Tim Robbins-Helmed A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM to Kick Off OZ's 2014-15 Season; Lineup Announced!
Today OZ, Nashville's first contemporary arts center, announces its 2014-15 season, which runs September 12, 2014 - June 27, 2015. The season is bookended by premieres, beginning with two performances (September 12 & 13) of Tim Robbins' interpretation of A Midsummer Night's Dream, produced and acted by the company he founded and leads, The Actors' Gang, in the production's first U.S. engagement outside of the company's home theater in Los Angeles. OZ's 2014-15 program will conclude with the world premiere (June 18-20) of Memory Rings, the latest multi-media stage production from innovative New York City-based puppetry collective Phantom Limb Company.
In between, OZ will present the Nashville debut of the internationally celebrated vertical dance company BANDALOOP, who will offer a site-responsive work on a downtown Nashville building and the local premiere of their indoor piece Harboring (October 10 & 11). The pianist-composer Vijay Iyer, with the International Contemporary Ensemble, will perform RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi, which Iyer made with filmmaker Prashant Bhargava on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. In the concerts (November 8 & 9), Iyer and members of ICE will also perform a version of his Mutations I-X.
In 13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests, Dean & Britta will perform original soundtracks-and songs by the Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan and others-to a selection of Warhol's four-minute silent film portraits (January 17, 2015). Performance icon Laurie Anderson will bring The Language of the Future, her newest exploration of the American story, to OZ for two performances (March 12 & 13, 2015).
On Pi Day 2015 (March 14), OZ brings together visual art, live performance and discussion with a focus on the connections between science, technology, engineering, art and math. OZ will showcase the conceptual artworks of multiple visual artists, including its founder, Cano Ozgener, whose Pi Synesthesia¬ uses color to express the mathematical constant. OZ will also display photographs from Ben Davis's Pi in the Sky, the world's largest ephemeral installation of pi. Five-time Grammy-winning percussionist Roy Wooten, with an ensemble, will perform his score for the constant, and scholars will come to OZ from across the country to discuss the intersection of mathematics and art.
On May 14 & 16, Trisha Brown Dance Company (TBDC) will perform at OZ, presenting more than eight works spanning five decades by the seminal choreographer who retired last year. OZ will also co-sponsor a week-long residency with TBDC to set, Planes, Brown's 1968 vertical dance and film collaboration with Jud Yalkut, on Nashville contemporary dance collective New Dialect. Zeitgeist Gallery will host this multi-media installation from May 2-31, 2015, and New Dialect will give weekly performances at the Gallery, including a special performance evening featuring both New Dialect and TBDC dancers on May 15, 2015.
OZ's Artistic Director Lauren Snelling says of the season, "The artists and works in this program embody the mission of OZ as a contemporary arts institution, through their unconventional approaches to performance, media and installation. We are honored to present the works of internationally established artists who are icons in their fields alongside emerging creators and innovators who are pushing more newly established boundaries and asking audiences to consider art in a different frame.
Tickets go on sale June 26, 2014, and can be purchased at www.oznashville.com. OZ is located at 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle in Nashville, TN.
Just four months ago, OZ was still just the untested dream of Cano Ozgener, a 70-something, Turkish-Armenian Nashville resident who recently survived life-threatening illness. He established, in the warehouse that once housed his company CAO Cigars, the city's first contemporary arts center, providing a home for leading international artists working across multiple forms: theater, dance, music, design, and more, as his testament that art is the most important thing in life.
As the first contemporary arts institution in the region, the arrival of OZ has transformed the cultural landscape of Nashville. Through a year-round program of performing and visual arts events, OZ supports the creative explorations of leading artists from around the world and inspires curious audiences of all ages. The spectacular column-free, 10,000 square-foot performance and installation venue nestles amidst artfully landscaped grounds. In addition to presenting celebrated national and international artists, OZ serves as a catalyst for local creativity. The organization provides a platform for local artists through the monthly TNT (Thursday Night Things) series.
OZ's triumphant inaugural season has included Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, The Intergalactic Nemesis, ETHEL, Peter Brook's Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, and Philip Glass & Tim Fain. The season wraps up with a come-one, come-all family day, featuring the music of Dan Zanes & Friends, on August 9.
Since opening its doors for its inaugural artistic season (February 13 - August 9), OZ has achieved remarkable critical and popular success. The Tennessean recently recognized OZ for being on the forefront of the rapidly evolving Nashville-for "treating audiences to one-of-a-kind theatrical events, ranging from modern dance to multimedia musical experiences" and "securing its place among Nashville's most intriguing-and inspiring-cultural venues." Nashville Scene said, "Imagine what this will do for the city's arts scene-and let your imagination off the chain."
2014-15 Season Programming:
The Actors' Gang
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Directed by Tim Robbins
September 12 & 13
Friday & Saturday at 8pm
Founded in 1981 by Tim Robbins and led by him and co-Artistic Director Cynthia Ettinger, The Actors' Gang has garnered international acclaim for its productions of unconventional and uncompromising plays and its dynamic reinterpretations of the classics.
