A single red spotlight illuminated the stage. Only a wooden dancing platform, a design originated by the late Gregory Hines, and a few speakers surrounding it could be seen. Savion Glover walked casually on stage, dressed in nothing but a grey FAMU T-shirt- soon to be drenched in sweat- black pants and his famous tap shoes.
Monday night, Glover performed to a sold out crowd in Lee Hall auditorium as part of the FAMU Lyceum Series and FSU’s Seven Days of Opening Nights.
“The Lyceum series allows FAMU students to be exposed to accomplished artists that they may not have seen or perhaps even heard of before,” said Cynthia Hughes Harris, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Savion Glover will provide our students with the opportunity to experience the versatility of a focused style of dancing that blends multicultural awareness with unique displays of talent.”
In “SoLo In Time,” Glover explores the relationship between tap and the rhythmic sounds of flamenco.
Glover was joined by three musicians: his singer and cajun box drum player, Carmen Estevez; electric bass player Francesco Beccaro and guitarist Gabriel Hermida. Each of their hands matched the seemingly unmatchable speed of Glover’s feet. With his tap shoes as his only instrument, the complex percussion of Glover’s feet blended smoothly with his three musicians.
Marshall Davis Jr. joined Glover for some of the show. The two tapped in unison and occasionally broke off into solo performances. The men gave a performance so exhilarating that the audience responded with a standing ovation. That was the main course.
For appetizers a few hours earlier, Glover held a free forum for the students where he discussed his passion for tap and the pioneers that lead the way and mentored him. Some of his mentors include Hines and Jimmy Slyde.
“If not for these men, I wouldn’t be the man I am today,” said Glover. “As I continue to transform and accept my place as a human, as a man in this world, I owe it all to these men. I owe my life to these men.”
Glover’s voice cracked with emotion as he struggled to find the words to describe his relationship with his mentors.
“I’m just so thankful to God that I was able to love them and know them,” said Glover. “And they loved me and did things for my family. It was beyond show business.”
Glover said that he hopes everyone can have someone inspiring in their lives.
At the end of the forum, Glover gave the audience a taste of his legendary skills and a preview of what the performance later on that night would bring.
“It’s really nothing to see,” said Glover. “It’s all about the sound. I’m more into what the sound can do to you.”