Tonight I was witness to a "process" the artist's words not mine. It was a magical mix of dance, self expression, music and paint. An amazing performance called Capture the Tap: ROOTS by an artist who has a craft that must be scene to truly appreciate. Friends had told me about a young man they knew named Jared Sprague who was a dancer and who had transformed his Tap into a visual art form beyond the dance. Jared had a "process" where he would put on his tap shoes, lay down a canvas, grab 10 plus containers of paint and with deliberate precision place the paint on the canvas and use his interruptive Tap to create a painting in front of your eyes.

What Jared happily calls a "process" I am calling a performance. Tonight Jared took me and the audience on a beautiful journey that included him telling us how it all started with tap classes as he tied his shoes while sitting in a chair next to the audience. He paid homage to his teacher with a classic tap number, then he showed us his freestyle skills with an audio loop he had created but had also layered so as he danced he could reach over an change rhythms and instruments making a 30 second loop sound like a whole percussion section.

And as if all of that wasn't enough he then, with the help of his dad George Sprague, spread out a canvas across the tap floor, conjured his muse and then proceeded to put on his "Tap-Painting" Shoes and bring his one man show to a place know one expected.

We all watched as Jared danced across the canvas where he splattered paint as he moved. He explained before he started that the piece he was making was representative of both his homes. One here in the Hudson Valley and the other in New York City. Urban meets rural. But nothing prepared the audience for a portion of the audio which I believe truly conveys the piece he created. Jared shared with us a recording he had made while visiting his Great Grandmother.

First Jared sat and listened with us as he and his Great Grandma past the time, he took the moment to catch his breath. But then at certain part he leapt to his feet, added a swirl of pink paint and began the "process" of interpreting the conversation and the music through dance which in turn created a painting so expressive of what he must have been feeling inside you felt you could actually see his emotions on the floor.

Now, unfortunately this is where I have to tell you that you won't be able to see this for yourself because there is only one more performance and it is sold out. However, you can bet if Jared decides he is ready to do this again I will be broadcasting it everywhere so no one misses the opportunity to see this most genuine artist create a masterpiece in front of your eyes.

I was moved, I was amazed and I was taken in by his dance and his talent as a raconteur. His talent as a painter to tap out emotions into color and movement on canvas while using tap steps as his brush is beyond spectacular. Jared Sprague will be a name you hear in the future and not just from me.

Paty Quyn and Jared Sprague photo by Cosmo Lizzi
Paty Quyn and Jared Sprague photo by Cosmo Lizzi

I also want to mention that he performed at the Denizen Theatre at Water Street Market whose vision and generosity provide the show space for free in support of the shared community. Find out more about the Denizen and their upcoming season by clicking here.

The Gallery at the Denizen will have Jared's work up including the ones he creates during his performances throughout the month of April  while they kick off the new season with their first show "Every Brilliant Thing".

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