...undoubtedly Norwegian jazz' most exquisite tap dancer... Audun Vinger, NTT
Janne Eraker is a tap dancer who works full-time as a musician and dance artist in projects in Norway and abroad. Born in Germany and raised in Norway, she moved on to get her dance education in Oslo, Rotterdam and New York. Also her dancing has many roots, starting with Balkan folk dances, swinging by competition dancing, musicals, contemporary and modern dance, and now fermenting all of it into her tap dancing. Eraker is fascinated by the sound of tap dance, and has worked a long time to create all kinds of music with it. Her work spans from improvised concerts to choreographed dance pieces, collaborating with a wide range of artists. As a performer she also dances in the Sebastian Weber Dance Company in Germany.
Both out of practical necessity and artistic curiosity, Eraker investigates the possibilities of amplifying, modifying and recording the sound of tap dance. Much like an acoustic guitar becoming an electric guitar, this results in new sounds and ways of using the instrument. In the duo Øy and the performance installation Tap Noir she goes further to trigger samples, sounds and light via contact microphones on the floor. She has also “played” the full size organ of Stavanger Concert House via wireless microphones attached to her shoes. In 2022 she released her first album Gol Variations with the trio One Small Step. In 2023 Eraker is releasing the album Movements for Listening, recorded with 11 musicians in 10 different locations.
Eraker received a 3 year Artist grant from Arts Council Norway (2015-2017), and is the first tap dancer to be included as a musician in the Norwegian Jazz Forum and to be employed by the Alliance for Actors and Dancers. She's also leading the studio collective Dansens Haus, which resides in a 70m2 studio in the heart of Oslo.
However, the idea that tap can be a musical instrument and interact musically with other instruments and that dance is not a fixed form, but a process, a technique, that can evolve and be used in a creative (and not just functional context) is new and Janne Eraker is, in this respect, a forerunner. Gonçalo Falcão, Jazz.pt
She's an iconoclast creating original, innovative tap dances in a wholly unique way. David Parker, The Bang Group
Janne has a creative mind; she’s smart, playful and unpredictable. She effortlessly switches from pragmatism to poetry, from trivial to profound. SWDC