Savion Glover, while undeniably brilliant, is also a rather perverse performer. In Foot Notes, his touring tap concert with fellow dancers Dianne Walker, the legendary Jimmy Slyde, Buster Brown (who was indisposed on opening night), and the 11-year-old prodigy Cartier Williams, Glover makes very little attempt to connect with his fans. He spends large portions of time with his back to the audience; when he does face forward, he dances hunched over, face downward, dreadlocks obscuring his features. Walker, Slyde, and Williams all exhibit more stage presence: Walker flirts and sasses with her loping, easygoing style, the 73-year-old Slyde executes his gorgeous signature glides and beams brightly, and Williams dazzles with matter-of-fact execution of his precocious skill. It's rare that Glover even acknowledges the crowd. He isn't all that interested in the dance part of his craft -- he's fascinated by the taps, the rhythm, the glorious noise. He's more a musician than a dancer, a master jazz percussionist using the floor as his instrument and his feet for drumming. Backed by a tight quartet (Eli Fountain on drums, Tommy James on piano, Gregory Jones on bass, and Patience Higgins on reeds), Glover takes turns riffing with each musician. The show includes a variety of jazz numbers (including an ecstatic rendition of Coltrane's "My Favorite Things"), and in one spectacular sequence, Fountain plays only a triangle, eliciting an astonishing array of clicks and dings and rattles and chimes, while Glover taps with such a fury his heels vibrate against the ground. When you can catch a glimpse of his face, you see his eyes shut tight, his mouth in a beatific smile. Glover seems to be performing only for himself and for his fellow musicians. But the sounds are so spectacular that the audience is able to bask in the reflected bliss.
Through Nov. 5. Admission is $10-50; call 551-2000.
Golden Gate Theater, 1 Golden Gate (at Taylor and Market), S.F.