June 28, 2013
Constantly exploring different aspects of music, tap dancer and musician, Savion Glover enters the rhythmic center of jazz, classical and popular music in his program STePZ at the Joyce Theater. Back for another season, Glover and his dancers (each season he gathers a pick-up company of tap colleagues) breezed through a two-part program that never lagged in spontaneity and sparked wide swathes of technical prowess.
Always acknowledging his long-gone peers, the tap masters who formed his tap ethos, Glover set up two sets of staircases referencing the great tap hero of films Bill Robinson and the unbeatable team of The Nicholas Brothers. A worthy counterpart, Marshall Davis Jr. tapped across from him as they traded phrases like jazz musicians in an improvisatory jam.
The women Ayodele Casel, Sarah Savelli and Robyn Watson, carried different meters in the their bodies, lighter and sultrier than the men who sped into the more athletic range of taps and clicks, slides and spins.
Glover continues to discover new sounds in his taps. The tonal structure varies depending on where his tap hits, and the thud of his heel underscores the bass rhythm anchoring the toe’s rippling crescendos.
Performing to taped music on an amplified (mic’d) wooden platform, Glover shot percussive rhythms across Shostakovich, Stevie Wonder and towering jazz figures like John Coltrane, Charlie “Bird” Parker and Miles Davis.
In a mesmerizing moment, Glover’s foot began vibrating tapping out a beat peppering the Shostakovich score, and continued for what felt like 5 minutes. A cunning dancer dedicated to expanding the reaches of tap, Glover is an artist to see—and see—and see again.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis