a beautiful man

Students celebrate with Hines after a tap class of the Broadway Theatre Project in Tampa.

Gregory Hines died on Saturday night.

He was a good man, a beautiful man, a dancer, a New Yorker, a singer, an actor, and always a generous teacher for younger tap-dancers.

The last time we saw him was in the audience at LaMama a year and a half ago. We were all there for Thaddeus Phillips, a friend of ours who uses a gentle, timeless tap (in combination with incredible, abstract or improvised puppetry) in his own brilliant theatre pieces, to extraordinary effect.

Hines was obviously waiting after the performance to talk to him, so we spoke to Thaddeus only very briefly. It was a wonderful meeting of creative styles, and I sure wish we could have eavesdropped that night.

[image by Clint Krause]