Renowned composer Philip Glass, Peter Brook’s theater troupe and Wayne McGregor’s dance company are among those visiting OZ Nashville during its inaugural season, OZ leaders announced today at a ribbon-cutting launch party attended by a capacity crowd.
Their first series of performances, which will run Feb. 13 – June 21, will introduce audiences to OZ’s flexible and elegantly minimal interdisciplinary venue created at the site of a former cigar warehouse and located at 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle (next to John C. Tune Airport). OZ organizers note the facility is the first contemporary art center of its kind in Nashville, providing a home for leading artists working across multiple forms that include theater, dance, music, design and more.
“OZ will have a unique voice in Nashville, as we commission and present significant works by artists who are testing and shifting the landscape of their fields,” Artistic Director Lauren Snelling says. “The hum and energy of artistic expression in Nashville has long been its life force, and I believe with the creation of OZ, artists and audiences will be asked to lean forward and actively engage with art in new and exciting ways.”
OZ’s first season is programmed by Snelling, who joins the nonprofit organization after stints at the Park Avenue Armory in New York and the Melbourne International Arts Festival in Australia. She has engaged artists in collaboration with one of the world’s foremost curators: Kristy Edmunds, Executive and Artistic Director of the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA and previously the Consulting Artistic Director for the Park Avenue Armory, the Artistic Director for the Melbourne International Arts Festival, and the Founding Executive & Artistic Director of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) and the TBA Festival (Time-Based Art) in Portland, Ore.
- The programs will begin with multi-award winning choreographer Wayne McGregor | Random Dance Company, presenting FAR, an explosive 10-person dance inspired by science, history, and cognitive research. McGregor is the first resident choreographer of the Royal Ballet in London to have largely come from a contemporary dance background.
- Following that, The Intergalactic Nemesis will “animate” a sci-fi graphic novel live on stage in the form of a rollicking and retro radio drama.
- Acclaimed new music string quartet ETHEL will investigate our fraught relationship with the landscape through ETHEL’s Documerica, blending new musical compositions with vintage photos from the EPA and a follow-up with ETHEL +, a unique collaborative performance specifically created for OZ and featuring a selection of hand-picked, Nashville-based musicians.
- In their final US performances before returning to Paris, legendary theater artist Peter Brook’s Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord will stage an inventive, moving, and music-filled adaptation of Cam Themba’s The Suit.
- Then, one of the most influential composers of our time, Philip Glass, will join the talented young violinist Tim Fain for a rare concert.
- The season wraps up with a come-one, come-all family day, featuring the music of Dan Zanes and Friends.
In addition to presenting celebrated national and international artists, OZ will serve as a platform and catalyst for local talents. The monthly TNT (Thursday Night Things) program will offer leading Nashville-based artists an opportunity to collaborate and present their work at OZ, connecting audiences with the pulse of the local art scene. Each program will be curated by a local artist or collective, and programs will be announced on the OZ website (oznashville.com).
TNT will be just one of the many ways that OZ connects Nashville audiences with the artists and ideas behind the work. Their inaugural season will feature a Site-Visit Lecture Series with artists who will be developing future projects, and the quarterly in*sight publication will hold rich interviews with artists on their work and inspirations. In addition, audiences have the opportunity to join The Vanguard, a select group of dedicated arts lovers who will enjoy exclusive access to OZ special events, pop-up dinners, private artists’ gatherings, artist giveaways and the OZ Annual Fête.
Father and son Cano and Tim Ozgener established OZ in the building that once housed CAO Cigars, one of the world’s foremost cigar companies (Cano was that company’s founder and Tim its president). The facility has been transformed into a column-free, 10,000 square-foot performance and installation venue nestled amid artfully landscaped grounds.
Since 1937 BNA – which stands for “Berry Field Nashville” – has been the identifier for what is now Nashville International Airport. Now with OZ there’s an additional meaning for BNA – the arts center’s slogan is “Brave New Art.”
Here’s more on OZ’s 2014 season programming including TNT (ticketing is on the OZ website in the Program section beside each event when you click on that event for more information):
Feb. 13, 2014
8 p.m. (60 min., no intermission)
Wayne McGregor—“one of the most celebrated and sought-after choreographers of his generation” (New York Times)—has pioneered a groundbreaking approach to performance that crosses dance, science, film, music, visual art and technology to produce a string of exceptional works. Inspired by the philosophical inquiries of the 18th Century and French polymath Diderot’s first encyclopedia, FAR explores an era that first placed ‘a body in question.’ Ten incredible dancers confront the distortions, sensuality and feeling of the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ to a haunting score by the critically acclaimed composer Ben Frost. Staged in a mesmerizing environment of shadow and light created by rAndom International and lighting designer Lucy Carter, FAR binds cutting edge design with choreography developed through a radical cognitive research process.
Wayne McGregor | Random Dance is a Resident Company of Sadler’s Wells in London and winner of the South Bank Show Award for Dance, The International Theatre Institute’s Award for Excellence in International Dance, The Movimentos Award and the Critics Circle Award. McGregor is the Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet. In January 2011, he was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List.
Book 1: Target Earth
March 7-8, 2014
7 p.m. (2 hours including a 20-minute intermission)
Tickets: $40 for ages 13 and older, $20 for ages 12 and younger (recommended for ages 7 and older)
This one-of-a-kind all-ages performance from The Intergalactic Nemesis blends the theatrical magic of a radio drama with the high-octane energy of a science fiction comic book. The year is 1933 and Pulitzer-winning reporter Molly Sloan, her intrepid assistant Timmy Mendez, and a mysterious librarian named Ben Wilcott face the most serious threat Earth has ever known: an impending invasion of sludge monsters from the planet Zygon. This period-sci-fi-horror-suspense-comedy-romance is presented in a whole new format: more than 1,000 hand-drawn, full-color, blow-your-mind comic-book images blast from the screen, while three actors, one Foley artist, and one keyboardist perform all the voices, sound effects and music live.
When The Intergalactic Nemesis Live-Action Graphic Novel premiered in 2010 in Austin, Tx. more than 2,100 people turned out. Shortly thereafter, it was featured on NPR and Conan O’Brien. Now, in its third touring season, the production has hit more than 80 venues around the US, UK, and Canada, including a run at the New Victory Theatre on Broadway and a sold-out showing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The New York Post called it, “[A] happily retro multimedia extravaganza!” while collider.com declared it to be, “Something you simply must experience if you are a fan of awesome.”
April 11, 2014
8 p.m. (75 min., no intermission)
Acclaimed as “indefatigable and eclectic” (The New York Times), “vital and brilliant” (The New Yorker), and “one of the most exciting quartets around” (The Strad Magazine), ETHEL invigorates the contemporary music scene with exuberance, intensity, imaginative programming, and exceptional artistry. Their latest performance draws inspiration and imagery from a forty year-old archive of images commissioned in 1971 by the then-newly established Environmental Protection Agency. The resulting tens-of-thousands of photographs captured the state of the environment over a decade and its impact on society.
Directed by Steve Cosson, ETHEL’s Documerica juxtaposes manipulated vintage visuals with contemporary musical compositions performed with electrifying virtuosity by ETHEL. Big sky vistas, ghost towns, mountains, and slices of urban environments accompany this musical meditation, capturing America’s complicated relationship to its land. New music by the members of ETHEL, as well as by acclaimed composers Mary Ellen Childs, GRAMMY Award-winning jazz drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr., Jared Impichchaachaaha’ Tate (Chickasaw Nation), veteran-activist and blues maven James “Kimo” Williams is paired with stunning visuals by renowned projection artist Deborah Johnson.
April 12, 2014
8 p.m. (75 min., no intermission)
At the heart of ETHEL is a collaborative ethos—a quest for a common creative expression that is forged in the celebration of community. In this one-night-only, just-for-Nashville performance, ETHEL + invites a select group of Nashville-based musicians to jam with the quartet and discover new sounds. Please check oznashville.org for an upcoming announcement of the guest local musicians performing with ETHEL.
May 22-24, 2014
8 p.m. (75 min., no intermission)
Renowned director Peter Brook brings to life a moving and music-filled adaptation of The Suit, a bold fable with strong historical reference to life under Apartheid by the talented and tragic South African writer Can Themba. The Suit centers on middle-class lawyer Philemon, his wife Matilda, and the eponymous garment left behind by Matilda’s lover when Philemon catches the illicit couple in the act. As poignant punishment, Philemon makes Matilda carry the suit as a companion in her daily life, feeding it, entertaining it, and parading it in public as a reminder of her adultery. With a small cast and an innovative staging that pulls the musicians on stage and into the scene, The Suit fills a powerful old story with new life and energy. “This is theatre as it should be,” raved the UK’s Daily Telegraph, while The New York Times declared that, “Everyone onstage is pretty close to perfect.”
Brook was born in London in 1925 and has achieved distinction throughout his career across the disciplines of theater, opera, and literature. He has directed numerous Shakespeare plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company and in 1971 he founded the International Centre for Theatre Research in Paris with Micheline Rozan, which opened its permanent base in the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in 1974. Brook first adapted Themba’s novel for the stage in a French-language version in 1999. Working with his long-time collaborator Marie-Hélène Estienne and composer Franck Krawczyk, Brook has translated the play for an English audience and set it to music from sources as diverse as Franz Schubert and Miriam Makeba.
Jun 20-21, 2014
8 p.m. (80 min., no intermission)
Famed minimalist composer Philip Glass will join adventurous young violinist Tim Fain for an intimate evening of new classical music. The program will feature solo performances of Glass compositions by both Fain on violin and Glass on piano, as well as a few remarkable duets pairing their talents.
The Boston Globe has called Fain “a charismatic young violinist with matinee idol profile, strong musical instincts, and first-rate chops.” A graduate of The Juilliard School, Fain has captivated audiences with debuts at the Baltimore Symphony, Lincoln Center’s Most Mozart Festival, and with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, among others, in addition to performing as a featured soloist with the Philip Glass Ensemble at Carnegie Concert Hall in a concert version of Einstein on the Beach. Fain can be heard playing on the Grammy-nominated soundtrack for the film Black Swan.
Through his operas, his symphonies, his compositions for his own ensemble, and his wide-ranging collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times. In the past 25 years, Glass has composed more than twenty operas, large and small; eight symphonies (with others already on the way); two piano concertos and concertos for violin, piano, timpani, and saxophone quartet and orchestra; soundtracks to films ranging from new scores for the stylized classics of Jean Cocteau to Errol Morris’s documentary about former defense secretary Robert McNamara; string quartets; and a growing body of work for solo piano and organ. His opera The Fall of the House of Usher was produced in 2009 at Nashville Opera.
Featuring Dan Zanes & Friends
12-4 p.m.; performance at 2 p.m. (70 min., no intermission)
Tickets: $25 ages 13 and older, Free ages 12 and younger
Family Day at OZ is an annual, full-day event of indoor and outdoor arts activities for young people and families, designed to spark creativity and expression. Dan Zanes (of indie legends The Del Fuegos) and his Brooklyn-based band highlight the days’ activities with a family-friendly concert featuring music from their Grammy-nominated children’s albums. The audience is always invited to sing along and join in the dance party, and you never know who might show up to join the band in Nashville!
Dan Zanes has been on a mission to bring great music that families can enjoy together to communities across the globe. His exuberant and inventive original music has sparked collaborations with Debbie Harry, Lou Reed, Sheryl Crow, Nick Cave and Natalie Merchant. The New York Times Magazine has said that, “Zanes’ kids music works because it is not kids music; it’s just music—music that’s unsanitized, unpasteurized, that’s organic even.”
Artists To Be Announced
Every Third Thursday (Feb 20, Mar 20, Apr 17, May 15, Jun 19, Jul 17, Aug 21)
OZ will host a monthly program curated by Nashville-based artists representing multiple disciplines of performing and visual arts. Rather than observing a performance, audience members will get a glimpse into the artistic process of Nashville’s diverse and artistic talent in a relaxing setting, complete with signature cocktails, food trucks and conversation every third Thursday.