“Flash back to 1995: Bring in ‘Da Noise Bring in ‘Da Funk was winning Tony Awards and mesmerizing audiences, showcasing its original blend of dance/music/poetry. With an all-Black Creative Team and Black producer, Noise/Funk probably had more freedom to tell a genuinely Black story than any musical in Broadway history.”
“Noise/Funk – 20 Years Later,” Montclair Art Museum
Isn’t it a joy when the universe sends you a gift? That’s exactly how I felt when Nicole, one of my cherished KWD readers, and Nancy, my dear friend and writing buddy managed to snag two tickets for Alex and me to hear talented tap dancer Savion Glover and gifted writer reg e gaines talk about their groundbreaking collaboration on Bring in ‘Da Noise Bring in ‘Da Funk. I wish I could bottle their creativity and energy!
Seeing Savion and reg bounce ideas off each was like watching bolts of lightning flash between two lightning rods — each sparking the other. It gave everyone in the audience a glimpse of what it must have been like to be in the same room with them while they were creating their amazing musical. As Savion described it, “The process was like life imitating life and then becoming art.”
What’s more exciting than hearing two intensely creative people talk about creating? Savion “writes” with his feet and Reg with his fingers, but their art springs from one source: the heart. A few snippets of their conversation to inspire us all:
Savion: “I want to do work that speaks for me.”
reg: “Stay open. Stay open. I wanted to stay open to my ancestors, their legacy.”
Savion: “I had no choice but to be totally engulfed in the work. It was one of the most gracious times in my life, the most creative times in my life.”
reg: “I could see the writing he [Savion] could do with his feet. A story was being told musically….George Wolfe would tell me, ‘I need a poem about slaves in the hull of a ship, only make it like a love poem.’ Then he’d come back in 20 minutes and ask, ‘Have you got it for me?’ because you wouldn’t be in that room if you couldn’t do it.”
Savion: “You need to go out and find out about yourself so you can manifest all it is who you are….I continue to look forward to people who can change my life so I can learn, learn, learn.”
reg: “Use your words to make music.”
What better way to live than to create? Bravo! Dance on, Savion! Write on, reg!