Paul Draper


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(b Florence, 25 Oct. 1909; d 20 Sept. 1996)

US tap dancer and choreographer. He studied locally and at the School of American Ballet and during the late 1920s taught ballroom dance and appeared in clubs and revues. In 1933 he teamed up with Jack Albertson to found Paul Draper and Company, then as a soloist he began to combine tap with classical music, attempting to create a classical artform. He became widely respected in the American dance community and between 1940 and 1949 appeared with Larry Adler, the concert harmonica player, performing both classical and jazz numbers. Both artists were blacklisted in 1951 and Draper's career suffered, though he continued to choreograph and perform, often very experimental works like Name-Who? Number-What?…(1966) at the American Dance Festival.

Subjects: Dance.

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