D Kevin McNeirLifestyle

Savion Glover Keeps the Beat Going

Savion Glover will soon kick off his national tour in D.C., reminding us why he’s considered “the greatest tap dancer who has ever lived,” while often described as “absolutely sensational” among a slew of well-deserved accolades.

The acclaimed dancer, choreographer and actor takes to D.C.’s National Theatre in Northwest, tap shoes in tow, for two performances, Feb. 23 – 24 for “All FuNKD’ Up, The ConCert” and as always, will bring an exciting show that will feature a conversation between his percussive skills and a six-piece band, along with a troupe of dancers as he taps new rhythms, new grooves, new “funks.”

Glover’s U.S. tour will also serve as a celebration of his 35th year as a performing artist in the business – a career during which he’s garnered a Tony Award for his choreography, produced works for Broadway and starred in films that include “The Tap Dance Kid,” “Tap” also featuring Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr., Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled” and “Jelly’s Last Jam,” a role for which he made history as the youngest ever recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

Not bad for the Newark, New Jersey native whose innate abilities in music and dance first presented themselves when he was just a young boy where he set a record that has yet to broken: the youngest to ever receive a scholarship in the Newark Community School of the Arts.

And with the founding of several companies in his hometown, like Savion Glover Productions, he’s determined to highlight the tradition of tap dancing and sound, also providing quality production and project management services for dancers hoping to one day claim their place among the nation’s top echelon of entertainers.

Glover says he’s returned to the stage because he wants people to join him in “having a good time.”

“My fellow dancers and some of my close friends share my love and appreciation for tap and so when I’m on stage, I enjoy myself and want the audience to enjoy themselves too,” Glover said.

“Dance serves as the leading instrument in the shows I produce. Tap dance is the concert. I guess you could say that I’m still trying to help people achieve a greater appreciation for this art form. I want folks to see it in the same vein as a rock concert.”

Glover says that he no longer concerns himself with differing responses to his work between American audiences versus those in Europe, Africa or countries like China where he often sells out arenas as eager fans swoop up tickets and pack the seats to witness his tap dancing prowess.

“When I was younger, I often compared the way I was received when I was performing outside of the U.S. but now the focus begins internally,” he said. “You can’t control the many different perceptions that people may have as it relates to my performance. And that’s not really what drives me and pushes me.”

“My goal remains the same as it’s always been: I want people to experience the dance and the music. It’s the dance that evokes the response. I feel the energy of my audiences. They welcome the dance.”

Now 44, Glover, who calls his form of dance, “free style hard core,” says he keeps himself in shape by “eating well and getting a good night’s sleep.”

“I put my life into what I do,” he said. “When I perform, I am living my life. It is my life and I appreciate those who continue to come out to experience my dance and the joy it still brings me.”

For tickets and more information, go to www.TheNationalDC.com.

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D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Award-winning journalist and 21-year Black Press veteran, book editor, voice-over specialist and college instructor (Philosophy, Religion, Journalism). Before joining us, he led the Miami Times to recognition as NNPA Publication of the Year.

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