Maybe a proper credit for Mr. Glover just slipped everybody’s minds, including Mr. Glover’s. Maybe dance, even in a film whose entire plot hinges on dance, is so far from the concerns of most people that Mr. Glover’s credit escaped everyone’s attention. But that omission seems especially worrisome when the dance being slighted is deeply rooted in the black American tradition.
“I was just so excited that someone was putting dance in the movie,” Mr. Glover told Ms. Kaufman. “I didn’t ask any questions. I was just going on the strength of tap-dancing — someone wants tap-dancing.”
Well, someone did, and maybe Mr. Glover is as happy as he says he is with his, and tap’s, new prominence. But if tap is to be respected, its greatest living exponent must be respected too. To win respect, you have to do more than be the best there is. You have to fight, meaning negotiate, for the recognition you deserve.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Uncredited Greatest Living Hoofer
I just read this article in the New York Times, which brings attention to the fact that "Happy Feet", a movie apparently about the unifying power of dance in a (penguin) community, doesn't credit those tapping feet to it's owner: Tap virtuoso Savion Glover. In an industry where voiceover actors have their names dominating the credits (even in foreign countries where their voices are deleted), it is a shame that Glover's name isn't used in advertising nor credits. He has put in hours of work, in his recognizable, signature tap style, as both dancer and choreographer, in a movie about the power of dance! And his name only appears at the very end as "Animation Motion Capture"! A clip: