Savion Glover, a world-renowned tap dancer and choreographer, performed at Stony Brook’s Staller Center this past Sunday. The show, titled SoLo in TiME, presented original tap compositions that aimed to use “tap as sound, and sound as dance.”
Glover is a Tony Award winning performer and choreographer for four different Broadway plays, and is more recently known for his Academy Award winning tap choreography in the Warner Brothers film “Happy Feet.” However, he has also made appearances on Sesame Street, the Colbert Report, Dancing with the Stars, and in Spike Lee’s film “Bamboozled.”
SoLo in TiME aimed to incorporate the ancestral history of flamenco, a Spanish musical genre, into tap. The performance included Francesco Beccaro on bass, Gabriel Hermida on guitar, and Carmen Estevez singing and playing cajon. The cajon added a unique style to the music and is a commonly used Afro-Peruvian instrument. The instrument, often used in modern Flamenco, is played by hitting the front of the box with your hands. These instruments played a major role in the show, helping to create the sound of a band along side Glover’s percussive tapping.
Erin Keffeler and her fiancé Jeff Giuliano thought the show was “brilliant.” They never saw Savion Glover perform before, but they go to Staller events about once a year. “It reminded me of Dave Matthews,” Keffler said, “making his own band is really genius.”
Giuliano said, “He was very talented. Very inspiring.”
Glover uses the “Hooferz style,” which utilizes tap as more of a percussion instrument, rather than a visual performance. “What many people do not understand is that tap is percussion,” Glover said. Marshall Davis, Jr., who has performed with Savion Glover in the Broadway production of “Bring in Da’ Noise Bring in Da’ Funk,” joined him on stage for a portion of the show, dancing in synchronization.
Alexandra Boccio, a sophomore psychology major, known to Glover as “Miss Tempo,” thought the “[show] was awesome.” She was excited to become part of the show when Glover stopped dancing, pointed to her, and asked why she stopped tapping her foot. “I was tapping my heel on the floor, but I stopped because I was trying to pay attention,” she said, that’s when he “got mad at me.”
“Can somebody put the spotlight on her?” asked Glover, entertaining the idea that she should move her head in order to more visibly keep tempo.
This was not Glover’s first show at the Staller Center. He performed “Classical Savion” in the 2007-2008 season, dancing to a string ensemble of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” and performed “Bare Soundz,” an “a cappella” style tap dance in the 2008-2009 season. Glover is always aiming to expand his horizons on what tap dancing can accomplish and works to incorporate many different styles.
Glover was thankful for both the turnout for this year’s performance and the opportunity to perform at Stony Brook once again. Glover turned back stage and joked, “What are you doing? Are you twittering right now or something? I hope it’s about me. There’s a wonderful crew, stage managers and everything. I don’t know everyone’s name. All these great people who are not paying attention to the show because they are twittering…but I still would like to acknowledge them.”
Davis tapped in the background while Glover said his thank you’s, ending with, “And you – How are you? How’s everybody feeling? Thank you so much for all coming out this evening. I wanna thank everybody. Whoever is responsible for us being here…I wanna thank you.”
This year’s performance was a full house, with 916 tickets sold. After two full hours of tapping, the appreciation was reciprocated when Glover received a standing ovation.
Stony Brook students can purchase half price tickets for Staller events on the first of the month with their SBU ID, or purchase $7.00 “student rush tickets,” fifteen minutes before the start of the performance. If you missed the performance, the Staller Center box office suggested that, given his performance record, it is likely Glover will come back to Stony Brook within in the next three years.