A standing ovation met Savion Glover when he finished his two-hour performance Oct. 13 at Macky Auditorium. His show combined tap dance with classical music.
Savion is a performer, choreographer and director. He was a series regular on “Sesame Street” for five seasons, was the star of Spike Lee’s film “Bamboozled” and has won numerous awards for his talent. Widely considered today’s best tap dancer, he is known for creating his own style of tap dance that has not been equaled.
“There is nothing to compare him to,” said Rachel Murane, a ballerina who attended the show. “His dance is in a genre of its own. His pieces are totally revolutionary. He was both the conductor and the dancer in this show.”
The performance inside Macky’s beautifully lit auditorium was remarkable. Savion tapped with the music, interacted with it and acted independently of it, his feet and legs seeming almost disconnected from the rest of his body. The musicians played string instruments, a flute, a piano and a drum set. His figure in the center of stage – with its flowing, un-tucked collared shirt and messy bun of braided hair – never stopped moving.
“Even as a dance major, I didn’t know it was physically possible for someone to move like that,” said Will Treat, a freshman dance major. “It was hypnotizing.”
An especially unique aspect of Savion’s performance was that he did not face the audience for most of the show. He seemed to be communicating as he danced, not with the audience, but with the musicians. This added to the image of Savion as a conductor. When he did face those in attendance, they responded; his facial expressions and arm movements often made people laugh and smile.
In another part of the show, each musician had a solo that was accompanied by Savion’s tapping. Hearing each instrument was insightful, because audience members could identify the individual parts of what made the orchestra music beautiful as a whole.
The only shortcomings of the performance were the absence of an intermission and the horrible sound that was made when one musician dropped his viola. There was a small break – less than two minutes – and then Savion was at it again.
It was inspiring to watch him and listen to the music, but after about an hour, it was also uncomfortable. Many elderly audience members walked out. An intermission during the performance might have picked up the crowd’s energy and made the last half of the show more enjoyable. Even though Savion did not get much of a break during the performance, he certainly did not slow down or show any sign that he was tired. It seemed like he could go on dancing forever.
The audience was extremely diverse. There were many children, but it was mostly an older crowd. The students on campus who did not attend have missed a good show.
“We really want students to come to these events,” said Joan Braun, the executive director of CU concerts. “We’ve made it so that a student ticket costs close to the price of a latte.”
Students can purchase student passes to arts events at www.cuconcerts.org.