A world renown performer of American southern Appalachian flatfooting, Ira's repertoire also includes: rhythm tap, Canadian step dancing (Quebecoise and Cape Breton), English clog dancing (Durham, Northumberland and Sam Sherry routines), Irish step dancing, and South African boot dancing. He has studied great legendary masters: Robert Dotson and L.C. King (flatfooting); Howard “Sandman” Sims, Brenda Bufalino, and Gregory Hines (tap); Benoit Bourque and Normand Legault (Quebecois); Harvey Beaton and John Pellerine (Cape Breton); Tony Barrand, Brenda Walker, and Sam Sherry (English); Josephine McNamara and Donny Golden (Irish); and Tsepo Mokone (South African).
Ira performed as a member of The Mill Creek Cloggers, Marlboro Morris and Sword team, and with acclaimed companies The Fiddle Puppets and American Tap Dance Orchestra. He was the featured soloist in Rhythms of the Celts at the prestigious Waterfront Theatre in Belfast, and a guest soloist with The Vanaver Caravan and Rhythm in Shoes. Other select performances include: Ira Bernstein in Concert (international tour); Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, England; Maison de la Danse, Lyon, France; Carre Theater, Amsterdam, Holland; Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany; Ataturk Cultural Center, Istanbul, Turkey; Suzanne Dellal Center, Tel Aviv, Israel; Colorado, Boston, and Portland Jazz Tap Festivals; Chautauqua Institution, NY; and Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
He coordinated and directed the first ever Step Dance Week at Augusta Heritage Arts Workshops, was the originator of the Festival of Percussive Dance at Symphony Space, New York City, and subsequently produced versions of the festival (The Ten Toe Percussion Ensemble) in New York, NY, Chicago IL, Washington DC, Richmond and Elkins, WV. He also acted as lead creator and featured soloist in Mountain Legacy in Asheville, NC. Winner of numerous flatfooting Blue Ribbons at the prestigious Mount Airy, NC and Clifftop, WV Fiddle Conventions. Ira continues to teach and stay actively involved with Percussive Step Dancing. www.irabernstein.com / www.appalachianroots.com
His innovative a cappella vocal arrangements received critical praise in The New York Times. Originator of Cuba’s first tap festival, he has been teaching and performing there since 1998. Among others, he worked with Gregory Hines, Chucho Valdés, Lila Downs, Ray Brown, Phil Woods, Carl Reiner, Paquito D’Rivera, Danilo Perez.
Max has performed as soloist with members of the Vienna, Berlin and New York Philharmonic, London and Montreal Symphony, St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, and more. Many internationally acclaimed composers have written orchestral works expressly for him. His first CD "RumbaTap" was released in 2015. He is an active recording artist, published writer, Sarah Lawrence College faculty, artist-in-residence at American Tap Dance Foundation. He also makes a great Apfelstrudel... www.mxpllk.com / youtube.com/rumbatap/ facebook.com/mxpllk / twitter.com/mxpllk
Sought after for her exceptional improvisational skills, tap dance artist Roxane Butterfly has been a leading figure on the world tap stage for the last two decades (both in america and Europe). The very first woman to win a Bessie Award (1998) in the history of tap, she represents a direct link to the generation of her mentors, the Original Hoofers. She is known to constantly push the art form further while passing on the knowledge of her masters. Baptized “Butterfly” by legendary Jimmy Slyde in the early nineties, she is the only European woman who has a recognized tap career in America and to have received high marks of artistic distinction such as a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2006).
Roxane has been invited to perform and lecture at multiple music festivals around the world such as Jazz in Toulon (France), the Nice Jazz Festival (France), the Festival of One World to the Other (Festival D’ Un Monde à l’Autre in Lyon, France), Nuits D’Afrique (Kola Note, Montreal). Her Djellaba Groove project opened the world-famous GlobalFest at the Public Theater (NYC 2006), Summerstage (NYC 2006), Lincoln Center OutDoors (NYC 2007). She also has performed as a soloist with the Stamford Philharmonic Orchestra, The New York Virtuosi Orchestra, The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Cab Calloway Orchestra. She shares her time between New York and Barcelona where shefounded and directs the Jimmy Slyde Institute since 2010. Roxane Butterfly is a Bessie Awardee, NYFA sponsored artist, John Simon Guggenheim Fellow Choreographer, US Artists International recipient, Meet The Composer Grantee.
VAN CAYSEELE STANISLAS
Tamangoh (Van Cayseele) is a dancer, musician and painter born in Cayenne, French Guiana. He has performed at New York City clubs and venues such as SOB's, The Cooler, P.S. 122 and the Supper Club. With his company Urban Tap, his first evening-length ensemble work was presented at The Kitchen in 1999, garnering him a Bessie Award. Urban Tap has performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival, The Joyce Theater, Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, On the Boards and The Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, Stanford University, The STEPS Festival throughout Switzerland, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and The Montreux Jazz Festival. Tamangoh has shared the stage with dance legends Gregory Hines, Bunny Briggs and Savion Glover. He has collaborated with Japanese Butoh master Min Tanaka, French choreographer Philippe Decoufle, and musicians including Bobby McFerrin, David Murray, Chucho Valdes, Elvin Jones and Fabio Morgera. www.urbantap.net
" A breathtaking elegance and virtuosity, a mixture of oscillatory curves, flash speed and rhythmic ricochets. One would be tempted to consider Tamango as the best dancer of the moment." - The New York Times
" From every point of view, Tamango is one of the greatest dancers of our time." - San Francisco Chronicle
Michigan-born dancer Gareiss has been described by the Irish Times as “the human epitome of the unbearable lightness of being” and, "the most inventive and expressive step dancer on the scene” by the Boston Herald. His choreographic work re-imagines movement as a musical practice, recasting dance as medium that appeals to both eyes and ears. Gareiss draws from many percussive dance traditions, weaving together a dance technique facilitating his love of improvisation, traditional dance footwork vocabulary and musical collaboration. He has concertized internationally for over ten years with many of the luminaries of traditional music including Frankie Gavin, Dervish, Bill Frisell, Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky, Phil Wiggins, Buille, Solas, Liz Carroll, Martin Hayes, The Gloaming, and The Chieftains. Nic holds a degree in Anthropology from Central Michigan University and a MA in Ethnochoreology from the University of Limerick. www.nicgareiss.com / firstname.lastname@example.org/ danceismusic.tumblr.com.