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date: 26 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores rhythm tap dancing as a hybrid art form and details its shared history and aesthetics with jazz music, especially in regards to improvisation. The chapter draws from the ethnomusicological literature on improvisatory practices in jazz music and applies the concepts of the musician’s storehouse, as described by Paul Berliner, and ‘intermusicality’, a term coined by Ingrid Monson, to performances by modern tap virtuosi Michelle Dorrance and Jason Samuels Smith. The chapter explicates the choreomusical aesthetics and structural logic of contemporary rhythm tap improvisation and provides an example of how music studies might contribute more substantively to discourses on Afrocentric improvisation in dance studies.

Keywords: rhythm tap dance, jazz music, improvisation, Michelle Dorrance, Jason Samuels Smith

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