Savion Glover

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Savion Glover
Savionglover.jpg
Savion Glover (2007)
Born (1973-11-19) November 19, 1973 (age 40)
Newark, New Jersey, USA
Occupation Choreographer, dancer, actor
Website
http://www.saviongloverproductions.com

Savion Glover (born November 19, 1973) is an American tap dancer, actor, and choreographer. As a learning prodigy, he was taught by notable dancers from previous generations. Glover is currently interested in restoring African roots to tap. He wants to put tap back into the contemporary black context.

Early life

Glover's great grandfather on his mother's side, Dick (King Richard) Lundy, was a shortstop in the Negro Leagues. He managed eleven Negro League baseball teams, including the Newark Eagles.1 His grandfather, Bill Lewis, was a big band pianist and vocalist.1

His grandmother, Anna Lundy Lewis, was the minister of music at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ. She played for Whitney Houston when she was singing in the gospel choir. Anna Lundy Lewis was the one who first noticed Savion's musical talent. She once held him and hummed some rhythms to him, and he smiled and joined along.2 3

Career

Savion states his style is young and funk. When asked to describe what funk is, he says it is the bass line. "Funk is anything that gets one's head on beat. It is riding with the rhythm. It is a pulse that keeps one rolling with the beat."4

Gregory Hines, a tap legend, was one of Glover's tap teachers. Hines states that "Savion is possibly the best tap dancer that ever lived." Savion likes to start his pieces with some old school moves from famous tappers and then work his way into his own style. Hines says it’s like paying homage to those he respects. When Honi Coles died, Savion performed at his memorial service. He finished his dance with a famous Coles move, a backflip into a split from standing position, then getting up without using one's hands. Savion rarely does this move because it wasn't his style, but he did it because it was Coles' style that Savion wanted to keep alive. "I feel like it's one of my responsibilities to keep the dance alive, to keep it out there, to keep the style."5

Henry Le Tang calls Glover the Sponge because he learns very quickly with everything that is thrown at him. Le Tang taught the Hines brothers back in the 1950s and taught Glover for a little while before having him work for "Black and Blue," a tap revue in Paris in 1987. Many legendary tappers taught Glover such as Le Tang, the Hines brothers, Jimmy Slyde, Chuck Green, Lon Chaney (Isaiah Chaneyfield), Honi Coles, Sammy Davis, Jr., Buster Brown, Howard Sims, and Arthur Duncan.1

Teaching

He was taught tap ever since he was fourteen years old. Glover created Real Tap Skills. He started HOOFERZCLUB School for Tap in Newark, New Jersey.6

Wants to bring back the real essence of tap. Savion claims he is on a mission to reclaim the rhythm that was lost when tap dancing was recycled after many generations.7

At the age of seven, Savion drummed in a group called Three Plus One. In the group, he demanded that he dance while he played the drum.8

Glover has a heavy foot for tap. He dances hard and loud in every step. He teaches his mentees that one must learn how to "hit," a term related to one's ability to express oneself, to complete a tap sequence, or to say something.8

Choreography

Notable choreographed pieces

Glover's signature, with shoe taps, in front of the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C.
  • Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk
  • Savion Glover's Nu York, ABC special
  • ABC opening to Monday Night Football
  • The Rat Pack, HBO movie
  • Created a dance company called NYOTs (Not Your Ordinary Tappers)
  • PBS for President Clinton in Savion Glover's Stomp, Slide, and Swing: In Performances in the Whitehouse
  • Savion Glover/Downtown: Live Communication9

When Glover choreographs a piece, he improvises as he generates a dance sequence.10 As he finds rhythms, he listens for new sounds at many points on the stage. "I'm feelin' the stage for sounds. You might find a spot on it that gives you that bass; you might find a spot on the floor that gives you that dead type tom-tom sound." "I think what makes Savion an incredible artist is his extraordinary joy in what he does. He is able to live in that state of joy and not compromise his emotional complexity like the earlier tap dancers had to," says George C. Wolfe.11

Broadway

"The Tap Dance Kid" (1985)

This play was based on the novel "Nobody's Family is Going to Change" by Louise Fitzhugh. Savion's Broadway debut started at the age of ten with this show. He was directed and choreographed by Danny Daniels. Reviews of this show were mediocre. The New York Times claimed it was a traditional story to give children a dream to look forward to, but it wasn't anything exceptional. The music was led by Henry Krieger.12

"Black and Blue" (1989)

Performed at the age of fifteen. After this performance, he was nominated as one of the youngest performers nominated for a Tony at the time.13

"Jelly's Last Jam" (1992)

The dancing was choreographed by Ted Levy and Mr. Hines. Savion played as Jelly.6

"Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk" (1996)

Nominated for a Tony award for his Broadway show.1

"Mr. Glover meticulously and respectfully demonstrates the techniques made famous by each, then blends them all into an exultant stylistic brew that belongs to no one but him. As dance, as musical, as theater, as art, as history and entertainment, there's nothing Noise/Funk cannot and should not do." -New York Times.14

