“Tap World” is an award-winning feature-length documentary starring the most cutting-edge tap dancers from across the globe. Brought to you by the Executive Producers of the highly acclaimed short film, “Tap Heat,” this documentary follows leaders of the art form who are shaping the community around them.


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Their personal stories of inspiration, struggle, and triumph are keeping this art form alive and thriving internationally.  For the first time, tap dancers of all ages were encouraged to share their individual journey through tap dance to be included in the film. Over 115 submissions were received from more than a dozen countries. The most compelling were chosen and weaved into the film alongside some of the Masters of Tap. The enthusiasm and support for this project clearly exemplifies the global growth appreciation and passion for Tap Dance. As you watch this unique American art form performed by tap dancers from the streets of New York to dancers in Japan, Brazil, France, India, Australia, South Africa and beyond, we guarantee that you won’t be able to keep your own feet still.

Dean Hargrove (right) directed "Tap World."

Dean Hargrove (right) directed “Tap World.”

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Read what director Dean Hargrove told us exclusively about the film below:

 

Q: Out of many possible art forms, why tap?

 

A: Twelve years ago, we did a short film called TAP HEAT. The premise was that there’s a traditional tap and a more contemporary, improvisational tap. The idea was to contrast them and then put the two styles in a number. The fourteen minute short played in film festivals all over the world.

 

I was drawn to the idea when I was looking for a short film to do. I don’t have any background in tap, but as an audience and a spectator, always loved the form.

 

Q: How did you become acquainted with tap dance?

 

A: Through the making of TAP HEAT my partners, Steven Poster and my fellow Executive Producer Jeff Peters, and myself got to know the tap community. Steven Poster, a highly-regarded director of photography and world class still photographer, as well as the president of the ASC, even arranged for us to do a brief tap short for CANON cameras, which the company used in promoting their lenses. Jeff Peters is a veteran television  producer I’ve worked with for many years and he did a remarkable job of pulling it all together. The production number we did for them is the one in TAP WORLD.

 

Q: How has your view on tap changed throughout the filming of this documentary?

 

A: I’m very impressed that there is a very strong and expanding international community. And especially how much of a family it is. Tap dancers support each other to extraordinary lengths. If one of them is in a new city, say for a festival or performance, other dancers reach out not just to welcome them, but to house them if need be. They all become very close through the experience. You rarely hear a tap dancer speak negatively about another dancer. Their natural attitude to support one another.

 

 

Q: You normally stick to cop dramas for television, what was your motivation on this project?

 

A: As I referenced earlier, I was looking for an idea for a short film. I’ve had a long career in television but it isn’t why I went to film school at UCLA. So I came upon the idea for TAP HEAT and it went from there.

 

Q: Where do you think tap will be fifteen years from now? Will it be the same or greater?

 

A: I think it will be much greater. First, there’s a whole new generation of tap dancers dedicated to the form. They are going to expand it and improve upon it. Second, it’s so easy for people to communicate through social media, that dancers aren’t relying on movie studios or television variety shows to gain access to a vast, worldwide audience. For example, one of our producer/dancers is Chloe Arnold, has a group called SYNCOPATED LADIES, which is a big hit on the internet and generates work for her and her sister Maud and their fellow dancers. They just finished performing for a week in DUBAI. This wouldn’t have happened a few years ago.

 

Q: How hands on and helpful were Chloe and Maud Arnold in the making of the film?

 

A: The film couldn’t have been made without them. Through their international network of dancers and dance companies, they solicited dancers to participate in the project. Over a hundred dancers submitted their videos. Also, they play a crucial role in the marketing of the film through their adroit use of social media, personal appearances at screenings and tap festivals and just lending their names to the project. Chloe and Maud are clearly the most visible tap dancers on the international scene. Also, their input on the thematic and dramatic part of the film also has shown them to be highly qualified and  talented producers.

 

Q: Having traveled around the world to make this film, what location did you most enjoy working on?

 

A: Actually, all of the foreign locales, except for Japan and South Africa were submissions which we edited and organized. I liked filming in Japan because of the high level of talent, dedication and sense of humor of our crew and the dancers. I also liked the unique experience of Jeff Peters and I filming the gumboot dancers on an airstrip in the bush in South Africa. That’s really once in a lifetime.

The film will have a platform release, opens 7/10 NYC, DC, and Virginia, 7/17 Dallas,  8/7 LA, San Diego and  continues rolling out from there.

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