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The Day is a new music and dance work by renowned cellist Maya Beiser, New York City Ballet legend Wendy Whelan, seminal choreographer Lucinda Childs, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. A collaboration among masters from the worlds of ballet, contemporary dance, and music, The Day is a sensory exploration of two journeys—life and the eternal, post-mortal voyage of the soul. Inspired by reactions to 9/11, this bold, highly collaborative work explores universal themes through the shared language of music and dance.
Joining forces across artistic genres, four creative minds at the top of their disciplines bring their individual mastery to this soul-stirring performance. Louisville native Wendy Whelan, widely considered one of the world’s leading dancers, spent 30 years as a principal dancer with New York City Ballet and originated numerous roles in new works by the world’s most esteemed choreographers. Cellist Maya Beiser, who conceived the piece, has been described by the Boston Globe as “a force of nature” and by Rolling Stone as a “cello rock star,” and is a veteran of the world’s most revered stages. The two will be onstage all evening, embodying the iconic choreography of Lucinda Childs (a Commandeur in France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and 2018 inductee in Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance) set to original music by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang.
This rare, one night engagement on January 18 is made possible by an unprecedented collaboration between three of Nashville’s leading arts institutions—co-presenters OZ Arts Nashville and Tennessee Performing Arts Center with partner Nashville Ballet.
OZ Arts Artistic Director Mark Murphy says, “It’s thrilling that this groundbreaking collaboration by four renowned masters of their crafts has also become a chance to bring together three of Nashville’s influential arts organizations. I was very impressed that TPAC and Nashville Ballet both instantly agreed to come on board when we approached them with this idea. Critical response for The Day has been astounding across the country and I couldn’t be more excited to bring this beautiful work to Nashville right before its European debut in Paris.”
“The Day is a look at the impact of September 11, the way we as a culture view life and death, and how a single moment in time can affect that view,” says Christi Dortch, Executive Vice President for Programming and Sales at TPAC. “It just makes sense for our organizations to partner on something for which we both have a passion and felt deserved a chance to reach a larger audience.”
Nashville Ballet Artistic Director Paul Vasterling says, “Wendy is one of the greatest American ballerinas of our time—she’s the artistic director of New York City Ballet and she represents this incredible standard for exceptional choreography and artistry, so it’s an honor to have her here in Nashville. Our city’s arts community is growing and thriving because of partnerships like this—with organizations like Nashville Ballet collaborating with other groups like OZ and TPAC—and I hope it leads to even more inspiring dance engagements in Nashville.”
The Day had its world premiere earlier this year at the esteemed Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and has been shown at leading performance venues around the country, including UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance in Los Angeles and The Joyce Theater in New York. The one-night-only Nashville engagement allows local audiences an opportunity to experience the piece in person just before it’s European premiere at Théâtre de la Ville in Paris.
The Day, co-presented by OZ Arts Nashville and TPAC in partnership with Nashville Ballet, will be performed on January 18 at TPAC’s Polk Theater. Tickets start at $37 and are on sale now at ozartsnashville.org, TPAC.org, and by phone at (615) 782-4040.
About the Artists:
Maya Beiser (Cellist) is a 2015 United States Artists Distinguished Fellow in Music; a 2017 Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology; and a Presenting Artist at the inaugural CultureSummit, held in 2017 in Abu Dhabi. Reinventing solo cello performance in the mainstream arena, Maya has been a featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, and the Beijing Festival, among many others. She has appeared with many top orchestras, including Detroit Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Boston Pops, Sydney Symphony, China Philharmonic, and Swedish Chamber Orchestra. Maya’s vast discography includes eleven solo albums and work as a soloist on many film soundtracks, including M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening and After Earth, The Great Debaters, Blood Diamond, and Snow White and the Huntsman.
Wendy Whelan (Dancer) was recently appointed Associate Artistic Director of New York City Ballet, following a three-decade career as a dancer with the company. In that time, she danced nearly all of the major Balanchine roles, worked closely with Jerome Robbins on many of his ballets, and originated roles in works by William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, Jorma Elo, Shen Wei, and Wayne McGregor. Her most notable choreographic collaboration was with Christopher Wheeldon, who created roles for Wendy in 13 of his ballets, including Polyphonia, Liturgy, and After the Rain. With Wheeldon’s own company, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, Wendy also originated several roles, garnering Olivier Award and Critics Circle Award nominations for her work in 2007. She has been a guest artist with The Royal Ballet and the Kirov Ballet, and has performed all over the U.S., South America, Europe, and Asia. She received the Dance Magazine Award in 2007, an honorary Doctorate of Arts in 2009 from Bellarmine University, and both The Jerome Robbins Award and Bessie Award in 2011 for Sustained Achievement in Performance.
