Savion Glover Brings His Genius and Footwork to the Joyce Theater

Jun 28, 2019

Savion Glover is celebrating his 35th year in show business
Credit Nina Flowers for WBGO

Legendary tapper, choreographer, director and actor Savion Glover of Newark presents the world premiere of his innovative new work Lady5@Savion Glover's BaRoQUe' BLaK TaP Cafe to the Joyce Theater from July 2 to July 7.

Glover came into WBGO to speak with News Director Doug Doyle about the show that transforms the Joyce Theater into a cafe using dance as a means to illustrate the evolution of thought and self-identity.

"The barouque aspect of the cafe is the test or the challenge at what we see.  Does what we see determine what we hear?  Or does what we hear determine what we see?  I believe the we have these materialistic items or these masks that we have accessible to us and once we put on this mask in our daily appearance then that might suggest how we are approach or how we are heard before we actually use a tone or a vibration or a voice.  So we in the baroque half of the cafe we suggest a posture if you will.  That posture comes with the clothing that we put on.  Then we suggest a mood for that era or for that music.  And then we move into a more what I would say self intelligent place of existence where we are less concerned about the outfit and more attuned  with the inner self."

Savion Glover has been hailed by the New York Times as the "greatest tap dancerrwho has ever lived"
Credit Nina Flowers for WBGO

Glover says he conceived Lady 5 after being inspired by an imaginery conversation with the late tap dancer and choreographer Gregg Burge.

"Gregg Burge, I would consider one of my distant mentors. I always hear them and see their influence.  So I sat down like I do.  I've had several conversations with people who are no longer here in the physical.  John Coltrane being one of them.  I just speak to them through myself and ask for guidance."  

Lady 5 is an ensemble cast consisting of some of the dance world's most formidable and dynamic talents including Marshall Davis Jr., Samantha Berger, Monique Smith, Natrea Blake, Jeffrey Foote, Megan Glessner and Darrell Grand Moultrie.  Glover praised their work in the upcoming show.

"They are excellent at producing images and visuals and I trust them to know that the stage is ours.  There is a world of improvisation. There's a world of free spirit.  There's a world of body language.  And they are top-notch in their field at expression."

Glover when it comes to working with his cast he admits he keeps striving for perfection.

"I'm difficult, because I'm difficult.  I'm a young black male living in this America.  You take it from there.  Everything I am, everything I exists as comes into my work."

Savion Glover and News Director Doug Doyle outside the WBGO studios in Newark
Credit Nina Flowers for WBGO

Now in his 35th year of show business, Glover says if he didn't become a dancer who would have helped the New York Knicks win four NBA championships.   The 45-year old was one of the first guests on WBGO's award-winning podcast SportsJam with Doug Doyle where he did an exclusive dance in honor NBA legend Michael Jordan.

For more information about the new show, you can go to Joyce Theater website.

Click above to hear the entire conversation with Savion Glover.