Sunday, January 19, 2003

Bring in 'da noise, bring in 'da Funk (Playhouse Square Foundation)

NOISE, FUNK dazzles and sizzles at State

If you didn’t get to see BRING IN ‘DA NOISE, BRING IN ‘DA FUNK in its short four day visit to Cleveland, you missed one of the most sizzling, dazzling, exciting dance shows ever!

Much of the credit for the excitement centers on Savion Glover, the preeminent percussive dancer in the world. He has not only choreographed this show, which tells the history of African-Americans from slavery to the present through dance, specifically tap, but he starred in the touring production which graced the State Theatre. He and his cast of amazing dancers, drummers and singer-narrators exploded.

The show is talking with taps, talking with song, talking with words, talking with percussion. The beat, the talk, the story emerges from a pool of light falling upon a single slave and grows into a story that examines slave auctions, families ripped apart, lynchings, the underground railroad, freedom, movement of people north, and riots. It is visualized through the development of tap dancing, music, song and a little narration. It covers the music of the likes of Eubie Blake and Satchmo and Josephine Baker and the dancing of Chuck Green, Jimmy Slyde, and Buster Brown.

The most outstanding segment of the evening was Savion in front of a mirror, dancing and dancing and dancing, his reflections shooting out into the eyes of the audience! Second only to that was the creative drumming of Jared and Raymond playing percussion without the use of drums. Cans, legs, the taps on the shoes, pots, pans and chains became the instruments of ‘da beat.

Capsule judgment: The audience was on its feet howling at the end with well deserved screams of joy! WOW!