Risk, Emotion, and the Ever-Present Moment

Great observations on art from one of my most respected artists!

Adventures in Faith & Art

Andrew NemrAt a recent Creative Church Conference, I was asked by director Jessie Nilo to collaborate and accompany Andrew Nemr, a tap dance virtuoso, educator, choreographer, and TED Talk Fellow. The idea was simple: Andrew would share his story, both verbally and with expressions of dance, and I would be available on stage to interact with him musically throughout the hour-long performance. The thing was, this interaction would be completely unscripted and improvised. A simple idea—but as I had never accompanied a tap dancer before, I realized from the onset that this would bring me to the edge of creative risk.

It was agreed that we wouldn’t—and really couldn’t—rehearse. But we met to sound check and discuss the format of the evening. My first attempt at joining Andrew with the piano was clumsy, awkward, searching. I was unsatisfied with my playing and approach, and I was continually distracted…

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