What occurs to child prodigies by the time they arrive at their late 20s? Caleb Teicher, a tap dancer, and Conrad Tao, a pianist, composer, and previous violinist, are collaborating on tips that might improve the fields in which they have located so a great deal early results.

Teicher, who takes advantage of they/them pronouns, gained a Bessie award (the Oscars of the dance planet) for superb effectiveness at 17. In 2015, they started a dance corporation. In addition to functioning with Tao, they have choreographed for Regina Spektor on Broadway, Sister Aimee (streaming on Hulu), and collaborated with earth-winner beatboxer Chris Celiz, the Countrywide Symphony Orchestra, and indie rocker Ben Folds. Caleb Teicher and Company has performed at the Joyce Theatre, Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center OutOfDoors, and other significant venues nationally.

Tao made his debut with the Utah Chamber Music Pageant Orchestra at age 8. In 2008, Tao performed equally Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E slight and Piano Concerto No. 1 in the similar live performance with the Miami Piano Competition Orchestra. He repeated that feat nine times the up coming year with the Symphony of the Americas in Boca Raton. When he was earning a bachelor’s diploma in piano and composition from the Juilliard/Columbia College joint degree plan, he toured the environment, playing extra than 75 recitals and symphony engagements. Much more just lately, Tao premiered a new composition, a violin concerto for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra done by Stefan Jackiw in 2021.

At the Lensic Carrying out Arts Center on Friday, Might 27, the two good friends will existing “Counterpoint,” a “conversation of suggestions.”

“We appear from definitely distinctive destinations,” Tao suggests. “We are hunting to come across a spot wherever we are in dialogue.”

“More Forever,” a previous collaboration amongst Teicher and Tao, was an night-duration operate for piano, seven dancers, electronics, and a 24-by-24-foot box of sand. “The first plan was a vibe,” Teicher states. “My interest was to uncover a lightness, a softness, and a lyricism not commonly afforded faucet.

“We commenced out expressing, ‘Let’s see if we can use our instruments to categorical moods, and let’s use sand.’”

“Counterpoint” was truly the plan of presenters who required to see Teicher and Tao on stage together, but could not accommodate these types of a substantial, technically complicated collaboration as “More Forever” at their songs venues. “I typically do not like to operate this way,” Tao says.

“There was a specific skepticism on my section,” provides Teicher. “I kept wondering, ‘I don’t know if it will be attention-grabbing.’”

Then came the pandemic. “We had two dates, which were both cancelled through lockdowns. Then the Library of Congress, one of our probable presenters, requested us to do the complete issue on video,” Tao says.

“I considered it sounded like a negative idea,” Teicher interjects.

“In a weird way, COVID changed the context. Online video changed the point of view. It was not just a ‘fun present,’” Tao says. “I instructed we take a a lot more contemplative route. I kept imagining an viewers viewing on laptops in their residences, in their bedrooms. It was a weirdly intimate expertise.”

On May 21, 2021, they experienced their initially are living version of “Counterpoint,” at the Orange County Philharmonic in Southern California. “It was early-on, just following vaccinations have been enabling theaters to reopen. There was these an emotional reaction from the viewers,” Tao says. “You could experience that we ended up all linked. We were all residing with each other.”

“I’m utilized to placing on displays that are a good deal much more concerned — with lighting and costumes, big bands, and lots of dancers,” Teicher states.

“‘Counterpoint’ feels like demonstrating up and taking part in with a pal. It’s stripped-down, but it has turned out to be actually fruitful for equally Conrad and me,” they claims. “When you view audiences stroll out stuffed with feelings and strategies and so substantially to speak about … it helps make you ponder why we did not feel of it.”

“It’s a ton a lot less worry and a lot far more pleasurable for us!” Tao adds.

A YouTube effectiveness (youtu.be/0uJpeUPHLyI) of their video clip model of “Counterpoint” for the Library of Congress options a grand piano, a moveable faucet flooring, and a backdrop of books as if in someone’s dwelling space.

As Tao launches into the familiar melodies of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Teicher sits on a stool in the corner. When they get up to dance, there is an intensive perception that they are listening, not carrying out. Their taps are like the rhythms of a jazz drummer — unobtrusive, playful. When they shift, their entire body leans into steps and they stretch a leg out and access into one more established of percussive appears seeking just about off equilibrium. The rhythmic underpinning of Gershwin’s music gets clearer, but so does the magnificent “blueness” of the appears. It’s not at all the performance you would anticipate.

“Tap dance makes use of two senses — audio, as well as motion,” Teicher claims. “On its floor, the audio is uncomplicated, not pitched, like songs. But what I am attempting to clearly show is a capability for line and musicality, a optimum of appears inside a somewhat minimal pitch range. I have to think in the notion that what I am executing matters. That it communicates one thing. That my seems also have a musical high quality to them.”

“More For good,” their collaboration with sand and dancers, was made in excess of a sequence of residencies in which Tao was in the studio with Teicher and the dancers every moment of the day. “Caleb would provide prompts like, ‘Let’s use swing rhythms,” Tao claims. “I came up with my variation of swing rhythms, which had been seriously speedy and switching, like video sport sonics. The dancers would in the beginning be disoriented, but then we would do the job items out. It was a co-producing practical experience.”

“We ended up younger and hadn’t shaped our ‘usual way of executing matters,’” Teicher claims. “It was not transactional — like you engage in 16 bars of this and then we dance that. It was a messier dialogue. Anything was on the table. The process slowed us down and disappointed all of us. But it was an amazing finding out practical experience.”

The Toronto Star wrote of the collaboration: “‘More Forever’ is a elaborate function of dance theatre. When buoyed by moments of exuberant pleasure, it is also intimately own and several layered. Its reflective, from time to time nearly melancholy undertow speaks to the fragility of human existence.”

A single of the sections from “More Forever” will be performed on stage at the Lensic devoid of the sand and other dancers. In addition to other duets, like “Rhapsody in Blue,” the artists will every single existing solos. Teicher phone calls their just take on Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca by David Parker “manic” they will also offer a incredibly classic piece, “The Coles and Bufalino Tender Shoe,” initially danced by pioneer tappers Honi Coles and Brenda Bufalino.

Tao’s solo times will contain the Valse from Schoenberg’s 5 Piano Pieces, Opus 23. “This was the first entirely 12-tone piece that Schoenberg at any time wrote, but men and women expecting indignant, paradigm-busting un-audio may be astonished that individuals early pieces were being all dances,” Tao claims. He also will include Artwork Tatum’s Cherokee as a contrast to the prior piece. “Like Schoenberg, Tatum was a chromatic improviser and harmonic pioneer.” Braham’s Intermezzo, an additional solo piece to be executed by Tao, echoes the rhythms of a soft shoe dance.

“‘Counterpoint’” is quiet and diverse,” Teicher suggests. “It provides you place to make your mind up what to really feel about it. It is about the two of us, our imaginations, and our perception of pleasure.” ◀

▼ Tap dancer Caleb Teicher and pianist Conrad Tao

▼ Introduced by General performance Santa Fe

▼ 7:30 p.m. Friday, Might 27

▼ Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco St.


Resource connection