Daniel “Dani” Borak, world-renowned, international tap and multi-genre performer, choreographer and teacher, joins the Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) as its first three-year Artist In Residence, using his many skills throughout CHRP’s variety of programs. Passionate about experimenting and collaborating with a broad spectrum of performing and visual artists, this extraordinarily talented artist has already expanded the concept of traditional tap dancing, creating his own unique blended vocabulary pointing toward the future of percussive dance and rhythmic expression.
A native of Switzerland (Winterthur), Dani has performed as a soloist around the world and has won 11 gold medals in many different categories (six in solo male) at the IDO tap dance world championships in Riesa, Germany. In 2013, he served as co-choreographer and dance captain for productions of Spamalot and Flashdance. In 2014, he collaborated on the creation of Funny Feet (by Lukas Weiss Productions) a show that fused tap dance, juggling, virtuosic foot percussion and humor. Other shows featuring his performances in 2014–15 included WINGS by Rigolo and, thanks to Regine Ochsner, Rhythm Refix by Cartier Williams. In 2015, he faced the greatest challenge of his career, performing in Kilian Deissler’s Kick The Square: tapping by using notes in an extremely complex way, with six other musicians, using a notation system specifically created for the project and a special stage consisting of different sound elements.
Companies and projects that he has performed and toured around the world with include Stylize, directed by Sandro Minasi, which combines different dance styles including break dance and tap; DaNaTI, a collaboration with Swiss dancer and choreographer Natalie Wagner that combines tap, jazz, contemporary dance and acting; Carpe Rhythmum, a Swiss tap ensemble, directed by Daniel Leveillé; his longtime partnership with tap dancer Ursina Meyer; Tap Dan’s Company; projects with his mother Liba Borak and their dancers from Dance Studio Borak; and “Dog, Sheep & Shepherd” with the jazz duo Gabriela and Jan Pisklák. He also has taught workshops and been invited to tap festivals all over the globe.
His most ambitious project to date has been Tap Dan’s Festival in October 2016 in his hometown of Winterthur, Switzerland. Seven different performances showcased his work and new collaborations, including several of his full-evening works as well as material from his six years as a freelance artist. Almost all of his tap and musician colleagues from Switzerland, as well as guests from the U.S., England, France and Germany, including Barbara Duffy, Cartier Williams, Max Pollak, Victor Cuno, and Andreas Dänel, participated and collaborated with him, selling out six of the seven shows.