A tap dance extraordinaire and an Indian dance afficianado walked into a radio station.


Jason Samuels Smith and Pandit Chitresh Dash were featured on the radio program “The Story” with Dick Gordon from American Public Media on Oct. 20.The partnership started with a, shall we say, foot-focused conversation: Dash heard Smith practicing at the American Dance Festival and replied with percussive footwork of his own. The music continued from there.

To them, though, it’s not necessarily a fusion of the two styles as much as a juxtaposition of the similarities and differences between Kathak, Dash’s dance specialty, and Samuels’ tap. The result is a complex, complementary melody of percussion and rhythm.

And, as most dancers will attest, it’s not just about music; the two speak eloquently about rhythm, art, politics, culture and math as well. To listen to the story, click on the link here for the APM podcast. (Skip to about 31:45 for the Smith/Dash interview.)

Smith and Dash will be collaborating on a show called “India Jazz Suites” this weekend at the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater in Los Angeles. Follow the link here for more information about the performances.