HOT STRINGS AND FLYING FEET
Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble is long recognized as a creative and pioneering force in presenting roots-based music and percussive dance. Celebrating over 36 years touring internationally, Footworks delivers acclaimed theater productions and festival performances, along with arts-integrated programming for schools and universities. With a dazzling and diverse array of traditional and original music and choreography, HOT STRINGS AND FLYING FEET takes you on a journey that conveys the roots and branches of American music and dance, integrating live music, song, and dance to illuminate connections between cultures. "A brilliant music and dance troupe with one foot in tradition and the other in innovation," (The Irish Echo ) Footworks' performances reach all ages and backgrounds, and "pack as much skill, pizzazz, energy, imagination, and artistry" (The Washington Post) as any audience could ask for.
“The group’s techniques ought to be patented...a fast paced, witty and exuberant exhibition of their remarkable skills. In short, a first rate show.” - THE WASHINGTON POST
Footworks presents Destination Baltimore, a theatre production that is a celebration of the music and dance at the roots of Baltimore. From colonial times to the present Baltimore has attracted people from all over the world looking for a chance to build a better life. Destination Baltimore celebrates the city's multicultural history and includes some of the best Americana musicians in the country.
Traditional African and Irish music and dance in the show represent the diverse cultures that met each other on these shores and led to our beautiful and unique American culture. Bluegrass music and clogging, blues, swing music and dance, early jazz and tap dance, and modern dance create a visual timeline of Baltimore’s history. Guest artist and renowned tap dancer Baakari Wilder pays homage to Baltimore’s legendary hoofers Baby Laurence and Buster Brown.
Robert L. Lynch, President of Americans for the Arts, wrote that the audience “loved the portrayal of our American history and its many threads through music and dance. It was a deeply moving and entertaining piece that resonated with us all.”
STEPPIN' AT THE JUNCTION
Steppin’ at the Junction is an exciting new collaboration between two Maryland-based roots music and dance organizations, acoustic roots quartet Charm City Junction and the world-renowned Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble. Both ensembles have extensive histories and experience performing traditional Old Time, Irish, and Bluegrass music throughout the country; and both groups breath new life into those traditions through innovative, original, and playful creations. Steppin’ at the Junction is a dynamic, rousing, high-energy celebration of the roots and branches of American music and dance including tunes with acoustic instrumentation, songs, and percussive dance choreography.
Footworks has a long history of performing at major folk, bluegrass, roots music, and international festivals across North America and the United Kingdom. The company’s high energy main stage performances with live music and dance delight audiences and adds visual variety to any festival line up. Footworks also brings a wealth of teaching experience to conducting participation workshops in many styles, making dance accessible and fun for all ages. The company can assist any festival in creating areas where festival goers can participate in dance and movement workshops.
WORKSHOPS & MASTER CLASSES
Part of Footworks’ mission is to make dance accessible and enjoyable to anyone, whether you are a beginner or a highly trained dancer who has yet to experience tradition-based percussive dance forms. Class material is custom designed for every level: dance studios; recreational or semi-professional groups; college dance departments; and professional companies. In addition to years of experience and first rate teaching skills, Footworks imparts the concept of dance as cultural expression, within a historical context.
Workshops varying in length are also offered to general audiences of all ages and capabilities, including instruction in: the classic rhythms and distinguishing characteristics of Southern Appalachian clogging; contemporary clogging; French Canadian, Cape Breton and Irish stepdance; South African Boot Dance; Irish country sets, ceili dance and old-time waltzes; beginning or intermediate swing and Cajun; as well as hambone, tap, and creative improvisation.
THE COMMUNITY RHYTHM PROJECT grew out of founding director Eileen Carson Schatz’s thirty plus years of presenting outreach programming in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Every school year Ms. Carson seeks funding to provide Footworks performances and residencies to schools, recreation centers, and senior centers whose students or participants may not otherwise have very much opportunity to experience the live arts and dance instruction. Funding has been provided by the Maryland State Arts Council, The Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, Parole Rotary and private donors.