Photo by Betti Franceschi
Ms. Bufalino is a mixed genre artist: dancer, choreographer, author, and ceramicist.
As a soloist, and choreographer/director of The American Tap Dance Orchestra, Ms Bufalino has performed and taught Internationally for over 30 years. Her collaborations with her partner and mentor the great Charles ‘Honi’ Coles, and her many performances with Gregory Hines, The Nicholas Brothers, and the many giants of tap dance has infused her with the essence of the form that she now shares with her stories, teaching, and dances. Her own experimental work, with taps, electronics and poetry has influenced the next two generations of tap artists, and she is still creating new experimental and traditional tap works and performances.
She has performed solo and with her company “The American Tap Dance Orchestra” at all the major venues; Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Joyce Theater, The Kennedy center and major theaters across America and Europe. For the State Department the ATDO toured Eastern Europe introducing the newly democratic theaters to the world of Tap Dance. With her company she appeared in the PBS special Tap Dance in America...with Gregory Hines.
Ms. Bufalino has been awarded several awards from the National Endowment for The Arts. The NEA deemed two of her choreographies for the ATDO, American Masterpieces. Her choreography has been performed by several noted companies, most recently her piece "Jump Monk," was performed by Dorrance Dance at City Center, n\NYC.
As an author Ms Bufalino has written many articles and wrote the foreword and afterward for the book Jazz Dance by Marshall and Jean Stearns. Her memoir "Tapping the Source...Tap dance, stories, theory and practice" and a book of poems "Circular Migrations" have both been published by Codhill Press. and her recent novella "Song of the Split Elm", is published by Outskirts Press.
She has been awarded: The Flobert Award, The Tapestry Award, The Tap City Hall of Fame Award, The Dance Magazine, and the prestigious Bessie Award, all for outstanding achievement and contributions to the field of tap dance.
Review from Dance Pages by Melba Huber:
Brenda Bufalino, Artistic Director of THE AMERICAN TAP DANCE ORCHESTRA, may do for tap what George Balanchine did for ballet, and Jack Cole did for jazz.
Review of "Song of the Split Elm," by Mikhail Horowitz for The Almanac:
Ms Bufalino's characters are fully alive on the page, their stories engaging and the writing at times intensely lyrical.
When she taps, her feet conjure an expressive language that is more akin to singing than dancing.
LISA JO SIGOLIA,
BACK STAGE MAGAZINE
['Gertrude's Nose' is] a rapturous and kinetic mix of tap and vocals (both with and without poetic text) . . . described as a 'sound scape' for rhythm tap and vocalese. This piece went far beyond any traditional concept of dance, vocal or theatrical work. . . . Bufalino and Clayton managed to transcend each of these categories while using elements of them all. One could sense a meeting of master artists, bridging the gap between motion and sound.
Diva Bufalino, wailing with her feet, plugged into the music, her primal rhythms invoked in her original tune 'This Is The Beginning' and 'Tribute to Charles Mingus' . . . whether gliding, sliding or vocally vamping this 60 year old makes it a syncopated walk in the park.
LOS ANGELES TIMES
There is no doubt that Bufalino deserves the title 'Best Female Tap Dancer That Ever Lived'. In addition, she is one fine musician whose instrument happens to be her tap shoes. She is a splendid performer with a smoky singing voice that knows how to torch a lyric. She's a born story teller with a delicious sense of humor. She has style, charm and grace. The keeper of the tap dancer's flame, shone ever so brightly on last week on the stage of Schein Hall.
Brenda Bufalino is a star, a dancer of extraordinary subtlety. Her gravelly-voiced singing and patter is almost as engaging in 'Cantata and the Blues . . . Ms. Bufalino is an eloquent writer, and many of the best moments in her new 'Gertrude's Nose' grew from her evocative nature poetry. . .
THE NEW YORK TIMES
. . . In the more advanced, sophisticated styles of tap dance, in which the entire body is involved and the feet used as an improvisational instrument, hammering out complex patterns of sound, only a chosen few excel. Bufalino is unquestionably one of this select band. . . . those feet weave the most subtle rhythms, varying the volume of taps from delicate brushes of sound to a thunderous stomping. She digs into the music, underlines it, plays off against its varied tempi. How can one foot tap out a dozen crystalline beats in as many seconds? That's her secret. . . .