Nothing beats live dancers, live musicians and a live audience all breathing the same air in the same place. Tim Veach, founder of Columbus Dance Theatre, long ago made a commitment to use live music whenever possible, and he's made good on that promise.

Nothing beats live dancers, live musicians and a live audience all breathing the same air in the same place. Tim Veach, founder of Columbus Dance Theatre, long ago made a commitment to use live music whenever possible, and he's made good on that promise.

It suits Central Ohio's Carpe Diem String Quartet just fine. For the fifth year, the dance company will present its New Dance Project, featuring the works of three local choreographers: Kristina Isabelle, Stella Kane and Veach. And all of the music will be performed by Carpe Diem: violinists Charles Wetherbee and John Ewing, violist Korine Fujiwara, and cellist Diego Fainguersch.

"Combining live music with dance is stimulating for both the musicians and the dancers," Wetherbee said. "There is a synergy on both sides that leads us down different musical paths and gives all the artists an opportunity to have each concert be a spontaneous, creative event."

Fujiwara agreed. "You essentially feed each other inspiration, through the music, through new things that you try during a particular performance - ideas, risks," she said.

"All of this collective energy is passed back and forth between the members of the group on stage. Then, factor in the energy of the audience and it is magnified again ... it is an unbelievable rush."

For Fujiwara, the synergy goes even deeper because she composed "Entangled Banks," the music Veach set as the male-female duet of the same title. Fujiwara wrote it in 2008, on commission from OSU's Department of Entomology, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species.

She took her inspiration from its final sentences, where Darwin contemplates "an entangled bank" teeming with interdependent plant and animal life and how their development led directly to that of humans.

Veach in turn took inspiration from Fujiwara to create a dance that "deals with intimacy, procreation and our quest to evolve and move forward."

Veach's two other works on the program touch on the personal journeys of relatives. "Remembering," set to Mendelssohn's Quartet in A Minor, Op. 13, is about the fading away of his grandmother.

He describes "Departure," set to the prelude from Bach's Cello Suite No. 1, as "a kind of graduation dance" for two men upon "their inevitable departure out into the world." Performers David Reed and Judson Veach, Tim's son, have been dance students of his for a decade.

For Columbus Dance Theatre, the commitment and the synergy run even deeper than the beat.