I was late to the genius of tap prodigy Savion Glover, first seeing him live last year at an SF Jazz-sponsored show I reviewed for Voice of Dance. As if that evening weren?t envelope-pushing enough, he?s moved on to classical music?specifically, Vivaldi, Bach, Bart?k, and Mendelssohn?and according to Tobi Tobias?s view, this is crossover born of true curiosity, not gimmicky. Writing on ?Classical Savion,? running through January 23 at New York?s Joyce, she reconsiders his famously defiant performance manner:
?Like his costume, his stage demeanor slowly and inexorably reverts to a state that seems natural to his identity. Glover used to be a glum, deeply introverted performer. His refusal to make eye contact with his audience looked, to viewers expecting an ingratiating entertainer, both neurotic and hostile. He?s lightened up some in the last couple of years. He?s learned to smile, and his smile is delicious if still somewhat surreptitious. A quarter of the way through the program, though, he begins to lose his apparent resolve to look his public in the face. Performing to an excerpt from Bach?s Brandenburg concerti, he dances largely with his back to the audience, as if he were directing his efforts to the harpsichordist positioned upstage, or in profile, eyes averted from the house. Maybe it?s time, I?m thinking, to quit asking him for something different. The fierce inward focus of his dancing suggests that he?s delving deep into himself to reach something beyond himself, and it?s not our love he?s after but the achievement of ecstasy. Let him be; after all, he does take us along with him.?