Bach's music performed at borderline speed metal pacing with disco beats, check. Tap dancers doing things that would put you into immediate cardiac arrest, check. Side story about Mozart in a comedic love triangle, check. This is The Bach and Wing--Live Classical Music Tap Dance Extravaganza, the latest tweaked and twisted offering from Open Classical. They're the mad classical geniuses who brought you things like amplified chamber music concerts and a comedy Halloween show with decomposing Beethoven and Mozart.
Their next show, The Bach and Wing happens Saturday at the Latino Cultural Center and is a rare artistic combination of theater, tap dance and popular live classical music tunes. This eclectic, all-ages show combines live classical music with the extraordinary talents of the Rhythmic Souls Tap Company.
I'd tell you to just stop reading now and go buy tickets, that you won't be disappointed, blah, blah, blah. But I'm going to write the rest of this article. So, be cool and read it. These are really interesting people I'm going to tell you about, people who aren't afraid to take some risks.
Open Classical started almost three years ago, when Mark Landson and pianist, Thiago Nascimento, began running an open mic for classical musicians at Buzzbrews on Lemmon Avenue.
"I've had a long history of doing alternative things in classical music," Landson says. "My hope was to discover talented people wanting to do classical music in innovative ways. I wanted to create a community that would support professional level classical music shows that would both appeal to a wide audience and retain high artistic value."
The inspiration that lead to their current show came a year and a half ago, when Mark met tap dancer Katelyn Harris. Mark spent months bugging Katelyn to come dance at Open Classical's open mic night. Finally, she showed up, and the two found that tap dancing brought an incredible energy to the music.
They've now done a number of pieces together at venues across the city, including the infamous Dallas Klyde Warren deck park. She's danced to his performance of the Bach Double Violin Concerto on WRR Classical 101 radio.
This Saturday's show also features Harris's youth tap ensemble, the Drawbacks. And the musicians quickly found one of the biggest challenges was playing at the breakneck speed the tap dancers wanted to go.
"They would find the fastest version of the piece and put it into software to speed it up," Landson says. "It's very challenging for me personally and also for Thiago, because there's a lot of virtuoso playing required in the pieces we're doing."
It's safe to say that there's no one else doing anything like this in Dallas. It's ambitious. It's risky. And it's fun to watch. If you need more reasons to go see it, well just go to NorthPark and shove Divergent into your entertainment holes. I can't help you.
The Bach and Wing. This Saturday at 8pm. Tickets $20 in advance at OpenClassical.org.