Vail’s Night with Savion
Vail, CO, Colorado
Minus the bravado one might think accompanies the “best living tap dancer in the world,” Savion Glover, with his signature Rasta dreads knotted neatly behind his head, took center stage Monday evening at 6:30 p.m. under perfect skies in front of a packed audience at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail Village. Not to distract from the aural brilliance of the star’s legendary feet, Glover, his two fellow “hoofers,” Marshall Davis, Jr. and Maurice Chestnut, began their mesmerizing two-hour performance, titled “Live from Vail,” on three unadorned wooden stages raised just slightly above the ground.
Fully admitting that my knowledge about tap is pedestrian (at best!), from the beginning of his first upbeat selection, “Swing In,'” I couldn’t stop wondering how a dancer rehearses improvisation like this, and how someone creates such a rich language from just a tap and a beat. As I continued watching, I soon realized that rehearsing his movement is an impossibility ” his impromptu style is his virtuosity. You can’t practice to become what Glover is or what he says ” plainly speaking, he’s the best.
Throughout the evening, each “hoofer” performed on his own, hashing out his improvisational solo riffs, and then reuniting with the others in a dynamic and rehearsed choreography. The group’s intricate rhythms, sounds and movements drew upon a dense vocabulary. A dialogue was happening between the three, and they were always communicating in a smooth, hip and uninterrupted flow. Sometimes Davis called out a question to Glover, maybe Chestnut replied with an answer, and then someone else tapped back an affirmation.