What the Eye Hears:
A History of Tap Dancing
Brian Seibert, Sasha Anawalt, Tap Music Project
In conversation with Sasha Anawalt, Director, USC Annenberg Arts Journalism Program
January 25, 2016
Brian Seibert, a dance critic for The New York Times, offers an authoritative account of the great American art of tap dancing in his new book, What the Eye Hears. Seibert’s entertaining history illuminates tap’s complex origins—from the jig and clog influences brought from Africa by slaves, to its growth as a cousin to jazz in the vaudeville circuits, to its ubiquity on Broadway and in Hollywood, and finally its post-World War II decline and more recent reinvention. Seibert, born and raised in Los Angeles, took the ALOUD stage to discuss tap’s influence on American culture, including the legacy of L.A.’s thriving tap scene. The program featured special performances by L.A.’s Tap Music Project and dancer Sarah Reich.