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Color: Blue
Food: Macaroni and cheese
Quote: What did he do?
Season: I like all seasons
Birthplace
Newark, New Jersey
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 11/30/2016

Tap dancer, choreographer and actor Savion Glover was born on November 19, 1973 in Newark, New Jersey. An early interest in rhythm led his mother to enroll Glover, and his brothers, in music classes at Newark Community School of the Arts when he was four years old. Glover soon progressed to advanced classes, becoming the youngest student in the school’s history to receive a full scholarship. At age seven, Glover enrolled in tap dance classes, and was soon tapping at festivals with such greats as Jimmy Slyde, Chuck Green, Honi Coles, and Buster Brown.

Glover appeared on Broadway for the first time at ten years old in The Tap Dance Kid. He took over the title role when the production moved to the Minskoff Theater in 1984. From 1988 to 1989, Glover danced in Black and Blue, a Broadway musical revue of black Parisian culture in the interwar period. His performance earned him a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical, and he was dubbed a “teen-age prodigy” by The New York Times’ dance critic Anna Kisselgoff. In 1989, he made his film debut dancing in Tap, starring Gregory Hines. The following year, at the age of seventeen, Glover made his choreographic debut at the Apollo Theater’s Rat-A-Tat-Tap Festival in New York City, and began dancing on Sesame Street.

Upon graduating from Newark’s Arts High School in 1991, Glover portrayed the young Jelly Roll Morton, alongside Gregory Hines, in George C. Wolfe’s Jelly’s Last Jam. In 1992, Glover became the youngest ever recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant. In 1996, Glover rejoined Wolfe to conceive, choreograph and star in Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk, a Broadway musical revue of black history. Glover was nominated for several Tony Awards, winning a Tony Award for Best Choreography, in addition to a Drama Desk Award. Four years later, Glover returned to film to portray the tap-dancing minstrel Manray/Mantan in Spike Lee’s satire, Bamboozled. He also appeared in the television biopic Bojangles (2001), starred in Classical Savion at New York City’s Joyce Theater, and provided the choreography for the tap-dancing penguin Mumble in the animated movie Happy Feet (2006).

Glover, who first taught tap when he was fourteen years old, opened his tap school, The HooFeRzCLuB School for TaP, in Newark in 2009. He continued performing pieces such as SoLe Sanctuary (2011) and Om (2014) at the Joyce Theater, until reuniting with director George C. Wolfe as choreographer of the 2016 musical Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed.

Savion Glover was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 30, 2016.

Speaker Bureau Notes: