Tap World

Presented by West Coast Tap and The Cinematheque

In celebration of National Tap Dance Day, observed annually (and internationally) on May 25, West Coast Tap and The Cinematheque are pleased to present the Vancouver premiere of Tap World, a lively 2015 documentary exploring tap’s international reach.

The program will be introduced by Vancouver film and animation history teacher, classic movie host, and former Radio City Music Hall Rockette (?!) Michael van den Bos.

Founded in 2003, The West Coast Tap Dance Collective exists to promote, develop, and preserve the art of Tap Dance.


“Infectiously spirited and pleasingly celebratory ... This documentary might even inspire some novices to put on their own dancing shoes.”

“Surprisingly lovely ... Tap World is an uplifting tale of the dance form’s curative powers.”

Tap World
USA 2015. Dir: Dean Hargrove. 72 min. DCP

“My love for tapping is higher than the mountains, deeper than the ocean,” a young Japanese dancer gushes in the appealing documentary Tap World, which demonstrates that American-style tap dancing has become a truly international form. Directed by Dean Hargrove, who’s best known as a producer of popular TV crime shows (including Columbo, Matlock, and Diagnosis: Murder), the film acknowledges the African and Irish roots of tap before embarking on a globe-trotting journey to meet practitioners and enthusiasts of the art. Its subjects include Pandit Chitresh Das, the Calcutta-born master who paired traditional Indian Kathak dance with tap; Luyz Baldijao, a Brazilian dancer who mentors disadvantaged kids; and Evan Ruggiero, a New Jersey teen still dancing after losing a leg to cancer. We also learn about South African gumboot dancing, a rhythmic form originated by gold miners. A love of tap infuses every moment of this briskly paced, beautifully shot film.



“A stirring doc ... It’s rare to find a film that portrays dancers of all shapes, colors, ages, and sizes as beautiful, which they are.”

Village Voice | full review

"It’s refreshing to see people bubbling over with enthusiasm for an art that is somewhat out of the mainstream ... A treat to watch."

New York Times | full review