Lucinda Childs (Choreographer) began her career at the Judson Dance Theater in 1963. Since forming her company ten years later, she has created over fifty works, both solo and ensemble. In 1976, she was featured in the landmark avant-garde opera Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson, for which she won an Obie Award. She subsequently appeared in a number of Wilson’s productions, including I Was Sitting on My Patio This Guy Appeared I Thought I Was Hallucinating, Quartett, and White Raven, among others. In 1979, Childs choreographer one of her most enduring works, Dance, with music by Philip Glass, which continues to tour internationally and has been added to the repertory of the Lyon Opera Ballet. She has choreographed over thirty works for major ballet companies, including the Paris Opera Ballet and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, as well as directing and choreographing a number of contemporary and 18-century operas. Childs holds the rank of Commandeur in France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, has received the Golden Lion award from the Venice Biennale and the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement, and was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Museum of Dance.
David Lang (Composer) won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his composition the little match girl passion, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Little Match Girl.” His extensive catalogue of opera, orchestra, chamber, and solo works make him one of America’s most-performed composers. Lang’s simple song #3, written as part of his score for Paolo Sorrentino’s acclaimed film Youth, received numerous awards nominations in 2016, including the Academy Award and Golden Globe. His works have been performed around the globe by BBC Symphony, the International Contemporary Ensemble, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, and Munich Chamber Orchestra, among many others. His music is regularly used for ballet and modern dance around the world, including Twyla Tharp, Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet, Susan Marshall, and Nederlands Dans Theater. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including Musical America’s Composer of the Year, Carnegie Hall’s Debs Composer’s Chair, the Rome Prize, the BMW Music-Theater Prize, Bessie Award (1999, Susan Marshall’s The Most Dangerous Room in the House), and Best Small Ensemble Performance Grammy Award in 2010 for the recording of the little match girl passion.
About OZ Arts Nashville’s 2019-2020 Season:
The 2019-2020 season is the 7th season for OZ Arts and the first under its new Artistic Director Mark Murphy’s direction. This dynamic season of its signature “Brave New Art” features a unique blend of influential contemporary artists and ensembles from around the world, as well as groundbreaking Nashville-based artists, with a special emphasis on multidisciplinary performances, and work that highlights unique new uses of visual and audio technology. The season is made possible with generous support from season sponsor Advance Financial.
Remaining Season Presentations After “The Day” Include:
● Notes of a Native Song by Stew & Heidi with The Negro Problem (Jan. 31 – Feb. 1, 2020)
● The Triangle by New Dialect (Feb. 20-22, 2020)
● Plata Quemada (Burnt Money) by TeatroCinema – Chile (March 5-7, 2020)
● Steal Away by Dave Ragland with Inversion Vocal Ensemble (April 17-18, 2020)
● Grace and Mercy by Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE (May 8-10, 2020)
● This Holding by Jana Harper (May 29-30, 2020)
● Grand Magnolia by Jessika Malone and Collaborators (June 10-21, 2020)
One-minute highlight reel of 2019-2020 Season: OZ Arts 2019-2020 Season Highlight Reel
About OZ Arts Nashville
Since opening in 2014, OZ Arts Nashville, a 501(c)(3) contemporary arts center, has changed the cultural landscape of the city. Housed in the former C.A.O. cigar warehouse owned by Nashville’s Ozgener family, OZ Arts, under the artistic leadership of Mark Murphy, brings world-class performances and art installations to the city, and gives ambitious local artists opportunities to work on a grand scale. The flexible 10,000 square-foot, column-free venue, nestled amidst five acres of artfully landscaped grounds, is continually reconfigured to serve artists’ imaginations, and to challenge and inspire a diverse range of curious audiences.
OZ Arts regularly engages the community for participation with visiting artists and artworks – either directly, through school visits, workshops, master classes, school performances and/or curated programs led by local teaching artists. In addition, OZ Arts founded a program called OZ School Days, a daylong, multi-arts program presented in partnership with Centennial Performing Arts Studios that aims to engage students aged 5 – 15 years old on days when Metro Nashville Public Schools are out of session (ex: Columbus Day, Presidents Day).
For more information, please visit http://www.ozartsnashville.org/.
About Tennessee Performing Arts Center:
The nonprofit Tennessee Performing Arts Center, located in downtown Nashville, is dedicated to providing and supporting the presentation of the performing and cultural arts. Founded in 1980, TPAC serves several hundred thousand audience members each year. Performances include the HCA Healthcare / TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series, a variety of special engagements, and the productions of three resident artistic companies – Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, and Nashville Repertory Theatre.
In addition, TPAC administers one of the largest and most comprehensive arts education programs in the United States, serving students from pre-school to high school, educators, and adults. Over almost four decades, TPAC has welcomed more than 12 million audience members and served more than 1.8 million students, educators, and adults with performances at TPAC, teacher resources, professional development opportunities, classroom residencies, and enrichment programs.
For more information, please visit https://www.tpac.org/.