OZ Arts Nashville makes a stop at TPAC for innovative seventh season

silhouette of woman in front of hot air balloons and stars

The first season from new artistic director Mark Murphy, and the 7th groundbreaking season by OZ Arts features International dance, theater and multimedia artists from Japan, Brazil and Chile.

Innovative and unconventional are the themes OZ Arts Nashville has been embracing since its inception five years ago. Now in its seventh season, the first with new Artistic Director Mark Murphy, the contemporary company features never-before-seen displays and new takes on old classics – even one co-presented by TPAC.

According to Murphy, “this season is a celebration of ingenuity and artistic vitality, highlighting artistic voices from around the world — and right here in Nashville — who are blazing the trail for contemporary culture.”

dancer on stage with an abstract background

‘Holistic Strata’ by Hiroaki Umeda. Photo by Ryuichi Maruo.

Kicking off the season is Holistic Strata and the US premiere of Split Flow Sep. 19-21.

From Tokyo, Japan, choreographer and performer Hiroaki Umeda’s Holistic Strata and Split Flow use multiple video projections and laser light technology in inventive, experimental ways. His multimedia works are sensory-stimulating events to be experienced as both immersive installations and live performances.

On January 18, OZ Arts Nashville stops by TPAC with their production of The Day.

This bold, highly collaborative work explores universal themes through the shared language of music and dance. Co-presented by TPAC in association with Nashville Ballet before its long-awaited European premiere in Paris, The Day is an evening-long sensory exploration of two journeys — life and the eternal, post-mortal voyage of the soul.

The company will also be hosting the U.S. premiere for several overseas shows such as Na Pista, a dance performance brought by Brazilian company Companhia Urbana de Dança.

Not only will the shows be fresh, there will also be more of them, at a lower price.

Murphy stressed that the number of performances at OZ Arts is increased by more than double in the new season, while the average ticket price is considerably lower in order to make the work more accessible to a wide range of Nashville audiences.

“It has been great fun to develop assertive new strategies to increase the impact of OZ Arts Nashville in the community to ensure the success of the wide-ranging new season,” Murphy said.

two men posing in front of an OZ background

Artistic director Mark Murphy (right) and co-founder, President and CEO Tim Ozgener (left) of OZ Arts Nashville, a non-profit contemporary multi-arts center just beyond the The Nations.

The revised pricing strategies are made possible in part by enhanced donor participation, including the vital support of members of the newly formed Cano Ozgener Society, a donor initiative honoring the passionate OZ Arts founder, who passed away in June 2018.

“I am thrilled that Mark and our team are taking a creative, thoughtful, and entrepreneurial approach to make OZ Arts an even more significant and crucial part of the artistic ecology of Nashville, and of the country,” said Tim Ozgener, President and CEO of OZ Arts. “On behalf of my family, I can say with certainty that my late father would be very happy to see the way his dream – to change lives through contemporary culture – is exemplified and brought to light by this diverse season of global and local art that matters.”

OZ Arts opened in 2014 as a contemporary arts center located at 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle near John C. Tune Airport.

Tickets for most events — and discounted ticket packages – are on sale now at OzArtsNashville.org.

Connect with Michael Aldrich on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @michaelwaldrich.

OZ Arts Nashville’s 2019-20 season:

Split Flow and Holistic Strata, Sept. 19 – 21: Hiroaki Umeda uses movement, sound, image and light to create “startling” installations and performances. This will be the first showing of his piece “Split Flow” in the U.S.

The Moth – Nashville GrandSLAM, Oct. 10: Storytellers will gather to share their tales for a chance to win the title of “GrandSLAM Champion”.

Frankenstein, Oct. 24-26: Multimedia company Manual Cinema will present the story of “Frankenstein,” blended with author Mary Shelley’s biography, to create a “stunning” exposition. Puppetry and innovative sound and music work will create an immersive visual experience.

Festival of Ghouls, Nov. 2: Nashville rock band Fable Cry will host an elaborate costume cabaret where partygoers are treated to an “unpredictable and extravagant community event.”

Na Pista, Nov. 14 – 17: Companhia Urbana de Dança, a high-energy dance ensemble from Brazil, will debut their latest show, bringing together “hip-hop, samba, and capoeira” to bring a part of Rio de Janeiro to Nashville.

Mellotron Variations, Dec. 7: A quartet with quite the pedigree will celebrate the mellotron instrument, a polyphonic tape replay keyboard developed in 1963. The artists are Pat Sansone of Wilco, John Medeski of Medeski, Martin and Wood, Robby Grant of Big Ass Truck and Vending Machine, and Jonathan Kirkscey of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Mouse Rocket.

The Longest Night, Dec. 20-21: Portara Ensemble once again marks the winter solstice with some of Nashville’s most influential artists through original music, spoken word, traditional carols and dance.

The Day, Jan. 18: Cellist Maya Beiser, dancer Wendy Whelan, choreographer Lucinda Childs will perform to music by David Lang in collaboration among legends from the worlds of ballet, contemporary dance and music.

Notes of a Native Song, Jan. 31 – Feb. 1: Stew, Heidi, and their band The Negro Problem will use Jame’s Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son to examine our lingering civil rights woes through a mix of rock, jazz, and soul.

The Triangle, Feb. 20-22: New Dialect returns with The Triangle, a work of contemporary dance helmed by acclaimed choreographer Banning Bouldin that features a combination of conceptual fashion, sculpture, and powerful imagery.

Plata Quemada (Burnt Money), March 5-7: Multimedia ensemble TeatroCinema will deliver a noir tale of bandits and betrayals through live-action performances, illustration and animation. The work is based on a 1965 bank heist in Argentina that became an infamous bloody saga.

Steal Away, April 17-18: A collaboration between Inversion Vocal Ensemble, Diaspora Orchestra and shackled feet DANCE, Steal Away is a new music-theater-opera hybrid inspired by traditional spirituals and led by Emmy-nominated Nashville composer, arranger and director Dave Ragland.

Grace and Mercy, May 8-10: Award-winning choreographer Ronald K. Brown and his company, EVIDENCE, will perform two shows acclaimed for combining Afrocentric movement and modern dance.

This Holding, May 29-30: Nashville-based visual artist Jana Harper joins forces with choreographer Rebecca Steinberg and musician Moksha Sommer for an exploration of the sensation of weight and how it defines us. The result is part art installation and part contemporary dance, underscored by original music.

Grand Magnolia, June 10-21, 2020: Actors, dancers, musicians and visual artists explore Nashville’s nearly forgotten history through a new  immersive performance event.

More information can be found OzArtsNashville.org.