He has plenty of political passion that warms the heart of this old leftie from Boston. I've had to caution Veach before air time. Thankfully, I need do no such thing—quite the contrary—in admiring his onstage work.
Columbus Dance Theatre's production of Courage opens this weekend at CDT's Theatre, 592 E. Main St. Showtimes are at 8 p.m. Friday, March 31, and 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 1.
Veach had me near tears when he described the genesis of this dance to me. Courage tells the story of Seth Wilson. A greatly loved CDT dancer and the star of Courage, Wilson says he was arrested back in 2008 on charges that were eventually thrown out. He was released, but not without a difficult few days. From suffering comes art, and from Wilson's ordeal comes Courage.
"I first created this work as a response to the hateful rhetoric that exploded during the 2008 election cycle," Veach says. "Sadly, hate speech and racism continue to permeate our culture and political discourse. This work confronts these issues directly with courage and clarity. Courage features Seth Wilson as the centerpiece of this hard-hitting dance set to an original score by Korine Fujiwara, performed live by the Carpe Diem String Quartet."
Veach obviously holds Wilson in great esteem: "Seth is a powerful, gifted and passionate dancer. This work was built out of his own personal experience as a black man in our community. His journey to find his own voice and his own power lies underneath this production."
You can see Wilson's choreography in this video of a rehearsal for CDT's 2016 production of Dancers Making Dances:
Are we better or worse off now than in 2008? Courage serves not only as a cultural barometer, but as a devastating and uplifting evening of dance and music. Tim Veach says so, and my money's on him.