Through dance, music and art we empower individuals to take authentic action toward making the world a better place.
As a resident company of The Long Center, Tapestry is a professional, non-profit dance organization founded in 1989 by rhythm tap dancer Acia Gray and ballet/jazz artist Deirdre Strand for the purpose of developing a foundation in multi-form dance performance and education. Initially, a performing company of three, the organization expanded to a professional company of seven resident artists, a diversified administrative and production support staff and a pre-professional and adult training facility in Austin, TX sharing the unique Strand/Gray training syllabus.
In 2021, COVID shifted the organization into a streamlined production and artistic organization collaborating with global and Austin, TX artists to continue to share its mission. Tapestry Dance Company shares the power of dance, music and theatre through numerous events and programs sponsored by individual contributors, corporations, the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Austin and the Texas Commission on the Arts as well as its wonderful audiences and touring sponsors. These programs include seasonal multi-form concert premieres, The Annual Soul to Sole Tap Festival, community outreach programs, pop up masterclasses and workshops in dance, theatre and music as well as touring residencies throughout the US and abroad.
Tapestry is also proud to have hosted numerous Austin based as well as international dance and music artists such as Fayard Nicholas, Arthur Duncan, Brenda Bufalino, Gregory Hines, Sarah Petronio, Bill Evans, Dr. Harold Cromer, Keith Cross, Dianne Walker, James Clouser, Tina Marsh and the Creative Opportunity Orchestra, many contemporary leaders in the dance, theatre and music fields today as well as dozens of incredible resident artists from the US and abroad as part of Tapestry Dance Company..
As a member of The Texas Commission on the Arts, The Mid-American Arts Alliance and Heartland touring programs over the past 33 years, the multi-form choreographic works and training of Tapestry Dance Company have been lovingly woven throughout the U.S. and abroad to include Cyprus, Britain, Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, Ireland, Canada and China. The company has been honored by numerous “Best of” awards by The Austin Chronicle as well as Best Dance Company, Best Dance Production and Best Ensemble by the Austin Critics Table Awards. The company toured the award-winning National Endowment for the Arts: Masterpiece Dance original production of Acia Gray’s The Souls of Our Feet – A Celebration of American Tap Dance throughout the USA, Canada and China and shifted to a focus on tap dance from 2008 to 2021.
The organization is proud to return to its founding roots as a multi-dimensional, multi-form performance and educational organization.
"When I think back on an actual day that Tapestry was born, it seems only yesterday but is now tied together by decades of incredible resident dancers from around the US and abroad, a vast tapestry of choreography, dozens of full length concept concerts and many unique and individual artists as threads of unique voices, strengths and hope.
Deirdre Strand and I were involved in the Colorado Dance Festival in Boulder, Co and currently members of Austin on Tap - the busiest touring tap company in the 1980's. It was our dream at that time to incorporate an entity of movement that had no restrictions; one that was able to voice both of our strengths whether tap dance, modern, ballet, jazz or percussion to bring together a community of rhythm and a community of unique souls. And at a restaurant booth on Pearl Street with dear friend Dianne Walker, the weaving began - 1989.
It was that fall that we both departed AOT and began our journey: at first with only one additional member French tap dancer Fred Moritel whom we flew in from California. Our first Austin "gig" was at Capital City Playhouse in Austin's Warehouse district as part of Austin Dance Fest and now joined by local dancer Valdo Perales. With tap shoes and ballet shoes in tow and sporting our 80's hairdos and suspenders, we premiered "I Feel Good", "Body Talk" and a newspaper pedestrian piece I can't recall the name of - LOL! With that thought, it does seem like 33 years ago!
The professional company, from 1995-2021, premiered over165 original works, toured over 25 states and three counties and proudly stood as the only full-time professional multi-form dance company that specialized in tap dance in North America, and our academy and outreach programs grew beyond any of our dreams.
We are so proud that we have been able to Share the Power of Dance Through Education and Performance for 33 years, and look forward to what the future holds!"
- Acia Gray, Co-Founder / Producing Artistic Director
Co-Founders Deirdre Strand and Acia Gray