The New York Times' Alastair MacCaulay is not pleased
with tap-dancing sensation Savion Glover. He admits Glover is "famous," he
admits he is "hailed as the greatest tap dancer who has ever lived," he
admits that he has revitalized the dance form. "But," writes MacCaulay, "it is
hard to think of a celebrated dancer performing today who is more
tedious, more devoid of stage sense, more undancerly and more lacking
And that's just the first paragraph of the
review. MacCaulay proceeds to lay into Glover for overly fast and emotionally empty
tapping--"astonishingly rapid-fire meters that nonetheless lack rhythm
or melody or any serious play of dynamic contrasts." He says Glover
reminded him of "how, in opera, coloratura singing can be musically
exhilarating and expressive but can also be mindlessly dull."
technique isn't even all that good, he protests, despite the speed. "He
takes one rhythmic figure, repeats it too many times, then starts again
with another. Often he accelerates or decelerates, but without skill in
phrasing." In addition, "in visual terms he is a washout ... It isn't
just that from the ankle up he does so little. It’s that from the ankle
up he’s an ungainly bore, without physical grace or line or intensity."
MacCaulay questions the tastefulness of the "cheap sexiness" the female
dancers toss at the audience, calling the subsequent "voyeuristic
excitement" of the male dancers "gruesome." With that, he concludes his
review, noting that the audience "applauded in hope of a curtain-call
or two," but was ignored.
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