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"Molodyezh Estonii" April 16, 2003


Broadway in Estonia

On April 26th the tap dance studio of Alexander Ivashkevich becomes 10 years old. Two evenings running, on the 26th and 27th of April the festival of jazz and tap will take place in the Russian Drama Theater. Alexander’s friends from the US – Barbara Duffy, Tony Waag, Walter Freeman, Mary Illes and Max Pollak will take part in the Jazz & Tap-dance show as well as musicians from Estonia and Finland and Duff Tap Studio dancers.

According to Ivashkevich, his studio is the only one in the world that is named after the living teacher – Barbara Duffy. Barbara is Alexander’s good friend and mentor. Duff Tap Studio is not a school; it is exactly that a studio, that refers to the certain level of relations between people. Alexander is responsible for every one of his students. - I am extremely proud that I will be able to introduce my teachers to the Estonian audience. One of my American friends, Max Pollak will also be perform in the show. He is a person who always has his dancing shoes with him. - Improvisation is a sense of life for a tap dancer as well as for a jazzman. Tap is able to impart every emotion. A person can’t be in a bad mood while tap dancing. Tap is like a medicine. By the way, it also helps me to develop as a drama actor.

In addition, here is the history of the Jazz & Tap-dance show. Alexander Ivashkevich had set off on a risky trip to America in 1992. Barbara Duffy, who was among the participants of American Tap Dance Orchestra, invited Alexander to upgrade his dance qualities in New York tap dance schools. His main teacher became Barbara Duffy, who Alexander's tap dance studio is named after. - I have had some difficulties there, in the USA. However, my friends were supporting me during my studies there. Americans are very hearty people. My friends invited me to a cafe to celebrate my birthday. At the end of the evening, I said to them that I probably won’t come to America anymore, but when my studio gets 10 years old I will invite them all to celebrate our festival. It would be a wonderful experience.

After 10 years my dream has come true. Barbara Duffy, who has seen my students, tells everywhere about our school. She is not ashamed for us and comes to Estonia for the 3rd time already despite her busy schedule.

Everyone of Alexander Ivashkevich`s friends is very different. They are all individuals with their own style, philosophy and internal structure.

Alexander introduces his friends: Tony Waag is a producer of New York tap festival, an actor, and a dancer. He is performing “comedy-tap”; he is very precise in music and very charming. Barbara Duffy`s dancing style is bee-bop (a tendency in jazz), it is a very rare style. Barbara is tap dancing like an actress Max Pollak is the first one who organized tap festival in Cuba. He likes Latino rhythms. Mary Illes is working hard on Broadway. She has performed in cult musicals – “Cats” and “The Sound of Music”. Walter Freeman is performing “flash-tap” and is strongly attracted by “hoofers”. He uses acrobatics in his dances.

The Jazz & Tap-dance show allows the audience to feel the delight of communicating with interesting people, listening to the good music and to feel how tap dance can differ depending on the performer. Alexander is confident that tap dance is not a pop-dance, it is deeper and Alexander`s friends are dancing like actors who spend their lives on the stage.

On the 26th of April, a show of Duff Tap studio will take place. Alexander invites those who have never seen his students` performances. During the second concert, Alexander Ivashkevich will introduce his American guests. Great musicians from Estonia will also be on the stage this evening. Jazz & Tap-dance show is supported by Domina Hotel, Monte Carlo casino, Finnair and others. The American Embassy in Estonia has been supporting these shows for 10 years already.