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They said it couldn’t be done.  They said nobody could do it!  Yes, TAP! was back again at St. Luke’s Theater and on the DO40 agenda, filled with performances and panel discussion, with plenty of video…and live “dish” for every dance and theater enthusiast to savour!

DO40 presents TAP II

The Curtain Call!

Rare 50’s and 60’s footage of the June Taylor Dancers was provided by Craig Horwich, June Taylor’s nephew (Marilyn Taylor was his mother, Jackie Gleason his stepfather).  Craig is head of Jackie Gleason Enterprises, and Jackie played an important role in the career of June Taylor.  Panelists Mercedes Ellington, Diana Baffa Brill, Jane Defalco, Karen Prunzik and Horwich recalled the days of the June Taylor Dance School on 56th & Broadway, where just about everyone took class – ballet, tap, jazz, modern – you name it.

DO40 presents TAP II

Setsuko Maruhashi, Kimberley Corp, Eileen Woods, Mary Lilygren Kane,
Katherine Corp and Madeline Jaye

The Rockettes panel – and performers -- stuffed the stage of St. Luke’s like a Carnegie Deli pastrami sandwich!  Ann Murphy, Mary Six Rupert, Jean Preece, Jennifer Jiles, Joyce Nolen, Maryelle Scilla, Sandy Scilla Gendell, Jeri Kansas, Dottie Bell, Lillian Colon (the first Latina Rockette), Eileen Woods, Madeline Jaye, Mary Lilygren Kane, Setsuko Maruhashi (the first Asian Rockette), Kimberley Corp and Katherine Corp, six of whom performed a precision and unison dance to, what else?  New York, New York!

DO40 presents TAP II

Go Into Your Dance, with Lee Roy Reams, James Dybas, Karen Prunzik,
Karen Calloway, Kathy Callahan and Gabriela Zucckero

Performances abounded!  A snappy Spanish tap number, featuring Linda Rose Iennaco, Barbara Massey and Kathy Conry, a recreation of Go into Your Dance from 42ND STREET, with Lee Roy Reams, Karen Prunzik, James Dybas, Karen Calloway, Kathy Callahan, and Gabriela Zucckero, and the solo, star 11pm slot (at 10:45 – we finished on time!) with Luke Spring, the 9-year old tap prodigy from A CHRISTMAS STORY. 

DO40 presents TAP II

Mary Six Rupert, Jennifer Jiles, Lillian Colon, Maryellen Scilla, Dottie Bell,
Sandy Scilla Gendell, Joyce Nolen, Jeri Kansas, Jean Preece and Ann Murphy!

Kudos to Karin Baker for organizing, compiling and rounding up these bevvy of beauties!  Moderators Harvey Evans, Mary Six Rupert and Lee Roy Reams led the panels.  And the audience was included in the discussion, with a shout out to the tappers/performers in the audience right before intermission. 

DO40 presents TAP II

June Taylor Panelists Mercedes Ellington, Diana Baffa-Brill,
Craig Horwich, Jane Defalco and Karen Prunzik

Most special moment of the evening: Before Craig Horwich left to fly back to Chicago, he thanked us for honoring his aunt, saying that this is the way she – and his mother -- would like to be remembered, by their peers and fellow dancers.  Priceless.

DO40 presents TAP II

Craig Horwich, with the original Plaque from outside the June Taylor Studio, NYC
…and Dapper Tapper, Luke Spring

Dancers Over 40 is dedicated to preserving the History, Legacy and Lives of our creative community, while sharing the knowledge with the younger generation just beginning their careers. To that end, the event was videotaped and donated to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at Lincoln Center’s Library for the Performing Arts.  

<empty>DO40 presents TAP II

The Lovely Ladies of Spanish Tap:  Kathy Conry, Linda Rose Iennaco and Barbara Massey

Photo By Jeff Eason, Wilsonmodels, Inc