The tapper is shuffling back to Broadway.
Photo Courtesy Savion Glover Productions
Savion Glover made his Broadway debut at age 10, and has been dancing in the spotlight ever since. Today, at 41 years old, he still hopes to keep learning, improving, expanding and challenging himself and audiences. This month, he’ll open the Vail International Dance Festival. And in 2016, he will make a return to Broadway, as the choreographer for Shuffle Along, or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, directed by Bring in ’Da Noise, Bring in ’Da Funk’s George C. Wolfe.
Shuffle Along is your first show with George C. Wolfe since Bring in ’Da Noise in 1996. What has that been like?
I’m just enjoying being in the same room with him. George is really pushing my choreography. I’m looking forward to gaining more knowledge about ways to approach theater and performing.
What do you think of tap on Broadway?
Tap on Broadway varies through time. There’s the Tommy Tune or Susan Stroman approach versus the Henry LeTang, Cholly Atkins, Honi Coles style—both lend themselves to the excitement and invite the audience in. Then something else becomes popular. Noise/Funk came with a different approach. I’m looking forward to being back on Broadway and reminding people of the greats of the past.
At this point in your career, how are you challenging yourself?
I don’t know if it’s something that I can or would be aware of. I continue to explore all the creative options available—through the dance, through different music choices—and try to produce in ways that will allow the audience to hear musicality differently.
You’ve been dancing your entire life. Do you ever grow tired?
No, never. I’m proud to be a part of a long legacy of great entertainment. I don’t take that lightly. It’s a privilege. That keeps me wanting to tap dance every day—to allow the names of these great people who have given so much of their talent and energy to live on. I continue to be inspired by the men and women who have raised me, taught me, have been my mentors: Jimmy Slyde, Buster Brown, Lon Chaney, Gregory Hines. And Dianne Walker, of course.
What do you think about tap today?
I can only speak for myself. As long as I’m doing it, then it’s in a good place! I have my opinion of what’s being done, but everyone’s entitled to their own way. I had to realize at a very early age that everyone doesn’t tap for the same reason. I just pay attention to what I have to do to make sure I am maintaining it with integrity.