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Everything’s Copasetic: The Skylark Tappers in Concert


Everything’s Copasetic: The Skylark Tappers in Concert showcases rhythm tap styles danced to a variety of music pieces ranging from jazz to classical. Local musicians join the Skylark Tappers on stage, treating audiences to an immersive experience of music and dance.

“As tap dancers, we are musicians and our shoes are our instrument,” says Judy Tibbles, artistic director for the Skylark Tappers. “We are thrilled to work with such talented Portland musicians who help us enhance our artform. People who come to the show should expect to be entertained by remarkable musicians and dancers alike and get a glimpse into the exceptional connection between tap and music.” Tibbles participates in the local jazz scene with tap dance improvisation, where she connected with many of the musicians playing the concert.

The Skylark Tappers are Rachael Brown, Missy Eseppi, Becky Goldcrump, Sheri Leipzig, Susan Ruddock, Victor Torres and Briana Whitehead. Most of the choreography is created by artistic director Judy Tibbles. However, some pieces in the show were choreographed in collaboration with the dancers and some include improvisation by both the dancers and musicians.

Jack Buddeke, the recipient of the 2003 Mel Brown award, leads the band as the musical director and will be playing the keyboard along with Jeff Homan (saxophone), Rivkah Ross (drums) and Perry Thoorsell (bass). Jazz vocalist Anandi Gefroh joins the band and contributes her signature smoky and sweet sound to the group.

Show details:
Everything’s Copasetic: The Skylark Tappers in Concert
Saturday, October 20 – 2:00pm
Saturday, October 20 – 7:30pm
Sunday, October 21 – 2:00pm

Preview Show (no live music): Friday, October 19 – 7:30pm

The Headwaters Theatre
55 NE Farragut Street, Suite 9
Portland, OR 97211

Cost: $20 ($15 for preview show)
For tickets, call 503-245-3994 or visit www.skylarktappers.org.

About the Skylark Tappers
Back in 1978, Claire (Hallstead) Roche started The Company in her Skylark Studio. She wanted to share her love of tap beyond the studio. The Company, made up of students picked from her classes, would later become the Skylark Tappers. Over the years, the Skylark Tappers were asked to entertain at various benefit concerts around town. In 1983, many were involved in a commercial celebrating the restoration of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

Now under the artistic direction of Judy Tibbles, who has led the group since 1992, the company promotes the joy and artistry of this uniquely American dance form with inventive choreography, commanding stage presence and contagious enthusiasm. The group’s repertoire includes classic rhythm tap routines lovingly passed down by 20th-century tap masters and new choreography set to a variety of musical genres that include classical, swing, pop, contemporary and jazz.

Our dancers have enriched their tap skills by taking classes with celebrated tap masters such as Cholly Atkins, Portland’s own Terry Brock, Eddie Brown, Brenda Bufalino, Charles “Honi” Coles, Steve Condos, Heather Cornell, Arthur Duncan, Acia Gray, Leonard Reed, Jason Samuels Smith, Jimmy Slyde, Linda Sohl-Ellison, Dianne Walker and Sam Weber.

Over the years, the Skylark Tappers have produced 12 tap concerts, making Everything’s
Copasetic its thirteenth. Additionally, the group has appeared at numerous events and
fundraisers, including the LEAP Talent Show, Portland Rose Festival, grand opening of
McMenamin’s Grand Lodge, Portland’s International Day of Dance, Portland Metro Arts’ Dance Mosaic, Multnomah Arts Center’s Vaudeville Night, Art Beat, ArtQuake, and Portland’s National Tap Dance Day.

About Artistic Director Judy Tibbles

Judy Tibbles is the recipient of the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Dance Coalition of Oregon. She teaches tap in several local programs and promotes visiting artists and events to help keep Portland’s tap community strong. Her tap dance history includes serving on the Board of Directors for Rhapsody in Taps in Los Angeles, volunteer work for the Portland International Tap Festival, helping to plan local National Tap Dance Day celebrations and the creation of two tap dance story plays with Dede Priest. She is also the Artistic Director and choreographer for The Portland Tap Connection.

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