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Robert Abrams
The Apollo Theatre
Celebrate Dance
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

An Interview with Glyn Gray, Artistic Director of BPM beatsperminute, on their upcoming performance at Celebrate Dance 2014

by Robert Abrams
March 3, 2014
The Apollo Theatre
253 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027
(212) 531-7000

Featured Dance Company:

Celebrate Dance
Celebrate Dance (office)

Los Angeles, CA

presented by Executive Producer Jamie Nichols
Saturday, March 8, 2014 8:00PM
Alex Theatre
216 North Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91203
Tickets: $18-$38
Discounts: Students, Seniors, Children $12 seated with adult
Group rate for 15 or more
More info: www.celebratedance.org
I caught up with Glyn Gray, the artistic director for BPM beatsperminute, about their upcoming presentation at Celebrate Dance 2014.

Robert Abrams: Please describe the performance you will present at Celebrate Dance 2014.

Glyn Gray: We will be presenting a small taste of what BPM beatsperminute is all about. Tap. Drums. Vocals. Bass. Guitar. Basically a small piece band with a twist!

RA: What is your role in the show?

GG: I am the artistic director for BPM beatsperminute as well as co-creator and co-choreographer alongside my other partners in crime Nathan Sheens and Brett Canning.

RA: Who have you collaborated with to create your Celebrate Dance presentation?

GG: BPM beatsperminute is unique in the fact that all musicians (tappers included) have their own style, ways of transitioning and improving. So there is always a flavor change within the group depending on who is performing. Collaboration even on a small level is super important.

RA: What has this collaboration allowed you to achieve that would not have been possible without it?

GG: BPM beatsperminute is about progression and inclusion of every performer. This is not a company where you have everything set out and it must be performed by the book. For example, the bass player may have a new way to segue into a section or a step may change. Keeps everyone on their toes and in each others pockets.

RA: In your art that you are presenting at Celebrate Dance, what is unexpected?

GG: Tapping is new to Celebrate Dance and we are proud to be the first included performance. You will see some unexpected but if I let you know here, then the element of surprise will be lost!

RA: What is "new" or "fresh" about the art you are presenting at Celebrate Dance?

GG: We are a cool/fresh band that fuses a full body tap vibe, various music styles with a hint of spunk!

RA: How does your art build on what came before?

GG: I would like to think we showcase the importance of every element within our show. We are all musicians, take one element away and the coherence is lost. Too often, vital elements are in the background or not even recognized, we are here to bridge that gap!

RA: How will your presentation inspire the audience?

GG: You will be on a tremendous high and want to party the night away! BPM beatsperminute touches a wide range of audiences who dig live performances.

RA: Who or what inspires you?

GG: As a tapper myself many of the greats, but to name a few would be Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Donald O'Conner, Sammy Davis Junior, Gregory Hines, Ahmad Jamal, Fats Waller, Oscar Peterson, Jurassic 5, US3 and so many more.

RA: How will your presentation entertain the audience?

GG: BPM beatsperminute has so much energy, from music to performance, you just cannot help tapping your feet and wailing a lyric.

RA: What makes your dance company a top-notch dance company?

GG: I think at the heart of all companies, we never reach "top-notch" but certainly strive for this every time we perform and rehearse. Commitment, Determination, Collaboration and above all the upmost of Respect.

RA: If audience members were seeing your Celebrate Dance performance for the second time, what should they pay special attention to in order to enhance their appreciation of your art?

GG: As we are musicians, close your eyes every once in awhile, take in the sounds rather than relying on pure visual.

RA: How do you work with schools or children?

GG: We are working with students from Bancroft Middle School (part of Celebrate Dance educational program), under the direction of Diane Hula. These students have an opportunity to learn a small section of the choreography we will be presenting, so they have a deeper understanding of our work. They then hand in an essay on their experience and of course our performance!

RA: What else would you like people who are thinking about purchasing a ticket to Celebrate Dance to know about your art?

GG: The beautiful part about Celebrate Dance, is that you have an array of dance companies under one roof for one night. As a spectator you can see all sorts of styles, this is a smorgasbord of dance, if you really dig something then you can see more of their work in the future. Executive Director, Jamie Nichols, delivers time and time again a first rate production!
Glyn Gray

Glyn Gray

Photo © & courtesy of BPM Beatsperminute

At a BPM beatsperminute performance at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Australia.

At a BPM beatsperminute performance at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Australia.

Photo © & courtesy of BPM Beatsperminute

BPM beatsperminute lined up for Get Together!

BPM beatsperminute lined up for Get Together!

Photo © & courtesy of BPM Beatsperminute

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