BIO

Who is
Roxane?

Sought after for her exceptional talent as an improviser, Roxane Butterfly has been a prominent tap dance figure for tap dance for almost three decades, both in the United States but also in Europe.Born in Toulon (South of France), she is the first woman in the history of “tap dance” to have won the prestigious Bessie Award (at the 1999 Joyce Theater in New York). She represents a direct link to the generation of her mentors, the Original Hoofers.A real icon of the underground tap movement, she is particularly known for her daring musical experimentations in musical worlds distinct from the classic jazz tradition (from free jazz to classical music via flamenco, Arabic and Indian music, electronics etc…

Nomadic, artist, woman, mother, free spirit…

Roxane Butterfly is… a Bessie Awardee, NYFA sponsored artist, John Simon Guggenheim Fellow Choreographer, USArtists International recipient, Meet The Composer grantee, etc…

The great musical quality of her percussive dance has earned her the unanimity of dance and music critics who have compared her to musicians as exemplary and diverse as the legendary jazz John Coltrane and the king of minimalism Steve Reich. Her commitment tolive-music and relentless efforts to re-establish the tap presence in the jazz and world-music festivals, have been supported by many funding organizations, such as the New York Foundation for the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, USArtirsts International, John Simon Guggeheim Foundation, Harkness Dance Center, Meet The Composer etc…

Roxane has been invited toperform and lecture at multiple music festivals around the world such as Jazz in Toulon (France), the Nice Jazz Festival (France), the Festival of One World to the Other (Festival D’ Un Monde à l’Autre in Lyon, France), Nuits D’Afrique (Kola Note, Montreal). HerDjellaba Groove project opened the world-famous GlobalFest at the Public Theater (NYC 2006), Summerstage (NYC 2006), Lincoln Center OutDoors (NYC 2007) and so on… She also has performed as a soloist with the Stamford Philharmonic Orchestra, The New York Virtuosi Orchestra, The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Cab Calloway Orchestra, and had the opportunity to collaborate for two decades with the pioneering production of Tamango´s Urban Tap.

Renowned choreographer whose works have been as diverse, applauded or controversial, Roxane has established the presence of tap dance at many international dance festivals and venues such as the American Dance Festival in Durham (2004), Harkness Dance Festival (NY2005), ImpulsTanz enVienne (Austria, 2002), DanceSalad (Houston 2002), Institut del Teatre (Barcelona 2010), etc. She is the only tap dancer woman of her generation to have led a solo career under her name,Original in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North and South America, Asia and the Caribbean.

Appreciated for her educational talents, Roxane has taught at major American universities and Broadway musical school.In 2011, she founded the Jimmy Slyde Institute in Barcelona (JSI), a workshop and cultural center honoring her mentor Jimmy Slyde, the great master of bebop tap, who named Roxane: “Butterfly”, when they met in 1991 in NewYork.JSI is dedicated to the transmission, preservation and innovation of tap dance.Roxane shares her time between Barcelona, New York and Paris.

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