In New York in the early 90s the dancer and choreographer Sebastian Weber found the city’s tap dancing scene to be an environment that seemed to have left racism behind. “If you have a pair of tap shoes on, you are in!” said Gregory Hines and his brother Maurice agreed with him: “Dancers don’t see colour” – something he viewed as positive. The Black maestros of jazz tap lived in a solidary community of tap dancers that accepted Weber as a young white European.
Now, 30 years later, racism and white privilege persist. In his solo The Long Run Sebastian Weber examines his own role as a white man in a Black art form and asks: was the apparent equality in the tap dance scene back then just an illusion? How can individual memories and personal experiences be reinterpreted retrospectively? And are the utopias of that time still imaginable today?
The Long Run is a piece about cultural appropriation and identity, about the responsibilities of white artists and about racism. At the same time it is a dance about transience and memory and an exploration of the body as a site where encounters and memories are stored.