Filmography

Film

Television

1990 Shangri-La Plaza, CBS pilot15

  • Sesame Street (1990-1995) (also known as Les amis de Sesame, Canadian Sesame Street, The New Sesame Street, Open Sesame, and Sesame Park), as Savion, on PBS15
  • Dance in America: Tap!
  • Black Film Makers Hall of Fame
  • The Kennedy Center Honors
  • Academy Awards Ceremony (1996) for Tom Hanks tribute16
  • The Wall, as Bracey Mitchell, 1998 Showtime TV movie
  • The Rat Pack, as the choreographer, 1998 HBO TV movie
  • Bojangles, as Newcomer, 2001 Showtime TV movie15
  • The Eric Andre Show (2012)

Episodic

  • 1987 - Super Dave
  • 1998 - Sin City Spectacular (also known as Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular), FX
  • 1999 - The Jamie Foxx Show, "Taps for Royal," The WB
  • 1999 - Saturday Night Live, (Uncredited), NBC
  • 2000 - Odyssey, America!
  • 2003 - Cedric the Entertainer Presents, Bartholomew, Fox15

TV specials

  • 1989 - Tap Dance in America (also known as Gregory Hines' Tap Dance in America), PBS
  • 1991 - The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts, CBS
  • 1992 - Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, NBC
  • 1992 - Jammin': Jelly Roll Morton on Broadway (documentary), PBS
  • 1993 - Sesame Street Stays Up Late! (also known as Sesame Street Stays Up Late! A Monster New Year's Eve Party), as Savion, PBS
  • 1994 - Sesame Street's All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever!, ABC
  • 1994 - In a New Light `94, ABC
  • 1995 - The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts, CBS
  • 1996 - Vanessa Williams & Friends: Christmas in New York, ABC
  • 1997 - It Just Takes One, USA
  • 1997 - 53rd Presidential Inaugural Gala, CBS
  • 1998 - Slide and Swing with Savion Glover, Stomp, PBS
  • 1998 - Savion Glover's Nu York, as the Host, ABC
  • 1998 - Savion Glover's Nu York, Executive producer and choreographer, ABC
  • 1998 - The First 50 Years, Quincy Jones, ABC
  • 1998 - The New Jersey Performing Arts Center Opening Night Gala, PBS, Ads by Google
  • 1999 - Disney's Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra in Concert, Disney Channel
  • 1999- The Jamie Foxx Show
  • 2000 - The Steadfast Tin Soldier: An Animated Special from the "Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child" Series (animated), the voice of toy dancer, HBO
  • 2001 - Barbra Streisand-Timeless, Brother Time, Fox
  • 2001 - Barbra Streisand-Timeless, as the choreographer, Fox
  • 2002 - Olympic Winter Games, Closing ceremony, NBC
  • 2002 - AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Tom Hanks, USA15

Awards presentations

1989 - The 61st Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC 1989 - 16th Annual Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, syndicated 1997 - Launching the Tonys, as the Presenter, Broadway `97, PBS 1997 - The 51st Annual Tony Awards, CBS 1997 - 39th Grammy Awards, CBS 1998 - The 13th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, syndicated 1998 - 12th Annual Soul Train Music Awards, syndicated 1999 - 30th NAACP Image Awards, Fox 2001 - The 32nd NAACP Image Awards, Fox15

Music videos

2001 - "Timeless: Live in Concer"t, Brother Time Also appeared in the music video "Havana" by Kenny G. Also appeared in the music video "All about the Benjamins" by Puff Daddy and the Family15

Stage appearances

  • 1984 - The Tap Dance Kid, (Broadway debut) Title character
  • 1989-1991- Black and Blue, Minskoff Theatre, New York City
  • 1992-1993 - Jelly's Last Jam, as Young Jelly, Virginia Theatre, New York City
  • 1996-1997 - Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk, Ambassador Theatre, New York City15
  • 1998 - Savion Glover: Downtown, Variety Arts Theatre, New York City
  • 1999 - Keep Bangin', Players Theatre, New York City
  • 2001 - Foot Notes, Wilshire Theatre, Los Angeles
  • 2002 - Savion Glover with TiDii the Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY15

Tours

  • 2002 - Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk, U.S. cities/international cities
  • Also toured U.S. cities in Jelly's Last Jam15
  • 2013 - STEPZ, U.S. cities/London17

Albums

  • 1989 - Black and Blue (original cast recording), DRG
  • 1992 - Jelly's Last Jam (original cast recording), Mercury
  • 1995 - Hot Jazz for a Cool Yule, Pacific Vista Productions
  • 1996 - Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk (original cast recording), RCAVictor15
  • 1996 - "Prince: Joint 2 Joint" (tap dance breakdown), from the album Emancipation
  • 2002 - "Talib Kweli-Stand 2 the side", from the album Quality

Publications

Books

1997 - Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 14, Gale 1997 - Newsmakers, Issue 4, Gale15 2000 - Savion! My Life in Tap, with Bruce Weber, HarperCollins15

Periodicals

November 1994 Dance Magazine April 1996 Dance Magazine May 23, 1998 TV Guide, p. 615

Awards

References

Sources

External links








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