Savion Glover: the best on tap


Okay, now I'm a believer. When some friends invited me to check out a tap dance performance at the Hollywood Bowl last night, I started thinking about all the half-finished projects I could be working on instead ... but I acquiesced, they dragged me along, and my mind was blown. It was young tap legend Savion Glover, who at the tender age of 34 has been hailed as not only the best tap dancer alive, but according to the late, great Gregory Hines -- his mentor -- the greatest there has ever been. At 16, he starred in the movie Tap with Hines, then spent five years as a regular cast member on Sesame Street. He's come light years since then, but we couldn't resist posting this classic clip of a teenaged Savion tapping (and rapping) with Snuffalupagus:

Since then, he's spent years stomping the boards on Broadway, and recently begun a series of amazing collaborations with a jazz quartet and with classic orchestras -- which is what I saw him do last night. To a guy like me, with zero rhythm in the leg region, it's impressive enough to be able to tap a million miles an hour and still create an articulate beat; it's on another level entirely to be able to extemporize with a classical orchestra, and somehow weave the deceptively simple noise of a metal shoe-tip tapping on a wood floor with the nuances of the woodwind, brass and string sections. Here's a recent clip of Savion, collaborating with another classical ensemble: