Courtesy Beth Cavalli

Dance Accompanist and Author Harriet Cavalli, 82, Has Died

On Saturday, November 14, 2020, Harriet Cavalli, cherished mother to Celia and Beth Cavalli, dear grandmother to Nina Cavalli, passed away peacefully at the age of 82. In addition to her two daughters and granddaughter, Harriet is survived by her brothers Clark Weymouth Jr. and Theodore Weymouth, and nieces and nephews.

Harriet Cavalli was an internationally renowned pianist, trailblazing the art of dance accompaniment. She had major impact on the way accompanists can contribute to dance, inspiring teachers and dancers to new levels of artistic knowledge and expression. She wrote the book, "Dance and Music (A Guide to Dance Accompaniment for Musicians and Dance Teachers)," first published in Europe, and published in the US by University Press of Florida in 2001. Her 40-year career spanned North America and Europe, and any dancer who had the good fortune to dance to her playing will never forget her. The dance world is a better place for Harriet's having been there.

Cavalli was passionately committed to ecology and wildlife and loved to get out into the wilderness and to the ocean. She was strongly committed to and an advocate for racial justice. She was devoted to her friends, her family, and her cats, Maudi, MeiMei, Zorro and Murdo to mention a few. She had strong opinions and made funny faces. She was natural, preferred to be barefoot, not going for glamour in her appearance or lifestyle, although she did trot out the Revlon Fire and Ice matte lipstick for special occasions. She loved to entertain her friends in that same earthy way—around the table with plenty of wine, some popcorn or steamed mussels.

Per Cavalli's wishes, there will be no funeral service. Condolences can be sent to Celia and Beth Cavalli, 6617 NW Grandview Ave. Corvallis OR 97330. For those inclined, she would love donations made in her name to Ocean Park Food Bank, 1601 Bay Avenue, Ocean Park, WA 98640, (360) 665-6567. —Beth Cavalli

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Chicago Human Rhythm Project's Rhythm World Finally Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

What happens when a dance festival is set to celebrate a landmark anniversary, but a global pandemic has other plans?

Chicago's Rhythm World, the oldest tap festival in the country, should have enjoyed its 30th iteration last summer. Disrupted by COVID-19, it was quickly reimagined for virtual spaces with a blend of recorded and livestreamed classes. So as not to let the pandemic rob the festival of its well-deserved fanfare, it was cleverly marketed as Rhythm World 29.5.

Fortunately, the festival returns in full force this year, officially marking three decades of rhythm-making with three weeks of events, July 26 to August 15. As usual, the festival will be filled with a variety of master classes, intensive courses and performances, as well as a teacher certification program and the Youth Tap Ensemble Conference. At the helm is Chicago native Jumaane Taylor, the newly appointed festival director, who has curated both the education and performance programs. Taylor, an accomplished choreographer, came to the festival first as a young student and later as part of its faculty.

July 2021