Palo Alto Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - July 26, 2013

A tap legacy

Virtuoso Savion Glover will perform with his trio on Aug. 3

by Elena Kadvany

Savion Glover, a 39-year-old tap dancer, choreographer and actor who learned the art of tap from many of the "great masters of dance," will bring his art to the Stanford Jazz Festival on Aug. 3, performing with his trio in Dinkelspiel Auditorium.

Glover, who hails from New Jersey, started tap dancing when he was 7, going on to learn from many influential tappers including Buster Brown, Gregory Hines, Honie Coles and Sammy Davis Jr. He said that this early education not only changed his approach to dance, it also changed his life.

"It just made me more aware of what I was involved in — the tradition of dance and entertainment. I was honored to be a part of that tradition and legacy," he said in an interview.

Glover now works to pass on this history and musicality to young tap dancers at the HooFeRz Club, his tap school in Newark. The name is a nod to hoofers: tap dancers who dance close to the floor, focusing primarily on footwork without much arm or body movement. The style is also called "rhythm tap."

When asked about his personal tap style, Glover described it only as "tomorrow" — it's always evolving and people are better off asking him tomorrow, because his style changes from day to day. He said his approach as a dancer is similar to how a musician would approach his or her instrument.

Glover has also appeared on Broadway multiple times, beginning when he was 10 years old. He won a Tony award in 1996 for his performance in the Broadway musical "Bring in 'da Noise/Bring in 'da Funk" and has starred in television shows and films including Spike Lee's "Bamboozled" in 2000.

At Stanford, Glover plans to perform three pieces with each member of his trio — a vocalist, horn player and pianist — and a concluding piece all together. He said he aims to show "how the dance can be the bottom or lead instrument to each individual component, whether it's vocal, horn or piano."

Info: Savion Glover and his trio will perform Saturday, Aug. 3, at 8 p.m. in Stanford's Dinkelspiel Auditorium. Tickets are $38 general, $45 premium and $15 for students. Go to stanfordjazz.org.

Editorial Assistant Elena Kadvany can be emailed at ekadvany@paweekly.com.

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