Home Leisure & Sports Brave New Works at OZ Arts May 18-20 

Brave New Works at OZ Arts May 18-20 

by Cass Teague
See Brave New Works artists, Top L-R: Gabrielle Saliba’s company of Ride; Sangeetha Ekambaram; and Joi Ware; Bottom L-R.: Eboné Amos; Clay Steakley; and Becca Hoback.

OZ Arts Nashville celebrates local innovation and creativity with its Second Annual Brave New Works Lab, Thursday, May 18 through Saturday, May 20. Four teams of daring Nashville artists, selected from over 50 proposals, will premiere original new works for a bold evening of short-form performances featuring dance, theater, music, multimedia, and interdisciplinary collaborations, including Eboné Amos, Sangeetha Ekambaram with Joi Ware, Gabrielle Saliba, and the team of Clay Steakley and Becca Hoback.

The Brave New Works Lab is designed to give local artists an opportunity to freely imagine new creations and premiere those works and works-in-progress for curious audiences. OZ supports the artists by providing them with the resources needed to realize their visions and bring their creative ideas to life in a welcoming and wondrous space. The Lab aligns directly with OZ’s focus on producing and presenting the work of local artists who reflect the city’s diverse society, utilize new artistic forms and technology in creative ways, and provide opportunities for meaningful engagement with audiences.

Brave New Works Lab Performances are as follows: Thursday, May 18 at 8:00 p.m.; Friday, May 19 at 8:00 p.m.; and Saturday, May 20 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets, general admission, are $15 and $20, and are on sale now at: ozartsnashville.org. Artist applications for the next edition of Brave New Works Lab open in the fall of 2023. For more about upcoming performances at OZ, please visit: www.ozartsnashville.org.

The 2023 artist line-up includes: Sangeetha Ekambaram and Joi Ware’s “Peripheral Convergence.”  The soaring voice of soprano Sangeetha Ekambaram gives life to an eclectic menagerie of art songs, while Joi Ware’s riveting choreography explores themes of transformation and rebirth in this alluring performance. With evocative projected imagery by digital artist Juniper McGerald, it also features pianist/conductor Jennifer Quammen McGuire, vocalist Bakara Nkenge-Hinds, actor Ashley Wolfe, and dancer Emma Morrison.

Eboné Amos | Girl, Gurrl, Gworl — “iterations of freedom.” Surrounded by ghostly images that evoke controversial tropes that have haunted generations of Black women, incisive writer and choreographer Eboné Amos conjures a wry and immersive theatrical experience confronting (mis)representations of Black womanhood and the power of self-definition as resistance. An improvised jazz piano score by keyboardist Alex Dolezal and production design by Barry Jones set the tone for Amos’ theatrical journey.

Clay Steakley and Becca Hoback’s “The Fire Cycle: Stone Sutra.” Virtuosic dancer and choreographer Becca Hoback joins forces with expressive musician poet Clay Steakley to create a theatrical performance celebrating the body, community, and compassion. Their inviting and sublime blend of movement, music, and spoken word is both a resplendent ritual and a winsome reflection on timely anxieties. Hoback is joined on stage by celebrated local dancers Lenin Fernandez, Spencer Grady, and Phylicia Roybal.

Gabrielle Saliba’s “Ride.” Compelling choreographer Gabrielle Saliba harnesses the collaborative energy and insights of her A-team performers, including Shabaz Ujima, Thea Jones, Richard Harrison, Jr., and Alex Winer, to explore the poetic intersection between turbulent movement and poetic stillness. Saliba is a Nashville native who has coached and collaborated with some of the region’s most innovative and admired performing artists, serving as a self-described “movement midwife.

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