Happy Feet in Happy Valley


By Preston Wittwer

Next week on campus, students will have the opportunity to see arguably the world’s greatest tap dancer, Savion Glover, perform as part of the Performing Arts Series.

Glover, the Tony award winning dancer and choreographer, will perform Tuesday evening at 7:30 in the de Jong concert hall of the Harris Fine Arts Center along with his two proteges.

Glover’s production, “Bare Soundz,” is an exploration of rhythmic percussion in dance. In an interview with BYU Arts conducted about the show, Glover shared his gratitude for a chance to perform and admitted he frequently offers prayers of thanks while performing.

“Tap is a way of communicating to me,” Glover said. “It’s all that I am and will be. It’s a way of life. I’m very blessed.”

In his performance he said he hopes to correct the misunderstandings that tap dancing is a spectator sport. Glover believes the audience can be engaged in the performance by actively listening and hearing the performers that came before him.

“One has to understand the context of the hoofer in history,” Glover said. “The dance is about sound as much as drumming, music, any instrument. I try to emphasize that as much as possible.”

The Performing Arts Series brings professionals of all different specializations to BYU for performances and in-class instruction. Jeff Martin, responsible for scheduling participants for the series, explained that Glover’s performance will present tap dancing’s history by showcasing the changing moves and techniques used over the years.

“It’s all about the moves, in their purest and raw forms,” Martin said. “I think people will enjoy watching his skill level.”

In addition to his concert, Glover will instruct a private master tap class for select students. Some people may not understand how significant it is to be instructed by and watch Glover perform. To the students who don’t follow world dance, they can think of Glover as the Justin Bieber of tap dancing, Martin said.

“He is the greatest living tap dancer of our generation,” Martin said. “It’s a rare opportunity to see someone at the top of the art form right here on campus.”

Glover’s dancing resume is long and decorated. He has performed in numerous Broadway shows, danced with famous dancers like Sammy Davis Jr., and performed in the White House. His television and film credits included the Super Bowl halftime show, working on “Sesame Street” as a series regular for five seasons, and more recently as the choreographer for the animated movie “Happy Feet.”

Tickets for the production can be purchased online at byuarts.com/tickets or at the Fine Arts Ticket Office.

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