Critical Acclaim

01.01.19
More Forever

Dance Magazine
Caleb Teicher's First Evening-Length Takes Place in a Sandbox
With a style that fuses tap dance, Lindy hop and vernacular jazz, Caleb Teicher has quickly proven himself a choreographic force to be reckoned with. After becoming known as a Bessie Award–winning member of Michelle Dorrance's company (and a DM "25 to Watch" pick in 2012), Teicher started his own troupe in 2015. Since then, he's presented at high-profile venues like The Joyce and Jacob's Pillow's Inside/Out stage, and last year he was commissioned by New York City Center's popular Fall for Dance festival. This month, Caleb Teicher & Company will premiere its first evening-length work, More Forever, commissioned by Works & Process at the Guggenheim.

Tell us about More Forever.
We've built a custom sandbox which is 24 feet by 24 feet, and over the course of the piece we accumulate a thin layer of sand on the floor—so the sound we're making is a leather-soled shoe meeting a wood floor, with sand in between. In a very poetic sense, the piece is about the passage of time and the relationships we make with other people, the sadness and beauty of watching people come and go in our lives.

What got you interested in sand?
I was excited by the idea of putting a group of people onstage with sand in a space where you can really move around. Most sand dancing is done on a very small platform, and it's one person dancing at a time. There are so many interesting visual and musical possibilities with sand. When you drag your foot along the floor, you can have a sustained sound, and it just opens up a whole new world. Tap is a form where you mean to make a particular sound, and in Lindy hop and vernacular jazz, sound is sort of a byproduct—stomping and clapping and footfalls. We're using all those forms so that we have a really rich palette to hear and see.

How was collaborating with pianist and composer Conrad Tao?
We met through the National YoungArts Foundation—we were both finalists in 2011. I found him to be supremely talented from a technical perspective, but also so expressive. Conrad says this is his first time writing music with dance, because the dancing we're doing makes sounds. Conrad is playing piano, but he's also using some electronics and some toy piano.

Full Interview.

The New York Times
5 Classical Music Faces to Watch This Season
Conrad Tao made a humble Lincoln Center debut with a piano recital one Sunday morning last December, in front of a white-haired audience sipping coffee. But there was nothing sleepy about his performance: adventurous, agile and often electrifying as he navigated works both contemporary and classical. This season, the 24-year-old polymath is back, now as a composer with a much larger platform: the New York Philharmonic. In recent years, Mr. Tao has caught the attention and admiration of Jaap van Zweden, the Philharmonic’s new music director, who invited Mr. Tao to write a new work for the orchestra. The piece, “Everything Must Go,” has its premiere on Sept. 27 and is intended as a curtain-raiser for Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony. Mr. Tao will also perform at Lincoln Center’s Kaplan Penthouse for the inaugural program of Nightcap, an afterparty-like Philharmonic initiative created with the violist and new-music specialist Nadia Sirota. And that’s not all: Mr. Tao will be busy with the score for “More Forever,” a new evening-length dance work Caleb Teicher is choreographing for his company. The Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series will host a preview in October, ahead of the dance’s premiere at the museum in January. (Joshua Barone)

The New York Times
Best Dance of 2018
Caleb Teicher, ‘More Forever’

Another choreographer who reached a new peak this year was the tap artist Caleb Teicher. He, the pianist-composer Conrad Tao and six dancers gave a preview performance of “More Forever” as part of the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series in October. (The finished product will be performed at the museum on Jan. 6 and 7.) “More Forever” constantly extended the sonic aspects of dance. The use of release and silence at the end of phrases was astounding; the interplay between quiet and loud, between percussive and stroked footwork, and the immense range of dynamics and meters within a phrase.

The New York Times
10 Things Our Critics Are Looking Forward to in 2019
A Tap Dancer Aims Higher

With his chinchilla streak of white hair, the tap dancer and choreographer Caleb Teicher has always seemed singular. He also seemed slight, clever, offbeat. In the last three or more years, though, his voice has grown freer, larger, happier. In the fall, he presented an extensive preview of his new piece, “More Forever,” as part of the Works and Process series at the Guggenheim, where it will have its world premiere, Jan. 6-7. A collaboration with the pianist-composer Conrad Tao and six other dancers, the work is a marvelous, transporting meeting of fantasy, wit and intelligence. It extends the sonic aspects of dance theater: I was astounded by the pervasive use of release and silence at the end of phrases, the interplay between quiet and loud, between percussive and stroked footwork, the immense range of dynamics and meters within individual phrases. Stillness, silhouettes, geometries: Everything combines to make “More Forever” a new dance world of the imagination. (Alastair Macaulay)