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 has 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. Tapestry Dance Company shares the power of dance 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 tour sponsors. These programs include seasonal multi-form concert premieres, The Annual Soul to Sole Festival, community outreach programs such as Rhythm, Dance, Music & You!, numerous masterclasses and workshops in modern, jazz, ballet and rhythm tap as well as touring residencies throughout the US and abroad. The company 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 and many, many others. As member of The Texas Commission on the Arts, The Mid-American Arts Alliance and Heartland touring programs over the past 30 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. Tapestry’s Artistic Director Acia Gray is also a premiere member of the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. 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.
"When I think back on an actual day that Tapestry was born, it seems only yesterday but separated by a colorful dream of incredible dancers, vast choreography and many threads of color 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 to date. 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 souls. And at a restaurant booth on Pearl Street, the weaving began - 1989.
It was that fall that we both left AOT and began our journey: at first with only one additional member: Fred Moritel whom we flew in from California. Our first Austin "gig" was at Capital City Playhouse (where Fado now calls home) as part of Austin Dance Fest now joined by Valdo Perales. With tap 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 25 years ago!
The professional company has since premiered over 165 original works, toured over 25 states and three counties and proudly stand as the only full-time professional multi-form dance company that specializes in tap dance in North America, and our academy and outreach programs have grown 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 the past 30 years, and look forward to what the future holds!"
- Acia Gray, Co-Founder / Producing Artistic Director
Deirdre Strand and Acia Gray