Portable Tap Surface
2000 Sydney Olympics
Direct from the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, one of the light weight tap dancing surfaces used during the opening ceremony. Too bad, I was not a participant. I bought this tap board on eBay.
The opening ceremony is one the most important parts of the Olympic Games, with a large TV audience around the world. It makes such a big statement for the host country. I am not interested in sports at all, so I pay almost no attention to the Olympics when it comes around, even though everyone else seems to be glued to their TV screens. In 2000, a few days after the Sydney Games started, one of my students told me that the opening ceremony had included a big tap number. “What did I think about it?” I was asked. Of course, I had missed the entire event. I asked all my tap buddies if they recorded the TV broadcast, but nobody taped it. Many months later I bought this tap board from eBay auction. The seller was Australian and I told him I had not seen the tap number, even though I was buying one of the dancers' surface panels. He was very kind and sent me a tape along with the aluminum board.
The center of the big stage rose and there was one tap dancer, Adam Garcia, who was in the movie "Bootmen". He start tapping without music. Then 16 dancers joined him in typical Tap Dogs style. Then hundreds of dancers appeared all over the stadium each carrying one of these tap dance boards; not only tap dancers (500 tap dancers!) but some jazz dancers (500 jazz dancers!) and Australian native dancers as well, 500 more. Tremendous! What a spectacle and it climaxed with fireworks spelling out "SYDNEY".
What I find so amazing is that the producers put together 500 tap dancers in Australia who could learn this choreography so well. The choreography was not for beginners. So the producers couldn't bring just anybody in from any old tap studio in Australia. To me that was impressive. And even though the choreography was lead by Tap Dogs guys, they didn't act like they are the stars of the show. it was great unison dancing Unity is the theme of Olympics after all, right?
— Shinichi Matsumoto