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HomeNewsArchivesDance Dance Evolution: Savion Glover Showcases Growth at Reichhold Performance

Dance Dance Evolution: Savion Glover Showcases Growth at Reichhold Performance

March 11, 2007 — The dazzling footwork of tap dancer extraordinaire Savion Glover was up front and personal in his performance at the Reichhold Center Saturday, as he and his two proteges danced non-stop and earned a rousing, well-deserved standing ovation.
Glover was joined by Cartier Williams and Marshall Davis, dancer phenoms in their own rights, and accompanied by his musical combo, the Otherz, with Tommy James on piano, Brian Grice on drums, Andy McCloud on bass and Patience Higgins on flute and saxes.
Not merely a dancer, Glover serves as the key instrumental soloist in the band. He travels with his own raised floor containing more than 175 built-in microphones. He is in effortless perpetual motion, a sophisticated rhythm player, using a wide palette of sounds and patterns. At times he pounded out complex, Coltrane-like rhythms, while at other times he ranged from funk grooves to uptempo bebop riffs.
Glover had a smile on his face the entire evening. Most of the time he faced the band to better communicate and direct it. But he certainly stayed aware of his audience and venue, throwing in a bit of Sonny Rollins' classic "St. Thomas."
I've seen everything that Glover has done for the past decade, and it has been remarkable witnessing his evolution as a performer and musician. He has revolutionized, reinvented and revitalized dance, attracting millions of appreciative new fans. The audience in St. Thomas can now be counted among them.
The evening began with an extended solo by bassist McCloud, joined by Glover after five minutes. The rest of the band entered one at a time and extended the opening into a 20-minute introduction, eliciting applause from an appreciative audience.
The program that followed was long and diverse, with one of the highlights an unaccompanied trio by Glover, Williams and Davis that wowed the crowd with its tightly synced choreography and powerful soloing. Both Williams and Davis are up and coming dancers, and their work shows that Glover is also a great teacher and presenter who is passing on the traditions of the past. He got his own start studying with the late Gregory Hines, who in turn had worked with the greats of yesterday: Honi Coles, Sandman Sims, the Nicholas Brothers and Teddy Hale.
Another highlight was Glover's soloing to the jazz standard "Inchworm," which was smooth, soft and sophisticated.
The evening ended with his traditional closing number, "The Stars and Stripes Forever (For Now)," which laid out a powerful rhythmic groove that had the audience clapping and stayed in their minds and hearts as they left happy from this remarkable and unique concert.
Certainly the Reichhold is a great venue for any performer, but there are a few things that it could do to improve the audience's experience. The first would be to include the names of the musicians performing in the program. This omission has been a constant throughout the season, both at the Angelique Kidjo and McCoy Tyner concerts. People want to know to whom they are listening, not only because it is customary at such an event but also so they can follow their careers and purchase their music.
A second area for improvement is the sound system and the balance of the mix. Throughout the evening Saturday, the piano was inaudible, the sax overpowering and static intrusive once again. In the past Glover would not say a word during concerts, but in this performance, not only did he speak but he also sang. Unfortunately, his mike, like that of the pianist, left the audience straining to hear.
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