Classical Savion

By Goldberg, Jane | Dance Magazine, April 2005 | Go to article overview

Classical Savion


Goldberg, Jane, Dance Magazine


CLASSICAL SAVION JOYCE THEATER, NEW YORK, NY JANUARY 4-23, 2005

Savion Glover conquered new turf in his latest charge of the tap brigade. He is not the first tapper to hoof to the classics, but he may be the most original. Armed with his conductor and 10 classical and 4 jazz musicians, he combined his improvised jazz with the music of Vivaldi, Bach, and Mendelssohn. Throw in a little John Coltrane (and Souza) and you have the feel of Twyla Tharp's crispy Bix Pieces blending into the dreamy 12-hour meditational Robert Wilson spectacles.

"Classical," according to Webster, means "relating to a form of primary significance before modern times." Glover has always related to the past while moving the art forward, even in his hip-hop-nation years of Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk. During the post-performance Q&A session he told the audience that he equated the difference between playing the classics and playing jazz to dressing up formally for your school principal or hanging out with your best friend.

On opening night, just inches away from the violin section, Clover seemed to coax and yank nonexistent notes out of the music; meanwhile, the young players furiously kept pace, sticking to their written pages. …

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