San Clemente, CA – Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, a nonprofit southern California cultural center, invites the public to celebrate the legends of tap dance and their effect on popular culture in a specially-commissioned showcase on Friday, April 20, 2018. Casa Kinetic: Celebrating Tap Dance Legends includes a re-staging of the famous Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers dance “Swing Time” as well as vintage-inspired original commissions performed by ten of today’s top West Coast tappers. Audiences will watch the dances unfold against the elegant backdrop of Casa Romantica’s Spanish Revival-style Main Salon, a non-traditional jewel box theater experience. After the show, VIP ticket-holders are invited to mingle with the dancers at a champagne reception onsite.
Casa Romantica’s commission is led by Executive Director Berenika Schmitz. “Casa Romantica believes that we have an important responsibility to provide creative support for artists whose craft is imaginative, innovative, and accessible,” she says. “By honoring the legacy of tap’s film legends and commissioning fresh approaches to the art form in our Casa Kinetic series, we hope that our audiences will fall in love with tap dance legends past and present.”
Tap dance is a uniquely American genre. It was immortalized as an art form on film in the period between 1920 and 1950 by the likes of Fred Astaire, Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson, Ginger Rogers, Eleanor Powell, and Gene Kelly. Incorporating ballroom-dance elegance with snappy rhythms that provided a soundtrack to romantic-banter narratives, millions of Americans went crazy for tap at home and at jazz clubs. In the last few decades, the dance has made a major revival thanks to the influence of hip-hop rhythms, and due to the popularity of dance-centric reality television contests. Two of Celebrating Tap Dance Legends’ performers have tapped for national network audiences: Jason Rogers is an alumnus of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, and Dante Lara hoofed on the first season of NBC’s World of Dance.
As part of Casa Romantica’s commitment to commission new works annually in contemporary and visual art, most of the dances in the showcase are new works which re-imagine famous tap dances and styles from the silver screen through a modern lens and make optimal use of Casa Romantica’s period stage and surroundings. Lara, for instance, is perfecting an original work set to Louis Armstrong’s “Swing That Music” with steps familiar to both Bojangles (1920s and 1930s) and Savion Glover (active since the 1990s).
Casa Romantica has developed a reputation for wide-ranging cultural programming, including music, art, and contemporary dance events that bring international talent to south Orange County. Casa Kinetic: Celebrating Tap Dance Legends is an accessible and influential introduction for the community, and is an important cornerstone in the cultural center’s arts programming.
Casa Kinetic: Celebrating Tap Dance Legends is Friday, April 20, 2018 at 7:00 PM at Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens. General admission is $25; member admission is $20. VIP admission prices are $35 and $30, respectively, and include a post-performance champagne reception with the artists. Tickets may be purchased online at CasaRomantica.org/Calendar, by telephone at (949) 498-2139, or in person at the front entrance box office.
About Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens maintains a robust series of year-round programs in arts, music, history, horticulture, and literature for all ages. Under the leadership of Executive Director Berenika Schmitz, Casa Romantica has commissioned several critically-acclaimed works, including Casa Coastal: Rebecca Louise Law (2017; visual art), Casa Kinetic: Contemporary Dance Collective (2017; contemporary dance), The Beauty of the Butterfly (2017; visual art), Casa Kinetic: Carrie Lee Riggins (2016; contemporary dance), Casa Drama: Slings & Arrows (2015; theater), and Open Casa: The Photographs of Douglas Kirkland (2015; visual art). The 2017-18 Casa Captivating season includes a new jazz series, visual and performing arts commissions, and an enhanced wellness program.
“Casa Romantica strives to be the epicenter for innovative artistic experiences in our southern California community,” says Casa Romantica Executive Director Berenika Schmitz.
Casa Romantica also hosts a variety of free arts education programs for children year-round. The institution’s annual Casa Romantica Music Festival and Academy has received critical praise for its comprehensive two-week music studies program in cello, piano, viola, and violin. Casa Romantica also offers a Summer Dance Workshop, a Spring Break Arts Week, various art, literature, and horticulture events to grades K-12, and welcomes over 2,000 children from the Capistrano Unified School District each year for STEAM-based field trips that examine the history of San Clemente and the coastal environment.
Mission Statement: Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and is the historic home of the founder of the City of San Clemente. Casa Romantica provides programs for all ages in arts, music, history, and horticulture and is a premier Southern California cultural center.
Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens is located at 415 Avenida Granada, San Clemente, CA 92672. Hours: Tuesday—Thursday 11 am—4 pm; Friday—Sunday 10am—2pm; closed Mondays and holidays. General admission is $5; Casa Members and children under age 13 visit for FREE. For more information, call (949) 498-2139 or visit CasaRomantica.org