-281-1825.

Performances by Rhythm World faculty, students and Virtual Rhythms winners Rhythm World features a performance component during its second week. The opening night July 30 performance at 8 p.m. features Rhythm World faculty and students performing with jazz musicians at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Court. Tickets are $10–25 at the door.

Rhythm World culminates with CHRP’s annual faculty concerts, “JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance,” featuring a host of extraordinary foot drummers and percussive arts masters August 1, 2 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. in The Edlis Neeson Theater at the MCA, 220 E. Chicago Avenue. The programs, accompanied by the Greg Spero Trio, are as follows:

August 1: “Solitary Soles and New Works”—The soloist has offered the predominant perspective in American tap for more than a century, and this program features master soloists, including Lane Alexander, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Janas, Derick K. Grant, Sam Weber, Yuji Uragami and more, punctuated by Chicago tap repertory companies BAM!, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project and M.A.D.D. Rhythms.

August 2: “The Growing Circle”—Tap dance is a global phenomenon, with some of its greatest practitioners centered in Tokyo. Yukiko Misumi has brilliantly recreated and re-imagined many American tap classics through her ARTN Tap Dance Company while Yuji Uragami has transformed the art form aesthetically and technically. These pace setters are joined by new rhythmic voices from Chicago including FootworKINGz and Nico Rubio.

August 4: Kennedy Center preview—Excerpts from CHRP’s debut at the Kennedy Center December 7, which will feature new works, new concepts and new collaborations. Also on this program are the winners of Virtual Rhythms, CHRP’s third “tapography” competition offering exposure for emerging tap choreographers and videographers, as well as emerging artists discovered during this year’s Rhythm World festival.

Tickets to the Chicago “JUBA!” performances go on sale May 25, National Tap Dance Day. Call 312-397-4010 or visit

All programming is subject to change. For complete Rhythm World information, visit or call 773-281-1825.

Founded in 1990, Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) fosters social reconciliation by presenting American tap dance and contemporary percussive arts in world-class and innovative performance, education and community outreach programs. The organization’s vision is to establish the first global center for American tap and percussive arts (The American Rhythm Center), which will create a complete ecosystem of education, performance, creation and community in a state-of-the-art facility uniting generations of diverse artists and the general public.

CHRP has raised more than $850,000 to support the establishment of the Collaborative Space for Sustainable Development (working title), which will serve as a shared and affordable education, rehearsal and administrative facility for several Chicago arts organizations.

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