Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Extraordinary Feet

Performance Review
Savion Glover and Bare Soundz (Tap dance trio)
11/11/08 - Naperville, IL

As someone who avidly admires people who define brilliance in a given field -- and typically warrant the "genius" label -- the past few days have been especially enjoyable as I have savored the culinary creations of Grant Achatz, arguably one of the world's premier chefs, and witnessed the heroics of Lebron James, probably the best basketball player on the planet right now.

Last night, I saw another performance by someone else easily worthy of elite acclaim: Savion Glover, who, if not the world's best tap dancer, is almost certainly the best known. I know I can't name any others--except a few who dance alongside him in his shows, and even then momentarily--and from what I saw last night (the 4th time I've seen him), it's hard to imagine anyone being any better. Perhaps at anything.

Glover--probably best known for Bring In The Noise, Bring In Da Funk and appearances on Sesame Street--is currently touring with a production called Bare Soundz. It primarily features him and two other dancers, Marshall Davis Jr. and Maurice Chestnut (no, I wouldn't have known them without a program and still don't know which was which); last night there were also two guest dancers.

Rather than dancing to music, Bare Soundz essentially features the three dancers--sometimes in unison, sometimes solo--making music through their tapping. It was thoroughly enjoyable throughout and everyone on stage was great, but even amongst other tap dancers seemingly in the same league, Savion Glover was mind-blowingly phenomenal. Apart from the quality of what he can do, just the physicality and endurance to do it, almost effortlessly, for close to 2 hours is hard to conceive.

Though not from last night's performance--Glover nearly berated a fan he thought was "YouTubing" him--below are a couple of clips I found. The first (a link, since embedding was disabled) shows what Bare Soundz is like; the other is a bit more traditional Savion. Again, these don't nearly do him justice, as like the Energizer bunny, he keeps going and going (yet each number is distinctive enough that it doesn't become boring).

Enjoy, and if you get the chance to see him live, don't miss it. He's that good.

Bare Soundz in KC (link to You Tube)

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