Bril Barrett is a dedicated tap dancer, whose mission is to preserve and promote tap dance as a percussive art form, foster respect and admiration for the history and culture of tap, and continuously create opportunities for the form and its practitioners. Bril is the founder of M.A.D.D. Rhythms, director of The Chicago Tap Summit, and founder of M.A.D.D. Rhythms Tap Academy. His performance resume includes Riverdance, Tap Dance Kid, Imagine Tap, Kennedy Center and The Steve Harvey Show. Bril has taught and/or performed in Canada, Germany, Finland, Turkey, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Albania, Amsterdam, France, U.K., Brazil, Bahamas and the U.S. He has started outreach programs in schools, parks and community centers, and has provided after school and summer jobs for more than 300 youth from underserved communities.


During his Lab year, Barrett will be exploring the origin story of tap as it relates the history, music, and culture of the U.S. -- as well as his own personal tap lineage. He hopes to develop "Hoofin It: The Untold Story of the Founders of Tap," a trans-media experience encompassing dance pieces interspersed with historical footage and interview clips. Improvisation will be a centerpiece, with instrumentalists, vocalists, and dancers working together as musicians in real time. The libretto will be an academically rigorous collection drawn from the research process. 


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Photos: William Frederking