“Synergy, Dallas Music in Motion” blends the worlds of local live music and dance

A promotional image for “Synergy, Dallas Music in Motion”
Photo: Pegasus Contemporary Ballet

At first blush, it sounds like the set-up for a lame joke: A choreographer and a musician walk into a bar.

But, to hear singer-songwriter Dev Wulf tell it, that was effectively the genesis for his participation in a unique artistic showcase.

“[Choreographer Daniel Ojeda] lives in Boise, Idaho and he came on down to visit,” Wulf said during a recent conversation. “He’d not ever been to Dallas before, so I figured if I’m going to take him anywhere, I’m gonna take him to the spots that I feel comfortable in. So we started finding dive bars, which ended up being very serendipitous, because the way he wanted to set the scene was in a dive bar.”

Wulf and Ojeda are one of three pairs of collaborators who will anchor Pegasus Contemporary Ballet’s showcase “Synergy, Dallas Music in Motion,” which kicks off at 8 p.m. Friday at the Moody Performance Hall in downtown Dallas.

The other pairings include choreographer Joshua L. Peugh and jazz fusion musician Kwinton Gray, and producer-composer Elkin Pautt and Pegasus Contemporary Ballet founder and artistic director Diana Crowder.

Ojeda and Wolf’s organic alliance is but one vivid example, Crowder said, of how an event like “Synergy” can help illuminate the symbiotic nature of artistic disciplines.

“I’m a ballet dancer by training … and I realized that I was very immersed in the dance scene, and didn’t really know that much about the live music scene,” Crowder said during a recent conversation. “I wanted to dive into it, and I knew we had a really rich, beautiful, vibrant music scene here in Dallas, and I wanted to learn more about it. I wanted to explore it, and I wanted to connect with those artists in new ways, because dance and music are so connected as art forms.”

At the same time, that connection helps to dismantle any perceived walls between the different forms — the “Synergy” staging will feature the musicians performing their original material, often amid the choreography itself.

It’s a fascinating juxtaposition, and one which Dallas audiences often don’t get to see. While there can be novelty in, say, hosting a rock concert on a stage normally reserved for a symphony orchestra or a play, it’s rare to see such interdisciplinary displays in North Texas.

The impact for audiences may prove to be just as profound as for the artists themselves, if Dev Wulf’s initial reaction is any indication.

“The first time I saw [the choreography], it was to a track, rather than me actually performing,” Wulf said. “I was just coming in and seeing what the vision would hold and I started crying. I never really tear up to dance performances. … Watching one of my songs come to life, and it being interpreted in the way I hoped it would be was really something quite special.”

“Synergy, Dallas Music in Motion” at Moody Performance Hall, Dallas. 8 p.m. March 31-April 1. Tickets are $40.50-$65.

Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.