Dancer Ira Bernstein
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What it is

IRA BERNSTEIN is regarded as one of the most versatile and accomplished performers of percussive step dancing (clog, tap and step dancing) in America, and in particular as one of the foremost southern Appalachian flatfooters in the world.  His repertoire is a  wide array of dances that all share a common thread:  the production of rhythmic, percussive  sounds.  The dances are more than movements accompanied by music; they are movements that make music, and as such, they are part of the music.  In a very literal sense, IRA is a drummer:  his feet are the sticks and the floor is the drum, which is why he refers to his art as TEN TOE PERCUSSION.

A concert of TEN TOE PERCUSSION by IRA BERNSTEIN includes an eclectic mix of rhythm tap dancing, Appalachian flatfooting, English clogging, Irish step dancing, Canadian step dancing (French-Canadian and Cape Breton) and South African boot dancing. Ira's knowledge of so many different styles of percussive step dancing gives him a depth and uniqueness in performance that is rare to find.  He wears a variety of different footwear (tap shoes--both metal and wooden taps, leather-soled shoes, wooden-soled clogs, fiberglass-tipped shoes and rubber boots with bells) to produce different tones, volumes and dynamics of sound specific to the different dances.  The message is clear:  the dances are as aural as they are visual.


Ira Bernstein