‘OZ Arts’ high-impact 2021-22 season of brave new art featuring local, national, international performers

Rennie Harris and Puremovement’s ‘Nuttin’ But a Word’ comes to OZ October 14-16.

Contemporary arts center ‘OZ Arts Nashville’ has a lineup of dynamic programming for the 2021-22 season, which features dance, theater and multimedia performances by influential contemporary artists and ensembles from around the world, as well as groundbreaking national and local artists. The season advances OZ’s commitment to bringing significant performing and visual works by prominent artists to Nashville and includes performances from companies based in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, Havana and Berlin, in addition to local projects.

During a year when many arts organizations hosted limited or no programming, OZ developed creative ways to work with local and national artists, presenting a diverse array of virtual content and welcoming audiences back into its flexible space for an astounding 66 live performances in Spring 2021. Now heading into its 9th season, OZ’s forthcoming presentations represent an artistic renaissance, with projects that embody creative experimentation and explore urgent themes, including racial justice and climate change.

“I’m inspired by the profound work of the artists we will host at OZ next season. They are at the forefront of their performing arts fields, and many of them are confronting some of the most important issues of these times in beautiful and inspiring ways,” said Mark Murphy, OZ Arts executive and artistic director. “During a year with no touring or travel, it was gratifying to find ways to focus on creating opportunities for Nashville artists and virtual events. But it is a thrill that we can now invite influential guest artists and their companies from around the world and experience their powerful work live and in-person.”

The season kicks off on October 14 with a life-giving mix of contemporary dance, hip-hop, and street dance by Philadelphia native Rennie Harris and his internationally acclaimed company ‘Puremovement.’ His incredible work, ‘Nuttin’ But a Word,’ comes to OZ Arts the week before it’s featured at New York City Center’s prestigious Fall for Dance Festival. October wraps up with a ghostly cabaret party, ‘Festival of Ghouls,’ by Nashville-based theatrical rockers Fable Cry on October 30. Following a memorably spooky bash at OZ Arts in 2019, the local cult favorites return to conjure an unpredictable and extravagant event celebrating the eeriest day of the year.

Surrealism meets science as the season continues in November with Miwa Matreyek’s Infinitely Yours and Myth & Infrastructure. This kaleidoscopic, dreamlike merger of the fanciful and the scientific uses layered projections and live performance to confront the climate crisis, weaving poetic narratives of conflict between humanity and nature. A new contemporary music-theater-opera hybrid, Steal Away, takes the stage in December in a dynamic collaboration between Emmy-nominated Nashville composer, arranger, and director Dave Ragland, choreographer Shabaz Ujima, Inversion Vocal Ensemble, Diaspora Orchestra, and shackled feet DANCE. The long-awaited production tells a story of hardship, redemption, and spiritual renewal.

Named “one of the most profound choreographers of his generation” by the New York Times, Ronald K. Brown’s extraordinary work fuses the form, rhythm and history of African dance with contemporary and urban dance styles. OZ will present his piece ‘The Equality of Night and Day,’ which examines balance, equity and fairness for young people, women and people of color in modern society, in addition to his legendary dance work Grace in February of 2022. The massive soft sculptures of renowned Nashville visual artist Vadis Turner will be installed throughout OZ Arts Nashville’s expansive creative warehouse in early March, creating an environment for pop-up performances by a diverse array of Nashville choreographers, spoken word artists, musicians and media artists for ‘Portals: A Performance Party.’

For the first time in over a year, OZ Arts will once again host international artists in March and April of 2022. ‘Gob Squad,’ an acclaimed multimedia collective of ingenious artists from the U.K. and Germany, travels back in time in an attempt to remake Andy Warhol’s Kitchen. Acted out on bare-bones sets and viewed as a live black-and-white film, Kitchen: You’ve Never Had it So Good deploys an inventive arsenal of live video and performance techniques to celebrate the culture-bending King of Pop himself. Then in April, Malpaso Dance Company, a groundbreaking force in the contemporary dance world from Havana, Cuba, will present original works from a number of prominent North American choreographers.

To wrap up the high-impact season, teams of daring Nashville artists transform OZ Arts into a laboratory for the creation and premiere of new works and works-in-progress during the Brave New Works Lab throughout May 2022. The program will feature a bold mix of dance, theater, music, and more from a diverse lineup of established and emerging voices.

Many of the artists presenting work throughout the season will also participate in a variety of community events, including free workshops and community engagement activities.

OZ Arts remains committed to ensuring its programming is accessible to all audiences. Individual tickets for performances range from just $20-$40, and season packages are available starting at $100.

The 2021-22 Season at OZ Arts Nashville is made possible, in part, by funding from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the HCA Foundation, The Hays Foundation and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the upcoming season, visit <www.ozartsnashville.org>.

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