Columbus Dance Theatre's "A-Z" deconstructs dance by creating it live. By first showing short segments of choreography and then using them to build a dance set to music, the show reveals how elements combine to create art.

Columbus Dance Theatre's "A-Z" deconstructs dance by creating it live. By first showing short segments of choreography and then using them to build a dance set to music, the show reveals how elements combine to create art.

"As a kid, everyone learns how to write a poem," explained CDT Artistic Director Tim Veach, who will choreograph "A-Z" live. "They learn about how to create something in written form, but they don't do the same thing with how we use our bodies in an expressive way. The making of a dance is a very mysterious thing."

At the outset of the evening, dancers will perform 26 short phrases - one corresponding with each letter of the alphabet - and each phrase will have its own color and style. Audience members will have scorecards so they can vote on how much they like each phrase. The audience also will vote to decide which of three compositions by local jazz pianist Bradley Sowash will be the soundtrack for the final performance. After intermission, the dancers will perform a piece created by Veach that uses the audience's favorite phrases.

The event puts pressure on Veach to deliver in the moment, but the seasoned choreographer is up for the task.

"Part of the fun of it is for the audience to watch me sweat a little bit like, 'What's he going to do?' I'm willing to risk failure," he said, laughing.