Great Tempos & Great Tunes for Tap Dancing
Danny Daniels' Dance America
As a tap teacher, I've learned that younger dancers have to be encouraged to explore the rich history of tap. The amazing connections that link one generation to the next are not mere accidents. Tap Wonderland was created to highlight some of these connections between under appreciated dancers and help insure their presence on the Net.
Though he did major work on Broadway and in the movies, Danny Daniels remains sort of a hidden master. His name is mentioned rarely by tap dancers or even people who are interested in musicals, but Danny Daniels won a TDF/Astaire Award and the Tony for choreography on The Tap Dance Kid in 1984. Daniels was a featured dancer in several 1940s Broadway musicals , including Billion Dollar Baby, Street Scene and Kiss Me, Kate.
Al Hirschfeld's Cast of Billion Dollar Baby
Danny Daniels on the left. (1945)
- Walking Happy: Lee Theodore created the American Dance Machine in the 1980's. When Broadway shows are closed, the choreography may be lost forever and with ADM, Ms Theodore tried to save choreography and recreate it in a new performance setting. Danny Daniels' Tony nominated choreography from the show,Walking Happy, became part of ADM's repertory.
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Choreogrpaher - Danny Daniels: When I first went to see "Temple of Doom", I was so excited during those opening credits in that Shanghai nightclub, a singer performing Anything Goes and leading us up a very large sound stage with many chorus girls dancing away. I wasn't expecting to see a big musical number in an action movie. I just loved it.
- Pennies from Heaven, Choreogrpaher - Danny Daniels: Steve Martin's Pennies from Heaven has become a sort of cult film in recent years. It was never released to Japanese movie theaters. I saw it first on video tape. I didn't like the movie that first time I saw it, but I liked the musical numbers in it and the film itself has grown on me considerably. Danny Daniels student, Christopher Walken, does a tap dancing strip to Let's Misbehave. A lot of good tap numbers in this movie!
- Stepping Out: As a tap teacher, Stepping Out really touched my heart, especially when the "amateur" students perform and present their personal problems. Danny Daniels' choreography is so real that those actors look like real amateurs having a great time.
"Danny Daniels's extensive career as dancer, teacher, choreographer and director provides him with the knowledge and experience to select the right tunes and tempos to get the most enjoyment out of tap dancing. He has chosen the acclaimed Broadway conductor, arranger and pianist Peter Howard to play piano,arrange and conduct this outstanding collection of songs." -- from the LP liner notes.
Unfortunately, as this Tap Wonderland page is written, the web site dannydaniels.com appears to be closed.
— Shinichi Matsumoto