Robbins' adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream puts forth a surreal world of fairies, spells, incantations, and lovers bewitched by magic. The company illuminates Shakespeare's forest with original music, kinetic physicality and a fervent approach to the humor and magic of the text. Fourteen actors play the over twenty-four characters in the play. The Huffington Post has called the production "the Midsummer Shakespeare dreamed...original, madcap and completely engaging."
In addition to performing works that restore the ancient sense of the stage as a shared sacred space, The Actors' Gang not only introduces theater to children, helping them find their own creative voices but also brings the freedom of self-expression to the incarcerated. The company recently received their first state funding for the work they have been doing in state prisons, since 2006, through their community outreach program, The Prison Project. In collaboration with other advocates, and led by Director Sabra Williams, their commedia dell'arte style of theatre training inspired the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to commit $2.5 million to art programs in the prisons throughout California over the next two years.
The Actors' Gang ensemble has included accomplished actors such as Jack Black, John Cusack, John C. Reilly, Helen Hunt, Kate Walsh, Fisher Stevens, Jeremy Piven, Ebbe Roe Smith, Jon Favreau, Brent Hinkley, Kate Mulligan, Lee Arenberg, Kyle Gass and Tim Robbins. Recent touring productions include George Orwell's 1984, Tartuffe, Embedded, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, The Guys and The Exonerated. Over the last twelve years these productions have toured the U.S. in forty states and across the world from London to Athens, Madrid, Barcelona, Bogota, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Buenos Aires.
DANCE / SPECTACLE
Look Up Nashville!
October 10 & 11
Friday & Saturday at 7pm
Founded by choreographer and artistic director Amelia Rudolph, BANDALOOP is a pioneer in vertical dance performance. The company seamlessly weaves dynamic physicality, intricate choreography and the art of climbing to turn the dance floor on its side. Their breathtaking, site-reactive work, which The Boston Globe describes as "awe-inspiring and frankly beautiful," has been presented on skyscrapers, bridges, billboards and historical sites, in atriums and convention halls, in nature on cliffs, and on screen, as well as inside theaters and museums.
In partnership with OZ, BANDALOOP will bring their signature aerial dance to Nashville for the first time, performing it on a skyscraper in the bustling downtown city center. Within OZ's flexible warehouse venue, BANDALOOP will also perform the Nashville premiere of their acclaimed indoor work Harboring, featuring eight dancers and a chorus.
MUSIC / FILM
RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi
November 8 & 9
Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm
The Guardian UK has called Vijay Iyer "one of the world's most inventive new-generation jazz pianists." His most recent honors include a MacArthur fellowship, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, an unprecedented "quintuple crown" in the Down Beat International Critics Poll and a "quadruple crown" in the JazzTimes extended critics poll.
In his first visit to OZ, Iyer will offer RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi, his and filmmaker Prashant Bhargava's response to Stravinsky's famously chaotic work about springtime, Rite of Spring. International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) will perform a suite of music in live counterpoint with cinematic episodes compiled from footage of the Indian celebration of Holi.
Iyer's score is a suite for winds, strings, two percussion players, two pianos and electronics. Bhargava's film showcases the Indian spring rite, which brings thousands of devotees to the streets in a rhapsodic state of uninhibited, ecstatic freedom. Best known around the world for its ritual of splashing celebrants with colored powders, Holi is a journey of devotion for the supreme Hindu goddess Radha, a time when roles are reversed and anything is possible.
At OZ, Iyer, Miranda Cuckson, Michi Wiancko and members of ICE will perform a version of his Mutations I-X, a composition he scored for string quartet, piano, and electronics. A major piece built out of cells and fragments, it veers through many atmospheres, from moment to moment propulsive, enveloping, lyrical, luminescent, and strangely beautiful. Through thematic interactivity, the interweaving of acoustic and electronic sound-textures, and some decisive improvisational interventions in notated music, Vijay Iyer has created a multi-faceted suite whose very subject is change.
MUSIC / FILM
Andy Warhol, Dean & Britta
13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests
January 17, 2015
Saturday at 8pm
Between 1964 and 1966, Andy Warhol shot almost 500 Screen Tests, revealing portraits of various individuals, both famous and anonymous, who visited his studio, the Factory. They were asked to pose, lit, and filmed by Warhol with his stationary 16mm Bolex camera on silent, black-and-white, 100-foot rolls of film. The Screen Tests provided fodder for Warhol's ever-shifting happenings and starred, behind the music of The Velvet Underground and Nico, in his Exploding Plastic Inevitable live shows.
Inspired by the mythos of The Factory, songwriters Dean & Britta have composed a live score for a selection of the films. Along with covers of The Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan, their dream-pop sensibility and entrancing rock rhythms evoke the legacy of Warhol's era.
13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests is a joint commission of The Andy Warhol Museum and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, originally for the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts 2008.
Dean & Britta are Dean Wareham and Britta Philips, formerly of the iconic 90s band Luna. Started by Wareham in 1992, Luna made seven studio albums and played their final shows in 2005. Prior to Luna, Wareham fronted Galaxie 500. Philips joined Luna in 2000, before which she played in several bands, starred in the movie Satisfaction, and was the singing voice of 80s cartoon character JEM. The duo released L'Avventura, an album of covers and duets, in 2005, and Back Numbers in 2009. Dean & Britta have scored several films, most notably Noah Baumbach's The Squid & The Whale.
