That’s how Savion Glover describes himself in the UApresents program. I’d call him the most creative, stupendous tap dancer ever. His body resonates music — there’s no need of instruments. “Bare Soundz,” his latest show, performed last night with Marshall Davis Jr. and Keitaro Hosokawa at the University of Arizona’s Centennial Hall, proves it.
What a transcendent evening! My friend who went with me had never witnessed Glover’s dancing; it was my fourth time. After two hours — with no intermission — of the most electrifying, original movements feet could possibly pound out, she said, “That was like a spiritual experience.”
I was speechless. Really, all my superlatives don’t matter. You truly had to be there. We sat in the fifth row and could see the sweat dripping off him, which took me back 14 years to my first Savion Glover experience.
But wait. First I must digress. I’ve been in love with tap since I was six years old. I flap-toe-heeled then with braids flying, and shuffled off to Buffalo 24 years later in a lobster costume with my dear friends Marilee and Kate, in front of hundreds of people. It was Southwest Harbor Days. (We went on after the Wicked Good Band played “The State of Maine License is the Only License with a Dead Animal on it.”)
Jump ahead to my 50th birthday in NYC, surprised by Brook with front row seats to “Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk.” The show combined African-American history, blues and tap. And Glover, the 23-year-old choreographer and lead hoofer, won every possible award known to Broadway that year.
Brook had done some tapping of her own by that time. Maybe my memory exaggerates, but I recall Brook and me holding hands, intermittently rising from our seats with the rest of the audience, howling in excitement.
We saw Glover sweating then too, but his face looked different than it did last night. Maybe it was the nature of the show. Brook and I waited outside the stage door, hoping to get his signature on our program.
I blurted out that we were tap dancers (compared to him, yeah right!). While inscribing his Savion Glover on the program, he didn’t look up at us. Maybe he was shy. When I thanked him, he replied, almost sullenly, “No problem.”
Last night, his face seemed illuminated with love. His smile, warmth and wit were apparent. He even sang, “I owe it all to you.” Savion Glover is 37 now, married with a young son.
So maybe he’s a happy family man. Or maybe it’s good to get older, grow into himself and his art. I dunno, just look at his face.
My experience was very different. I sat in the 2nd row of the balcony and had an overall view of the show yet couldn’t see details. In my opinion, the first 20 minutes were fascinating and then it became repetitive and dull, excruciatingly so. I kept waiting for them to use the whole stage and to interact but other than the one exchange all 3 had on the one tap box, it was isolated rhythms, ad nausea. I was very disappointed. Rather than be an uplifting experience, I thought it was a snoozer.
Wow, what a shocker! I can’t imagine watching dance from so far away.