July 22-28, 2018
Read the Picture this Post (PTP) interview with Lane Alexander (LA), Founder and Director of Chicago Human Rhythm Project , before CHRP presents the 29th annual Rhythm World tap festival July 22-28, 2019.
PTP: Could you give our readers an overview of Rhythm World and how it began?
LA: Rhythm World is a tap festival that started in 1990, and is now just one of the many things that Chicago Human Rhythm Project does throughout the year. During the festival we have hundreds of students come to study and performances every night. Rhythm World is the oldest and largest tap festival in the country.
What role do you play in Chicago Human Rhythm Project?
I was one of the co-founders when CHRP was formed in 1988 and I have helped oversee its evolution, helping to create a huge variety of education programs, conferences, and a robust performance schedule. I began as a tap dancer myself. I still perform occasionally, you can even see me in this year’s Rhythm World festival.
Can you tell our readers about this year’s Rhythm World performance lineup?
This year’s performances are very different because many of them are ensemble groups. Back in the day, most tap performances were done by soloists. This year we have companies like 333, and Charles Renato’s company CHR Project performing at The Dance Center at Columbia doing some really cutting edge work. I’m also excited about our showcase performance at Navy Pier for our pre-professional groups performing repertoire from their home cities. It will be really fun; there will be fireworks on stage followed by fireworks in the sky!
Besides the performances, what else happens during the festival?
We have education programs running from 9am to 5:30pm every day. They make for marathon days but the people who come are here to live it, sleep it, and dream it.
What’s your favorite part about the festival?
We have a robust scholarship program and I love to see the new tap scholars come in alongside the former tap scholars who have now grown up and come back to present their own work at the festival. I’m always inspired by the relationships that form between people coming from all over the world who are all united by their love of rhythm.