Madame Walker Theatre Center
Grace, in all its manifestations, can be defined as Savion Glover. As a person and performer, Glover is bestowed with blessings and is a giver of gifts. When he tap dances to Vivaldi, Dvorak, Bach, Bartok, Shostakovich and Mendelssohn, it’s as if these composers had intended their work to be presented to and with percussive, melodic, syncopated, rolling tap.
At times it seemed as though Glover was conducting the nine-piece string orchestra with flutist, using body language and moving feet to pull every possible nuance from notes and rests, themes and movements. At other times it felt as though Glover was another player in the arrangement, either bonding with a particular section or countermanding the idea with an overlay or undercurrent, thus creating dramatic tension. And still at other times it felt as if his feet emulated a vocalist and his foot movement had become lyrics to extend the score.
The wonderment is in how Glover can pull that much emotion from himself and out through his feet, legs, torso, arms, hands, face and eyes. All of him becomes an expression of the composer’s intent. It’s not flash-dancing to music. Rather it’s another interpretation in unison with other players who also are soloists in their own right, especially the awesome bass player.
The classical program closed with a “battle of solos” to test Glover’s mettle. This playfulness led to Glover’s full-out jazz-funk composition that included piano and percussion. Glover danced for two hours, allowing himself brief minutes between sets to change from soaked-through clothes, re-appearing in another tailored shirt of another hue over a white undershirt and black pants. His tap boots dazzled.