U.S. tap-dancing duo. Fayard Antonio Nicholas (b. Oct. 20, 1914, Mobile, Ala., U.S.d. Jan. 24, 2006, Los Angeles, Calif.) and his brother Harold Lloyd Nicholas (b. March 17, 1921, Winston-Salem, N.C.d. July 3, 2000, New York, N.Y.) developed the classical tap form, combining jazz dance, ballet, and acrobatics with tap. They gained fame at a young age while dancing at Harlem's Cotton Club (1932–39); they went on to appear in films such as Stormy Weather (1943), as well as on Broadway and later on television. They began their careers at a time when opportunities were few and stereotyped roles the norm for black entertainers, but they rose above this marginalization and enhanced the art of tap with their elegance and sensational showmanship.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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