About Thomas Marek
Thomas started tap dancing at age 14. Two years later, he met Brenda Bufalino at a workshop. She quickly became his most in fluential teacher at that time. He also had the opportunity to get to know and to study with tap innovators Honi Coles, Cholly Atkins, Chuck Green, Buster Brown, Lon Chaney, Jimmy Slyde and Gregory Hines.
After finishing school in 1992 and an intensive training period in the USA, Thomas Marek became a professional tap dancer. After touring in Florida with Brenda Bufalino’s “American Dance Orchestra” in the early 1990s he started focusing on his own artistic performances and tap dance productions. He created, produced and directed over 8 original theater & dance productions. He is a regular guest in theaters and festivals all over Germany, Europe and the USA.
He performed in Spain, Brazil, Israel, France, Switzerland, in the USA and in many theaters all over Germany and shared the stage with tap dance greats like Brenda Bufalino, Barbara Duffy, Sarah Petronio, Jimmy Slyde and Gregory Hines.
Thomas conceived, choreographed, produced and directed over six original dance shows (Funked Up, about tap vol. 1 & vol. 2, Orchestra, Drama, Nola), 4 full evening shows with TAP&BASS, as well as multiple TV Shows, short films and theater productions (ARD Sportler des Jahres, Stamp, Theatersommer im Clussgarten).
In his own productions he staged and choreographed solos and ensemble pieces with tap masters like Brenda Bufalino, Sarah Petronio, Barbara Duffy, Josh Hilberman, Leela Petronio, Josette Wiggan-Freund, Travis Knights, Daniel Larsson, Kurt Albert, Pia Neises and many more.
His style of choreography has a conceptual approach and he works closely with his dancers trying to include their specific talents and strength into the piece. He also uses improvisaton as part of his choreographies and compositions.
“To work with Thomas was one of the most fun and challenging experiences of my dance career.
It was a secure environment and he built up trust to collaborate and search for expressions through the dance. This process was really challenging for me. I had to work hard to overcome my fears, but in the end it was very rewarding and I felt I took a big step as an artist.”
In 2007 Thomas opened his own tap dance studio “Footprints” in Hamburg, Germany. As a teacher and coach he taught internationally at Steps On Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, The Herräng Swing Dance Festival, Harlem Festival Lithuania, Tap Ahead Festival Düsseldorf and many workshops all around the world.
In August 2016 he started a one month professional training program for tap dancers in his studio in Hamburg. The program is targeted at semi & professional dancers who want to bring their skills to a new level.
1985 – 1992
– Training in tap dancing at various dance schools and workshops throughout Germany.
– First stage experiences and smaller appearances in theatres
– Further training and performances at the Colorado Dance Festival, Boulder USA
– Workshop and guest appearance in Recife, Brazil.
– Further training in New York, USA.
– Performances in various jazz clubs in New York.
– Engagement in the ensemble “The American Tap Dance Orchestra”, under the direction of Brenda Bufalino, NYC.
– Performances with The American Tap Dance Orchestra & Gregory Hines : Gainsville, Florida USA
– Foundation and development of the full-length tap dance show “Aus Leidenschaft”
– second engagement with ” The American Tap Dance Orchestra”: 5 weeks USA tour.
– Production of the project “Visual Music” with a jazz trio. Concerts throughout Germany.
– Guest teacher and performer in Tel Aviv, Israel
Choreography and artistic direction for the ARD production “Sportler des Jahres 1996
Second own production “New Thing!” – a tap dance performance with an 8-piece live band.
appearances throughout Germany and Switzerland.
– Guest Lecturer for Tap Dance : International Dance Weeks Vienna
– Scholarship of the Kunststiftung Baden-Würrtemberg : Dance Department
– Engagement for the role of Al Lewis in Neil Simon’s comedy “Sonny Boys”, Scala Theater Ludwigsburg
– Foundation of the duo “tap&bass” with bassist Kurt Holzkämper
1998 – 1999
– Choreographic work and performances for the Paris hip hop company “Funk Attitude” (Director: Leela Petronio)
– Performances in France
– Award for “Kleinkunstpreis” at the Comedy Festival of the City of Moers.
– Move to Hamburg and foundation of the own tap dance ensemble “Funked Up”.
2000 – 2001
– Choreographies and direction of the ensemble “Funked Up”.
– Premiere 2001 at the Tanzhaus NRW, Düsseldorf. Performances in CCH, Hamburg and all over Germany.
– Choreography and leading role in the Arte television production “Stamp”.
– 1st prize choreography competition “tap ahead award 2001” together with Karolin Schäfer, Tanzhaus NRW, Düsseldorf
– Foundation of the studio “nullviernull” in Hamburg, a platform for qualified tap dancing lessons and smaller performances.
– Engagement for the role of Jack Romano in the theater adaptation of Jim Jarmusch’s “Down By Law”, Scala Theater Ludwigsburg.
– Premiere of the duo performance “bebelaar & marek”, nullviernull, HH
– Guest performance and collaboration with Angela Guerreiro in her play “exposure no. 6”, Hamburger Botschaft, HH
– Premiere of the new “tap&bass” project “For Your Eyes Only”, Kulturamt Stuttgart
– Premiere about_tap vol 1 at Tanzhaus NRW, Düsseldorf.
– Premiere about_tap vol. 2 on Kamnagel, Hamburg. Supported by the Hamburg Cultural Authority and the Fonds darstellende Künste.
– Photo exhibition Kampnagel as part of “about_tap vol. 2”
– Revival of “about_tap vol. 2”, Kampnagel, Hamburg.
– Premiere Tap&Bass “Music Evolution”, Kampnagel Hamburg
– Foundation of the tap dance studio “Footprints” in Hamburg
– Canon Professional Award, Second Prize Fashion photography
– Premiere “ORCHESTRA – expansions & dimension” Kampnagel, Hamburg, sponsored by the Hamburg Cultural Authority and the Fonds darstellende Künste.
– Guest performance “ORCHESTRA” at the Theaterspektakel, Zurich and the Tanzhaus NRW
Revival of “ORCHESTRA”, Kampnagel Hamburg
Premiere “Thomas Marek & Band”, Überjazz Festival, Hamburg
Premiere “DRAMA – love songs & other jazz”. Kampnagel, Hamburg. Supported by the Hamburg Cultural Authority and the Fonds darstellende Künste.
Guest lecturer at the University of Washington, Seattle. School of Art / Photography. In collaboration with the artist Susie Lee.
Premiere “NOLA”. Kampnagel, Hamburg. Supported by the Hamburg Cultural Authority.
Premiere Tap&Bass “BEATS”. International Jazz Days Theaterhaus Stuttgart.
Thomas Marek Quartet (Hamburg) featuring Matthäus Winnitzki piano, Tilman Oberbeck bass, Stefan Dahm drums