Savion Glover Sole Sanctuary March 22, 2013
By Glen Creason
I should begin by saying Savion Glover is a once in a lifetime artist who has taken a humble art form and elevated it to the levels of opera or ballet. The art of tap-dancing will never be the same and hopefully this man’s greatness and genius will lead us to many more who aspire to take this form of dance to such inspired heights. I should follow by saying his concert at the packed Performing Arts Center a few days back will go down as one of the truly great shows there, no matter what follows in the years to come. Lastly in this triumvirate of awe is that I sure hope we can get him back here again next year.
Glover dances like most of us breathe... in and out; as natural as a basic function of life. There seems to be a path between his boundless imagination and his body, especially his legs and feet that operates like an electrical current that he can dial up and down at will. What places him right at the top with the great tap-dancers of the past is that he does not need musical accompaniment since he makes music with his feet that is unique and improvised in a dazzling variety. While his show gave tribute to these greats of the genre (and they were greats!) he paid them the ultimate compliment by surpassing all of them and knocking the bar a quantum leap upwards. On a purely physical level, the unreal stamina shown in the performance could be compared to a running back gaining 320 yards on a muddy football field in December or maybe pitching a sixteen inning no-hitter in Houston in August.
Even as the focus was on the sounds of tap shoes on the small elevated platform you cannot help making musical comparisons since Savion Glover expresses his themes with a jazz feeling that is wonderful and often transcendent. Sometimes he reminded us of Keith Jarret’s great solo concerts in Koln or Bremen-Lausanne and when he teamed with the superb Marshall Davis Jr. it was like Coltrane riffing with Miles Davis. As a matter of fact, no one in their right mind would dare share a stage with the dazzlingly brilliant Mr. Davis except the once in a lifetime headliner on this night. Together, they painted grand landscapes of choreography venturing off into brilliant solos but working together with such intimate skill that it made it hard to blink…and the show ran over ninety riveting minutes. When they danced alone it was like a gifted pianist with the left and right feet independent in melody but together in harmony. When they danced together it was truly unforgettable.