Savion Glover’s “SoLo in TIME” (Kimmel Center, Verizon Hall; Sunday, February 13, 3:00pm)
by Kat Richter, MA for The Dance Journal
Freelance Writer and Dance Educator
Savion Glover’s “SoLo in Time” ought to come with a warning label: Warning! Hypnosis may occur. The hoofer’s tribute to flamenco, performed at the Kimmel Center on Sunday afternoon, comprised nearly two hours of non-stop percussion but if Glover’s silky nonchalance was any indication, he could have played all evening.
With Glover, “played” is the operative word. Ever since his Tony-award winning Bring in ‘Da Noise ‘Bring in Day Funk put hard-hitting rhythm tap on the map in 1995, Glover has been pulling back, pulling up and even, on occasion, turning to face the audience as he “plays.” From his opening a cappella solo to the haunting duet with flamenco percussionist Carmen Estevez, it was clear that “SoLo in TIME” is music first, dance second.
In his lighthearted “The Fly” Glover taps out a familiar rhythm from tap’s national anthem, the Shim Shim Shimmy, but then turns it on its head. The result is nothing anyone’s heard before and he conducts his fellow musicians, flamenco ensemble Flamenkina, with subtle gestures and thumbs ups.
Estevez’s sinuous arms cascade down her cajón like a waterfall in “Craneos en el Mar” bringing to mind a flamenco tablao. In this case, however, the gypsy is Glover himself, paddling with one foot on each of the wooden boards that comprise his stage until he finds the right tone.
He barely moves in “Skip a Beat” but somehow manages to elicit as many sounds from two 3” metal plates (the heels of his taps) as a drummer can from an entire kit. The highlight of the show comes with the eponymous “Solo in Time” in which Marshall Davis Jr. joins Glover “on taps.” Beginning with a repetitive phrase of rifs and slurps, their duet morphs into a series of “solos” in which they take turns providing the accompaniment. Davis, controlled, precise and wearing a maroon dress shirt, provides a stoic counterpoint to Glover’s breezy gray elegance.
There are no costume changes, no fancy formations and only minimal lighting effects, most of which Glover himself directs in between numbers. He jokes with the audience and stamps out rhythm after rhythm with such ease that it’s hard to remember that the majority of his choreography is actually “improvography.” “SoLo in TIME” will surely disappoint those expecting time steps or Noise/Funk bravado but for those who’d just as soon listen as watch, it’s just the ticket.