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August 09, 2012 - Image 33

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-08-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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"Mt4c6 -tieraideci Star Deli slow-cooks
its ()wt.' fouler tosipt&tiovis"

De ► voly kaskivo, 2012

Special Occasions

For

Toe
To Toe

STAR
DELI

Israeli-born
dancers particpate
in Motor City
Tap Festival.

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Contributing Writer

L

A

vi Miller and Ofer
Ben tapped into
the shoe business
after they tapped their way onto stag-
es and up to the front of classrooms.
The two, who launched their
careers in Israel and moved to New
York, will be selling their style in
both movement and footwear as
they debut at the fifth annu-
al Motor City Tap Festival
running Aug. 16-18 in
Detroit.
They will be teaching at
11 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Aug.
16, at Wayne State University and will
be performing with top tap dancers
from around the country in Masters
of Tap, a faculty performance at 7:30
p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, in Orchestra
Hall.
"After we start class, we will decide
what is most appropriate to teach:'
says Miller, 51, who also explains that
their show routine will be developed
after they see what the other tap
teachers have planned.
"We like to teach traditional and
historic material, but we never know
who is going to be in class. Some peo-
ple took classes with us in the past,
and we don't want to bore them."
The two, instructors at the
Broadway Dance Center, think of
these festivals as gatherings of fam-
ily. In New York, they knew Denise
Caston, a former Radio City Rockette
who moved to Michigan and started
the festival.
"We exchange ideas and see what
other people from other places are
doing:' Miller says. "Festivals are the
way tap evolves."
Miller, who appeared as a child
actor in the Israeli version of
the sitcom Family Affair, started

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Ofer Ben (jumping) and Avi Miller

dancing as a way to get exercise.
Although he considered tap a hobby,
he traveled to America to study with
the masters and made dance his
career.
After opening a studio in Israel,
he met Ben as a 17-year-old student
looking for something new to try.
"Once I put tap shoes on my feet, I
was hooked:' says Ben, 38, who grew
up in an Orthodox family that waited
20 years to watch him perform.
"The nice thing about tap dancing
is the combination of creating sound
and movement; that doesn't happen
in many other dance forms."
Ben thinks tap is great exercise
because the movement evolves
instead of remaining a series of rou-
tines experienced in gyms.
The two, who settled in America in
2000, started Miller & Ben Tap Shoes
in Israel. Manufacturing is based in
Thailand.
Work takes the dancers-manu-
facturers to various countries, and
special events with family and friends
return them to Israel.
"Our connection to Judaism hap-
pens on the holidays:' Ben says. "One
of our students invites us for the cel-
ebrations." Li
-1

The Motor City Tap Festival runs Aug. 16-18 in Detroit. Classes will be
held at Wayne State University. Masters of Tap, open to the public, is at
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at Orchestra Hall, 3711 Woodward, Detroit.
$25-$35. To register for class or buy show tickets, go to
www.motorcitytapfest.com .

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114

August 9 • 2012

33

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