Chicago Tap Theatre will introduce Dowagiac to 'tap opera' at 7:30 p.m. on  Saturday, May 8, at SMC
Chicago Tap Theatre will introduce Dowagiac to 'tap opera' at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 8, at SMC

Archived Story

Artistic director offering afternoon master class

Published 10:59pm Monday, May 3, 2010

Chicago Tap Theatre will bring art to life on the stage of the Dale A. Lyons Building on the Dowagiac campus of Southwestern Michigan College on Saturday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 students/seniors. All seats are reserved. Tickets may be purchased in advance and at the door.

With the Chicago Tap Theatre group, there is no need to choose between non-stop tap routines, hip and quirky storytelling, characters and story plots, fantastical costumes and great acting – you get it all!

Chicago Tap Theatre’s (CTT) mission is to preserve America’s indigenous dance form, to promote dance through story-based shows and innovative presentations, to educate the community and to make tap dance accessible to a broad spectrum of people.

Area dancers also have an opportunity to learn from a dance master.

On Saturday, May 8, CTT’s artistic director, Mark Yonally, will present a master class at SMC from noon to 1 p.m.  Registration costs $10.

Yonally has developed a national and international reputation as a performer, with solo performances in Chicago, Kansas City, Albuquerque, Amsterdam and Paris.

He has been blessed to have Sarah Petronio, Dianne Walker, Bill Evans and Billy Siegenfeld as mentors.

As a company member of the Bill Evans Dance Company and Especially Tap Chicago (ETC), Mark performed at such prestigious festivals as the St. Louis Tap Festival, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, the Gus Giordano Jazz Dance World Congress and at the Royal Opera House in Helsinki, Finland.

Furthermore, Mark has gained the plaudits of major dance critics for his innovative approach to tap choreography.

His works have been commissioned and performed by the Bill Evans Dance Company, ETC and Hope College, among others.

Yonally also maintains a longstanding professional relationship with Valérie Lussac, artistic director of Tapage of Toulouse, France.

Mark is a noted educator who has taught at festivals throughout the United States and has served on the faculty at Oklahoma City University and Hope College.

He is sought after for his multidisciplinary approach to tap teaching, which includes history, basic music theory and an emphasis on jazz music, and has taught in France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States.

Mark is also a published author, with pieces appearing in Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher and Dance Magazine.

Imperial Furniture of Dowagiac continues its commitment to the arts in southwest Michigan as sponsor, for 13 consecutive years, of this dance event.

The Dogwood Fine Arts Festival is made possible through sponsorships by the St. Denys Foundation and grant awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. For tickets or more information, about this and other Dogwood Festival events call (269) 782-1115, (866) 490-2847 or visit

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