"Savion Glover: Bare Soundz
Madame Walker Theatre Center
Friday, Aug. 24
Astounding percussive qualities flowed from mind to body to feet in Bare Soundz, a virtuoso performance of tap dancing in Savion Glover’s new “hot blend of rhythm and cadence” from jazz to reggae.
Joined by hoofers Marshall Davis Jr. and Maurice Chestnut, Glover choreographed this fast-paced, hour-long program for a historical journey of tap, and the music it both derives from and drives forward. As a percussive trio, they worked off each other on the multiple levels of any musical group, here also layering the visual qualities of body language and facial expressions.
Glover’s career both emulates a physicist’s search into the interior of finiteness and a philosopher’s stretching outside infinity. Glover surprises and thrills in his daring to maintain the veracity of his forebears while breaking barriers of expectancy.
Bare Soundz demonstrated dance as an acoustical instrument of sound and song. The audience added its own lyrics in an associative transcendence as our bodies absorbed melody emerging from the rhythms of different cultures across epochs and environs.
The program opened with comments from the Savion Glover workshop participants and closed with the show-stopping guest appearance of one of the students, Kweku Sumbry, a 10-year-old African drummer, from Washington, D.C. Glover, in his inimitable style, has launched yet another young performer’s career. Kweku Sumbry is a name to watch for in lights.
Bravo to the Walker for its risk-taking in bringing Glover back so soon after his sold-out appearance last November, when he tap danced to classical music performed by a chamber orchestra.