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Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble |

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

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Since 1979, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble has delighted audiences of all ages and cultures across North America and Europe. Footworks thrilled audiences as guest artists in the London run of Riverdance and was honored to be one of eight groups chosen to represent American culture in Japan on a tour with the Smithsonian Institution. Footworks, recognized as pioneers in bringing traditional Americana music and percussive dance to the concert stage, has performed in numerous high profile venues such as The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Wolftrap Farm Park for the Performing Arts, and the Vail International Dance Festival. In 2014 Footworks created and performed the opening production number for the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards Show, receiving a standing ovation, and was included in the American Public Television “Music City Roots” series of the Awards Show that was televised nationally in 2015.

The roots of Footworks are planted deep. In the 1970s, the founding members’ love of traditional Southern Appalachian music and dance inspired them to seek out and learn from the old time musicians, buck dancers and flatfooters of North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. In 1979, three of these dancers, including current Founding and Artistic Director Eileen Carson Schatz, went on to form the Fiddle Puppet Dancers.

The company changed their name to Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble in 1994 and is renowned for respecting the integrity of traditional music and dance while gaining recognition for them as performing art by creating well-staged and carefully crafted productions. In search of the origins and relatives of Southern Appalachian music and dance, Footworks performed throughout the 1980s and 90s at most of the major folk festivals across North America and the United Kingdom. Several of these festivals encouraged their growth by supporting collaborations for main stage performances with masters of many forms of traditional music and percussive dance, including Irish, Scottish, English, Quebecois, Cape Breton, African and African American. This resulted in Footworks’ unique repertoire and theater productions presented nationally and internationally.

Footworks’ repertoire and experience easily lends itself to Arts-in-Education programming, and the company has been devoted to working with youth for over 35 years. Popular arts-integrated assembly programs, residencies, workshops, lecture demonstrations, and master classes are presented annually to schools and universities, all with well researched Study Guides that illuminate curriculum connections to Social Studies, American History, Appalachian Studies, Music and Dance subjects.

Today, Footworks remains true to the traditions of Americana music and dance while celebrating connected roots and branches.  As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the company continues to grow and evolve, securing the funds to create new productions with award-winning choreography and compositions. The company is dedicated to bringing live music and the power and joy of percussive dance to audiences the world over.

Check out the Reviews for Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble!

“Their imaginative choreography combines the elements of clog, step and tap dance into one breathlessly kinetic and vibrantly percussive performance.” THE WASHINGTON POST

“Fabulous Footworks!” THE HERALD, Glasgow Scotland

“It is fast, furious, amazingly skillful, and above all, vastly entertaining.” THE JOURNAL, Newcastle, England

“The group’s techniques ought to be patented...a fast paced, witty and exuberant exhibition of their remarkable clogging skills. In short, a first rate show.” THE WASHINGTON POST

“...a dance review that packs as much skill, pizzazz, energy, imagination and artistry into an hour as the greediest dance fancier could ask.” SATURDAY FREE PRESS, Winnipeg, Maintoba

“...genuine show-stoppers...Footworks, the wonderfully animated and unpredictable dance troupe and string band. Clogging, flat-footing, and hooting its way through an enormously crowd-pleasing performance...came across as the Bolshoi of barn dancing.” THE WASHINGTON POST

“...they generally had more fun than seemed legal...these human drums deftly execute their sometimes goofy, sometimes intricate terpsichorean patterns...the power of the human spirit at play. Their ability to entertain, to educate,to engage the audience was purely a function of their passion for their art form.” THE VCREPORTER Ventura,California

“...a brilliant dance troupe...with one foot in tradition and the other in innovation.” THE IRISH ECHO

“The rough-hewn vigor of the choreography and the eruptive joy of Footworks dancers are as contagious as laughter…the dancers road an unending rhythmic current…playful ease...whip-sharp timing and devilishly tricky footwork…” THE WASHINGTON POST

“The sheer rhythmic and visual magic of percussive dance troupe Footworks…kicking out a dazzling array of hard show clogging routines from around the world match breathtaking physical talents with brilliantly imaginative choreography.” THE SCOTSMAN, Scotland’s National Newspaper

Please check back soon for Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble's tour schedule.

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