Savion!: My Life in Tap

Savion Glover, Author, Bruce Weber, Illustrator, Bruce Weber, Joint Author HarperCollins $19.99 (80p) ISBN 978-0-688-15629-9
The loose and limber voice of dance wunderkind Glover wafts through this brief and inviting biography, echoing the rhythms and energy of his kinetic feet. Journalist Weber's atmospheric account starts in a dance studio with an intermittently onomatopoeic discussion of tap dance (""Fuh-duh-BAP!... Fuh-duh-duh-BAP!) and goes on to fill in the auspicious beginnings and landmark events that paved the way for the 26-year-old's extraordinary career thus far. Gregory Hines's foreword--which has the ring of a proud father--first sounds the volume's recurring refrain about the importance of young dancers copying the style of the masters and expanding on the steps that came before them. Throughout Glover's extensive quotes (which appear in their own type style and go on for several pages at a stretch), he clearly and repeatedly indicates that this principle applies not only to dance but to life itself. As Weber traces the shaping of Glover's career from drummer to dancer to Broadway sensation at age 11 to conceiver of Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk (for which Glover won a Tony Award for his choreography), he punctuates the facts with quotes from Glover's mother, brothers and professional peers. Vintage photographs of renowned hoofers accompany a concise history of tap, while pictures of Glover in action convey the dancer's magnetism and joie de vivre. The book's daring design occasionally draws attention to itself with its variety of fonts and type sizes (some very small), set against red, black or white backgrounds, and a fair number of photographs have a grainy quality. But these are quibbles when compared with the inspiration that aspiring performers will find in these pages. Glover's life, work and words will be a powerful reminder to youngsters that they are a part of all that preceded them and that they possess all that's necessary to make their own mark. Ages 10-up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
Loose Leaf - 978-0-688-18028-7
Hardcover - 978-0-688-15630-5
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