bergenPAC Presents Savion Glover, 1/19
Savion Glover is an American tap dancer, actor, and choreographer. As a learning prodigy, he was taught by notable dancers from previous generations. Glover is currently interested in restoring African roots to tap. He wants to put tap back into the contemporary black context. In June of 2012, Glover appeared on the ERIC ANDRE show and rejuvenated America's passion for tap dancing. Savion states his style is young and funk. When asked to describe what funk is, he says it is the bass line. Funk is anything that gets one's head on beat. It is riding with the rhythm. It is a pulse that keeps one rolling with the beat.
Born in 1973, the tapping marvel has graced the stage since childhood. He set a record as the youngest person ever to receive a scholarship in the Newark Community School of the Arts, and before he was a teenager, he made his mark starring in the leading role in the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid.
Early in his career, Glover developed his own dancing style he dubbed "freestyle hard core." The Tony Award-winning dancer eventually worked with dancing greats Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr. Among his credits are starring roles in shows like Jelly's Last Jam, a role for which he made history as the youngest ever recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant.
As a choreographer, Glover's work has helped maintain tap dancing as an art form in the modern dance world. In 1996, he choreographed and debuted in the starring role in the Broadway musical Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk. The musical brought Glover a Tony for Best Choreographer. He later expanded his appeal to younger generations with recurring appearances on Sesame Street, and he holds the credits for the choreography and the live captured dancing motion behind Mumble the penguin in the Disney film Happy Feet (2006). Glover's quick steps and amazing rhythms continue to influence the lives of young people.
Gregory Hines, a tap legend, was once one of Glover's tap teachers. Hines states that, "Savion is possibly the best tap dancer that ever lived." Savion likes to start his pieces with some old school moves from famous tappers and then work his way into his own style. Hines says it's like paying homage to those he respects, those he looks up to. When Honi Coles died, Savion performed at his memorial service. He finished his dance with a famous Coles move, a backflip into a split from standing position, then getting up without using one's hands. Savion rarely does this move because it wasn't his style, but he did it because it was Coles' style that Savion wanted to keep alive, "I feel like it's one of my responsibilities to keep the dance alive, to keep it out there, to keep the style."
Henry Le Tang calls Glover the Sponge because he learns very quickly with everything that is thrown at him. Le Tang taught the Hines brothers back in the 1950s and taught Glover for a little while before having him work for "Black and Blue," a tap revue in Paris in 1987. Glover is the future of tap. Many legendary tappers taught Glover such as Le Tang, the Hines brothers, Jimmy Slyde, Chuck Green, Lon Chaney (Isaiah Chaneyfield), Honi Coles, Sammy Davis, Jr., Buster Brown, Howard Sims, and Arthur Duncan. They all passed on their moves and talents to Savion. His Production Company tours across the country visiting schools, spreading enthusiasm for tap dancing and cementing his place in history-Be sure to see Savion Glover!