jazz é-tap
a theater, live music & tap dancing company
art as a human adventure
art in the service of the encounter

the company | the founder

CV, curriculum vitae of Laurent Bortolotti’s philosophy, founder of the "compagnie jazz é-tape". Tap dance show, street entertainment, concert, acting, musical, musical theater, dance, acoustique jazz music - swing swing, middle jazz, mainstream, bebop, modern jazz, contemporary and experimental jazz, Cuban, latin and Brazilian music, funk. Lausanne, Switzerland.
photo: Andy Yu

My name is Laurent Bortolotti, I grew up in the small town of Yverdon-les-Bains, in Switzerland. As a teenager I caught the jazz virus while listening to vinyl LPs. Jazz inspired me to move and dance. One day I saw Fred Astaire on television, and since then the passion for tap dancing has never left me.

Among the tap dance teachers who influenced me the most, are Gilbert et Fabrice Martin (Lausanne, Suisse), Barbara Duffy (New York, USA), Rhythm Kaneko (Tokyo, Japon), Heather Cornell (New York, USA), Lane Alexander (Chicago, USA), Sam Weber (San Francisco, USA), Jason Janas (New York, USA), Danny Nielsen (Vancouver, Canada), Cartier Williams (New York, USA) et Guillem Alonso (Barcelone, Espagne). These teachers made me understand that tap dance offers a musical experiment in movement by making jazz music "visible". That’s what led me to create the "compagnie sucre et piment" in 2004 - renamed "jazz é-tap" in 2015.

Since 2006 and thanks to the work of Inez Cierna (Atelier ET - Lausanne, Switzerland) and Noah Pikes (Roy Hart Theatre - Malérargues, France), I gradually turned to theater, which offered me  a new expressive context for tap dancing. This is because the creative processes in making theatre are also applicable to tap dancing, especially when using improvisation.

In 2011 I had the chance to lead some theatre workshops for ATD Quart Monde, an international NGO working against poverty and social exclusion. In 2012 I discovered the work of Jump Rhythm Jazz Project who mixes voice, and movement to jazz. These experiences led me to create several transdisciplinary projects combining theatre, life stories, live music, tap dancing and dance : ātman (2013-2016) and office life 3.0 (2014-2017).

Then, in 2018 and 2019, I crossed Central America twice by bus from Nicaragua to Mexico while dancing in the street. These experiences led me to design a new show panamericana central (2019) a travelogue told in music, tap dancing, video reports and life testimonies.

The Covid proved to be a formidable springboard. In 2020, I received an artistic development grant from the Canton of Vaud as well as special financial support from the Fondation Parallèle to develop my practice of tap dancing as a percussion instrument in jazz.