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Tapestry Dance Company to Preview Show before Five Week Tour of China

    Austin's Tapestry Dance Company signed a contract on June 13th in Mayor Lee Leffingwell's offices at Austin City Hall to bring the dance company's The Souls of Our Feet - A Celebration of American Tap Dance to the People's Republic of China for 15 performances in October - including a command performance at the Shanghai International Arts Festival and consulting for the nation's university system.  Before embarking on the tour, the cast will preview performance on September 24th at Round Rock ISD Performing
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Arts Center.
    As previously reported by Austin On Stage, Tapestry has been working with The Chinese Cultural Ministry and The Shanghai Singers Club to take an artistic envoy from Austin to China, comprised of nine dancers, three musicians, a vocalist and a four-person technical crew.  Starting in Shanghai, the company will present 15 performances of their National Endowment for the Arts “American Masterpiece” production of The Souls of Our Feet - A Celebration of American Tap Dance.
     "It is such an honor to be asked to share this historically relevant collection of tap dance classics and contemporary tap choreography in China," said Tapestry artistic director Acia Gray.  "To present this indigenous American art form and represent Austin at the Shanghai International Arts Festival with the support of Mayor Leffingwell, City of Austin Council members, and leaders of our Asian community - it is truly humbling."
     Gray has also been asked to help develop a Chinese training system and syllabus of American tap dance, for use in the country's university system.  Meetings on the curriculum have been underway during the last two years, and the first stages of development will happen in conduction with the tour.
   Founded by Gray and Deirdre Strand in 1989, Tapestry Dance Company hosted their annual Sole to Soul Festival this past weekend, and is currently on tour with The Souls of Our Feet - A Celebration of American Tap Dance through the National Endowment for the Arts "American Masterpieces" initiative.  The program was created to acquaint Americans with the best of their cultural and artistic legacy.  
    The preview performance will be held on September 24th at 8 p.m.
    The Round Rock ISD Performing Arts Center is located at 5800 McNeil Drive.  Tickets will be available online at www.TheLongCenter.org.

(Acia Gray photo by Melisa Ackerman)
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