April 1st may have come and gone, but Tapestry Dance company and Artistic Director Acia Gray are keeping the jokes rolling! With vaudeville flair and a little cheek, Tapestry has brought this piece back from their 2012 season for another round of entertainment. Gray filled us in on the history of the show, and what we have to look forward to.
It’s been an exciting and emotional time here at Tapestry Dance company. We’re in the middle of re-staging “April Fools,” which was awarded Best Choreography by the Austin Critics Table Awards in 2012 but was also the last performance I was in before becoming ill for an extended period that meant I had to step away from being Tapestry’s Artistic Director for some time.
Wonderfully, what stuck with me during that period were the rhythms of my shows and the joy I’ve had with so many great artists around the world and as members of Tapestry Dance Company. One of my fondest creative memories is with this show we’re about to re-stage: April Fools.
I want to give special thanks to the creativity and individuality of the original cast: Matt Shields (hired form Canada as a 19-year-old, a good many years before this show premiered, and he still lives in Austin); Travis Knights & Tanya Rivera (now both Knights with two babies, living back in Canada after a few seasons); Thomas Wadelton (now traveling the world and, I believe, now residing in Germany far from his home in Australia, from where he came to us); Adriana Ray (lives in Virginia and via Boston University works in Arts Administration); Stephanie Patrick (Austin contemporary dancer after many travels); Megan Davis (lives in Chicago and is working on changing the world through art and math, I’m sure); and our current Dance Captain Siobhan Alexis (who is also changing the world, on and off stage in big ways!). What a pleasure it was to co-create with all of them! Along with some incredible legends of tap they brought to the stage.
I so look forward to this encore performance with seven new dancers to this show, not only from Austin—two homegrown at Tapestry and two others Texans—but from the UK, Israel, Brazil and Mexico, too, all bringing their own incredible talents to the stage. Not only dancing either! Yes—singing, comedy and more!
And from the Austin American Statesman, “April Fools brings each Tapestry dancer assuming the persona of a vintage veriety performer—suave song-and-dance man, a baggy pants clown, leggy chorines and more, complete with their own show-biz moniker: from Mr. Midnight to Harmon “Is She or Isn’t She” Knight, among them. This high energy and eccentric presentation runs the gamut of tongue-in-cheek relevance to current events, to breath-taking tap dance classics from stage and screen.”
Don’t miss the show, guys! It’s one of my favorite productions that I’ve produced and directed and it features some of the best jazz and swing musicians Austin has to offer!
And check out this little compilation of the original premiere performance in 2012:
See you soon!
Acia Gray (aka: Harmon “Is She or Isn’t She” Knight)
Tapestry Artistic Direcotr
The only full-time, professional repertory tap dance company in the world!
Join Tapestry Dance Company for April Fools, April 26th – May 6th in the Long Center’s Rollins Studio Theatre.