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Dancer, Lane Alexander

April 25th, 2012

Lane Alexander will be on the April 30th Fear No ART presents The Dinner Party.  Buy tix here.

Lane Alexander, Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s co-founder and director for 20 years, has a performing career spanning over 30 years that includes work on the concert stage, musical theater, television and film. He is one of the foremost experts on Morton Gould’s Tap Dance Concerto which he has performed at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops led by Skitch Henderson on a program with Marvin Hamlisch, Nanette Fabray, and Maurice Hines; the London Philharmonic (Rachel Worby), the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra (Christopher Bell), the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (David Robertson), the Illinois Philharmonic (Carmon DeLeone) and his first performance of the piece in 1992 with the Chicago Sinfonietta (Paul Freeman). He was the first artist to publish a recording of the Tap Dance Concerto since the original recording with Danny Daniels in 1952. Additional performances have included the Chautauqua Festival, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Queens Symphony Orchestra (Stuart Malina), Long Beach Symphony Orchestra (with Fred Strickler and Sam Weber), the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Michael Krajewski) and most recently the Greenville Symphony Orchestra (Edvard Tchivzhel).

Lane toured nationally with Austin on Tap and appeared in the Candlelight Dinner Theater’s long running production of 42nd Street (directed by Bill Pullinsi and choreographed by Marc Robin) before joining William Orloski’s National Tap Dance Company of Canada in 1987 as an ensemble member. He continued to perform with the company as a soloist, principal and featured guest artist in appearances throughout Canada, the United States, China  – and the first tap performance ever at the prestigious Spoleto Festival in Italy. While still appearing as a guest artist with the NTDCC, Lane Co-founded alexander,michaels/Future Movement (am/FM) with Chicago native and noted contemporary dancer/choreographer Kelly Michaels. Together, they created a repertory of tap, modern dances that stretched the boundaries of both and worked for an acknowledgement of American tap as a recognized art form. They co-founded the Chicago Human Rhythm Project in 1990 as a summer festival of tap and percussive dance to further that mission. Subsequently, Chicago Human Rhythm Project became the first dedicated presenter of American tap and contemporary percussive arts in the United States. As a result, he has been a leader in the move to institutionalize American tap as an acknowledged art form.

Lane choreographed and appeared in the Sell Film production of Outtakes, the television series The Untouchables and directed the Emmy nominated PBS documentary, JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance. In 2004, Lane founded a new ensemble, BAM!, which recently represented the United States at the 5th Anniversary Beijing Contemporary Dance Festival. Lane’s choreography and contributions to the field have been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts’ American Masterpieces program through the Illinois Arts Council, the Chicago Tribune as a “Chicagoan of the Year,” the Ruth Page Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field, the Chicago Dance and Music Alliance for Outstanding Solo Performance, two Illinois Arts Council Choreography Fellowships, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Award and the Mayfair Academy’s inaugural “Tommy” Award for Preserving the Legacy of Tommy Sutton. He was honored to be a part of the PBS program, Road Trip Nation alongside Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Micheal Dell and was most recently recognized by Chicago’s New City as one of the city’s 50 cultural leaders in 2008.

In 2009, Lane received a ten year appointment to the Beijing Contemporary Music Academy as a Senior Advisor and regularly teaches and performs in Athens, Beijing, Brasilia, Caracas, Florianopolis, Helsinki, Munich, Paris, Prague, Stuttgart, Tokyo, Zurich and at numerous festivals around the North America including the Third Coast Rhythm Project, Tap City, Vancouver Tap Festival and Soul to Soles. He has appeared with such greats as Donald O’Connor, Gregory Hines, Maurice Hines, the Nicholas Brothers, Buster Brown, Prince Spencer, Peg Leg Bates, Jimmy Slyde, Bill Irwin, Savion Glover and Luke Cresswell. Lane currently teaches at the Tap Studio in Chicago and has served on the faculties of the Lou Conte Dance Studio, Northwestern University, the Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Center, the Joel Hall Dance Studio, Columbia College, Stephen’s College and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Alexander currently serves on the interim board of the International Tap Association and served on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Dance Coalition. He studied with Laine Johns, Susan Beil Connally, Steve Condos, LaVaughn Robinson, Fred Strickler, William Orlowski, Dianne Walker, Sam Weber and Bobby Wells. Lane designed the Concerto tap shoe for Leo’s Dancewear and continues to serve as a design consultant.