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Entertainment & Lifestyle

Savion Glover performance to honor forefathers of tap

10/18/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Tony Award-winning dancer and choreographer Savion Glover brings “SoLe Sanctuary” to Akron Oct. 27.
Photo courtesy of E.J. Thomas Hall
DOWNTOWN AKRON — When Savion Glover takes the stage at The University of Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall in “SoLe Sanctuary” Oct. 27, he won’t be alone.

In addition to dancer Marshall Davis Jr., Glover will be accompanied by the spirits of those who helped make tap dancing the art form it has become, he said in a recent phone interview from his home in New Jersey.

“What we’re doing is giving the audience an opportunity to once again hear the dance and to pay homage to it through some of the greatest tap dance performers of our time,” Glover said. “These were my teachers and pioneers of the art form as well. It’s a piece that pays homage to them.”

Glover, 38, worked with greats like Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr. He made his Broadway debut at age 12 in “The Tap Dance Kid” and later starred in “Jelly’s Last Jam,” for which he earned a Tony nomination.

But it was “Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk,” a Broadway exploration of African-American history through dance, which brought Glover to fame. He received a Tony for choreography for the 1996 show, in which he also appeared.

Glover also created the choreography for the animated film “Happy Feet” and starred in Spike Lee’s 2000 film “Bamboozled” with Damon Wayans.

“SoLe Sanctuary” premiered last year, and now Glover is taking it to select cities. In addition to he and Marshall Davis Jr., there’s also a person on stage meditating throughout the performance.

“For me, that person is meditating to the sounds of the dance and meditating on all that tap dancing is and has been for us,” Glover explained. “Different people have different rituals and whatnot and ways that they pray, and I wanted to allow people to know you can meditate to the sounds of dance.”

Musically, the show is sparse, he said, with some ambient music he created, as well as John Coltrane’s “Resolution.”

“Everything else is a cappella,” he said.

Glover said he is fortunate to be injury-free. He added he doesn’t have any kind of workout regimen or special diet he follows to stay in shape.

“Not at all,” he said. “Every chance I get I ride my sports bike, my ATV, but other than that, I just chill out.”

In addition to performing and choreographing, Glover also runs a dance studio, the HooFeRzClub, in Newark, N.J.

“We don’t do just combinations and get all sweaty,” he said of the studio. “We cover a lot of history. I would call it a holistic approach to the art form of dance.”

“SoLe Sanctuary” will begin at 8 p.m. at E.J. Thomas, 198 Hill St. Tickets are $35 to $45, and orchestra seating only is available. Tickets are available at the Thomas Hall Ticket Office, at 330-972-7570, all TicketMaster locations, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.

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