Home Leisure & Sports OZ Arts presents Broken Theater November 17-19; and Bone Hill December 2-3

OZ Arts presents Broken Theater November 17-19; and Bone Hill December 2-3

by Cass Teague
Martha Redbone

Nashville’s celebrated contemporary dance collective New Dialect will return to the OZ Arts stage together with the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), in a dynamic co-production Broken Theater, November 17-19. Described as “piercingly gorgeous” by The New Yorker, Broken Theater melds dance, music, and cinematic beauty to explore a group of artists wrestling with identity during a moment of creative and personal tumult. The virtuosic cast of performers slip in and out of their expected roles, with musicians, dancers, and vocalists all moving throughout the dramatically lit performance space.

Featuring evocative choreography by former Batsheva dance company member Bobbi Jene Smith, the compelling new dance and music work assembles some of the most notable talents of the rising generation — including acclaimed dancer-choreographer and New Dialect founder Banning Bouldin in her triumphant return to the stage.

Bouldin founded the contemporary dance practice out of a desire to foster a sustainable ecosystem for contemporary dance artists to live, learn, and collaborate in her hometown of Nashville. Broken Theater marks New Dialect’s fifth presentation at OZ Arts, demonstrating the contemporary arts center’s commitment to fostering exceptional local talent in addition to international excellence. Bobbi Jene Smith has broadened her reach through international theater, film, and dance collaborations since leaving Batsheva after nearly a decade, during which she created new works for the company. She has created work for The Martha Graham Dance Company, Royal Danish Ballet, Los Angeles Dance Project, and others.

“OZ Arts is proud of our long-standing relationship with New Dialect, and this spectacular collaboration between Banning’s company and the game-changing artists of AMOC is already making waves in the dance and music world,” says Mark Murphy, OZ Arts Executive and Artistic Director. “Broken Theater is a great representation of the genre-bending work we aim to nurture through our producing and presenting mission.”

Bone Hill: The Concert

Revered blues and soul singer Martha Redbone takes audiences on a thought-provoking, uniquely American journey inspired by her multicultural upbringing and Cherokee legacy in the Appalachian Mountains. Presented as a dramatic musical work with a cast of eight actors/musicians, Bone Hill: The Concert is an epic story of one woman’s return to her homeland in the coal mines of Kentucky, where her family has dwelled for centuries.

Originally commissioned by Joe’s Pub and the Public Theater, Bone Hill powerfully explores our nation’s history through the lives of four generations of women in a Cherokee family. What unfolds is the story of one family’s connection to the land — the simplicity and sacredness of that connection and the ruptures that threaten to extinguish it.

Written and performed by the multi-award-winning Redbone, the performance powerfully blends the folk and country sounds of the Appalachian Mountains with the gospel music traditions of Redbone’s African American father and the Cherokee/Choctaw spirit of her mother.

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