fbpx Skip to main content

EMANCIPATION 150: Watch Savion Glover’s Tap Improvisation

Monday September 26 2022 • 3:53pm - 3:53pm ET

Tony Award-winning tap dancer and choreographer Savion Glover joined us in The Greene Space to talk tap, dance and “The Rhythm of Freedom” — part of our ongoing EMANCIPATION 150 series.

During their conversation, host and journalist Charisse Jones noted records of African slaves using tap as a form of communication, having had their drums — what they previously used to communicate —  taken away by slave owners. Through the rhythm of their feet, they expressed disapproval, defiance, even mockery of their owners. Jones asked Glover how he saw tap being used as a form of expression today.

“I try to produce or evoke…feelings of a state of meditation, feelings of prayer,” Savion said. “There are sounds that we can make that will make you cry…or think. It becomes more audial than visual. A lot of times the visual can be distracting.”

Here he performs a nearly 15-minute tap improvisation, a form through which he says he best expresses himself. “This is not a routine,” he said, asking the audience not to watch him, but to instead hear his feet. “You should be listening for the music, you should be listening to your soul.”

The Greene Space is funded by you.

Make a monthly donation of $10 or more to support us and all the programs and podcasts you love from WNYC, WQXR, Gothamist and more!