Filmed at a time when there was a question of tap dance’s survival, this remarkable film offered brilliant insight into this indigenous American art form. As important, the film’s incandescent artistry helped bring about a renaissance that has thrived to this day. The remarkable spirit of tap dancers and their history provides a joyous backdrop for intimate portraits of hoofers Sandman Sims, Chuck Green and Bunny Briggs. For his film, director George Nierenberg (Say Amen, Somebody) staged a live concert with Lionel Hampton’s band at Small’s Paradise, a well-known Harlem club of an earlier era.
The three legendary tap artists may have represented very different aesthetics but they shared a solidarity of spirit and tales of a long life on the road. They tell the story of tap as an expression of black heritage and culture.
Above all, NO MAPS ON MY TAPS is an indispensable documentary of their lives filled with artistry and love for their art.
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