MUSIC / PERFORMANCE
The Language of the Future
March 12 & 13, 2015
Thursday & Friday at 8pm
The composer, storyteller and performer Laurie Anderson is one of America's most renowned-and daring-creative pioneers. Her work, which encompasses music, visual art, poetry, film and photography, has challenged and delighted audiences around the world for more than 30 years. The New Yorker has said she "continues to imbue her work with a singular perspective that is both haunting and timeless." The Boston Globe has deemed her "the reigning performance artist of her time."
The Language of the Future is the latest chapter in Anderson's ongoing exploration of the American narrative and how we tell it. A collection of songs and stories about contemporary culture, the work crosses borders between dreams, reality and the elusive world of information. A signature Anderson multimedia presentation, with innovative use of technology, The Language of the Future finds Anderson spinning offbeat adventure stories with her characteristic wit and poignancy.
MUSIC / VISUAL ART / DISCUSSION
Roy Wooten, Laurie Anderson, Ben Davis (ISHKY), Cano Ozgener and more
March 14, 2015
Saturday time TBD
On Pi Day 2015, OZ brings together visual art, performance and discussion with a focus on the connections of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Roy Wooten (five-time Grammy-winning percussionist with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, composer and inventor of musical instruments) will present his musical score for Pi in 5 chords, utilizing an ensemble of up to 20 players.
Also as part of Pi Day, OZ will install photography from Ben Davis (ISHKY)'s conceptual Pi in the Sky, the world's largest ephemeral installation of pi. At an altitude of 10,000 feet a team of five synchronized AirSign aircraft equipped with dot-matrix technology will follow a flight pattern that forms the infinity symbol and write the first 314 characters of pi's infinite sequence around the island of Manhattan. Each number will measure more than a quarter-mile in height.
Also on display will be Pi Synesthesia, OZ founder Cano Ozgener's series of conceptual art works expressing the mathematical constant, as well as works created by local students participating in the curriculum being developed specifically for this initiative by arts and math specialists.
OZ will host a discussion with artists and scholars from across the country-including Laurie Anderson-about integrating arts into learning and where these fields of study intersect.
Trisha Brown Dance Company
May 14 & 16
Program A, Thursday at 8pm
Program B, Saturday at 7:30pm
Over the course of fifty years, Trisha Brown's movement investigations found the extraordinary in the everyday and challenged existing perceptions of what constitutes performance. She pushed the limits of chorography and altered modern dance forever. After suffering for several years with Alzheimer's disease, Brown retired in 2013. The invaluable repertory left behind will no longer be presented in proscenium theatres after the end of 2015.
OZ will present more than eight works by this historic figure of post-modern dance, in two separate programs so that Nashville audiences can witness the development and similarities of Brown's choreographic vocabulary over three decades in one evening.
Proscenium set up
Opal Loop (1980), featuring original set by Donald Judd
Present Tense (2003) featuring music by John Cage
Early Works (1960s-1970s)
Son of Gone Fishin' (1981)
You Can See Us (1994)
THEATER / PUPPETRY
Memory Rings (World Premiere)
June 18 (Preview), 19 & 20, 2015
All performances at 7pm
In June 2015, OZ will present the world premiere of Memory Rings, from New York City's famed Phantom Limb Company. The work is a theatrical storytelling of 5,000 years of human and environmental change from the perspective of the world's oldest living tree. In July 2014, OZ hosts more than a dozen puppeteers, designers, composers, choreographers and makers from the company for a two-week residency, in which they will develop the production.
Co-founded in 2007 by installation artist, painter and set designer Jessica Grindstaff and composer and puppet maker Erik Sanko, Phantom Limb Company has been lauded for their unconventional approach to storytelling, which combines original music, innovative puppetry, choreography, video and sculptural set design. Phantom Limb has produced The Fortune Teller, Dear Mme., The Devil You Know with Ping Chong, Lemony Snicket's The Composer Is Dead with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 69 ? S. with The Kronos Quartet and Peer Gynt with Republique Theatre in Copenhagen. Future productions are a top-secret theatrical experience on a boat in NYC framed around Moby Dick and the third installment of Phantom Limb's environmental trilogy based around water, butoh, puppetry and Fukushima.
Memory Rings is produced by Mara Isaacs, Octopus Theatricals.
TNT (THURSDAY NIGHT THINGS) AT OZ
Every Third Thursday
OZ will continue to host its monthly local spotlight series, TNT (Thursday Night Things), which is curated by Nashville-based artists representing multiple disciplines of performing and visual arts. Upcoming TNT events include Cory Basil in collaboration with Brooke Waggoner (July 17, 2014), Banning Bouldin's Multilingual (August 21, 2014), Michael Weintrob's Instrumenthead (October 16 - 18, 2014), and shows by Alex Lockwood (February 19 - 21, 2015) and William Tyler (April 16, 2015).