Tapping At A Higher Level

“Like Mikhail Baryshnikov or Michael Jordan, Savion Glover has raised the technical baseline of his field: maneuvers once extraordinary are now commonplace. Such technique, especially speed, is often overused, but the greater threat is over-influence. Dancers understandably want to model themselves after Mr. Glover, but merely to imitate him would be to betray the example he’s set — the way he absorbed the styles of his mentors and forged his own, as they had before him. Despite his frequent deference to both predecessors and contemporaries, the press often treats him as the only tap dancer worth noticing. Such attention (and its financial fruit) encourages imitation, yet even without it, Mr. Glover’s reinterpretation of tradition is compelling enough to obscure other options.”