new-york

Jane Goldberg

Brecht Forum

In Topical Tap/Rhythm and Schmooze, 1990, Jane Goldberg taps out the history of tap dancing, talking all the while of her 17-year love affair with a medium that carries the sound of its own making with every expertly placed ball, heel, and toe. Reminding us too of how, in the early ’80s, she contributed to a tap revival, Goldberg confesses to her pains in attempting to make a career out of a form inextricably associated with poverty and repression, and rarely represented by more than one media figure at a time—Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Gregory Hines. Not surprisingly, she goes for comedy to lighten the burden on her unhappy feet, and comes up with an alternative account of its history. It began with Jewish women, she suggests, tap, tap, tapping their feet as they impatiently waited for Moses to descend the mountain. It gathered momentum with all those “wandering shoes” and stopped in

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