WHO: Savion Glover
WHEN: 8 tonight
WHERE: Mainstage Theatre, UB Center for the Arts, North Campus, Amherst
TICKETS: $31 to $46
Continuing Gregory Hines' legacy of making tap hot again, protege Savion Glover has been blazing new trails for the art form, opening tap up to even more diverse audiences.
Tonight, the Tony Award-winning Glover brings his self-styled brand of virtuosic tap dancing to the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts in "Improvography II," a program that blends improvisational tap dancing with jazz and a host of other musical styles.
Glover and his 34-city "Improvography II" tour visited Pittsburgh last weekend, and Glover performed to a packed theater. The program garnered a standing ovation.
"Improvography II" is in halves; the first half features Glover at his best, a lone dancer improvising to fabulous jazz music performed by Glover's veteran quartet, the Otherz.
Glover -- using his feet as his instrument -- plays along with the band, improvising at a blistering pace, exploring everything from subtle glides across the stage to pitch-changing interplay with the other musicians and even some scat singing.
Of his improvisational musings in the program's first half Glover said, "I just go with the temperatures; we're just out there jamming."
In the program's second half, Glover is joined by members of his new tap group, Chapter IV, which includes Maurice Chestnut, Ashley DeForest and rising star Cartier Williams.
Glover and his dancers reel off several group dances to music by Michael Jackson and others. The works feature improvisational solos by each of Chapter IV's members along with more solo wizardry from Glover. And if form holds true, tonight's audience at UB may even see Glover show off another of his many talents, that of pianist.
A self-proclaimed purist, Glover's program is all tap with no other dance styles mixed in.
"Tap companies these days want to experiment with blending styles, and it is just not a good look," said Glover. "In order to maintain the integrity of the dance, and for the dance, we have to continue just to tap dance and not try and fuse tap with other styles. It is like art, you'll never see a rabbit in one of Picasso's works; that would be totally against what he is worth."
Arguably the most talented tap dancer to set foot on a stage, Glover feels his talent goes hand in hand with a passion for the art form. "I have made a connection where I have found tap is literally my second voice," said Glover. "I express myself through dance, and it really turns me on."