OZ ARTS NASHVILLE PRESENTS A BENDING OF ITS OWN KIND, A UNIQUE COLLABORATION BETWEEN FALL, NASHVILLE’S FIRST AERIAL CONTEMPORARY DANCE COMPANY, AND VISUAL ARTIST MARY MOONEY, JUNE 15
Performance Is Part of OZ Arts’ TNT Local Spotlight Series
NASHVILLE, TENN. – May 19, 2017 – OZ Arts Nashville is pleased to present A Bending of Its Own Kind, a collaboration between FALL, Nashville’s first aerial contemporary dance company, and Nashville-based visual artist Mary Mooney, June 15 at 7pm, as part of TNT, the institution’s local spotlight series. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at www.ozartsnashville.org. OZ Arts is located at 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle in Nashville, Tenn.
A Bending of Its Own Kind is a creative exploration into overcoming obstacles both physical and emotional. In it, FALL’s founder and artistic director Rebekah Hampton Barger examines the psychology behind physical limitations in a broad range of gravity-challenging movement. Investigating her personal struggle with severe scoliosis, Hampton Barger’s choreography blends classical and contemporary dance with a mix of aerial fabric and invented apparatus commissioned specifically for this performance.
"The process of developing this piece has caused me to re-evaluate my relationship with my body and confront the resentment I have held against it for the past 2 decades,” said Hampton Barger. “This work explores what it feels like to be trapped inside your body and trapped in other people’s perceptions, as well as touching on the everyday struggles of those living with chronic pain and chronic illness.”
Throughout FALL’s rehearsal process, Mary Mooney has studied the language, movement and color palette of Hampton Barger’s new dance work. Interpreting the challenges of chronic pain and stigma in relationship to her own feelings of vulnerability, Mooney translates the physical and emotional struggle into a visual expression in paint. Two new works created in response to FALL and painted on Mooney’s signature museum-grade acrylic “canvas” will be installed in OZ Art’s entrance gallery accompanied by pieces from her recent body of work Denied Realities. On June 15, Mooney will complete a third work—live—as a final study of the movement created by FALL’s dancers in performance. Mooney’s artworks will serve as a permanent record to this ephemeral moment, and will be on display at OZ Arts through August 1st.
FALL was founded in 2010, beginning as a small group of performers doing site-specific work, collaborative performances and traditional theatrical concerts. The vision of FALL’s Hampton Barger was to utilize the vocabulary of aerial arts, which are traditionally circus arts, to expand the bounds of contemporary dance. In 2013, she led FALL into a year of exploratory work in order to develop a strategy for the future of the company. FALL looks forward to a future of creating unique site-specific experiences in the city of Nashville, while continuing to collaborate with artists of all genres.
Drawing on her multi-disciplinary background that ranges from classical ballet to Capoeira and rhythmic gymnastics, Hampton Barger’s work blends classical and contemporary dance with a mix of aerial fabric and invented structures, examining how the use of various apparatus’ can provide a broader range of movement possibilities, create opportunities to explore more dimensions in space, and challenge dancers to experience gravity and their own physicality in new ways. In addition to directing FALL, Hampton Barger is the Ballet Program Director at Ann Carroll School of Dance, a guest instructor for New Dialect’s Contemporary Cross-Training Series, and in 2017 is completing a five-year residency with abrasiveMedia.
Mary Mooney is a Nashville-based visual artist and jewelry designer. She began working on acrylic sheeting as a “canvas” for her paintings in 2012 and swiftly fell in love with the perfectly even, glossy finish it gave her atmospheric style. Her pendants and large works are paintings created on the same museum-grade material. In fact, most pendants are cut from the studies she creates for her larger works. These “wearable abstract” pendants from each study share corresponding colors and brushstrokes, and often relate to a larger artwork in some way.
Mooney holds an interdisciplinary BFA from Denison University, and completed a non-degree graduate program through the University of Georgia. She has exhibited in galleries and museums in Italy and across the United States, and is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Abrasive Media. Mooney served as the Director and Curator of the Landis House Museum in Newport, PA, before relocating Nashville, TN in 2012. Her work is included in the collections of Margaret Windisch, the Denison University Philosophy Department, and Elizabeth Suzann Studios.
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 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, under the artistic leadership of Lauren Snelling, has presented luminaries such as Philip Glass and Tim Fain, Tim Robbins’ The Actors’ Gang, Kyle Abraham and Abraham.In.Motion, Peter Brook’s Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Trisha Brown Company, Laurie Anderson and SITI Company/Bang On a Can All-Stars. OZ Arts has shown admirable leadership, particularly for an institution in its infancy, with new commissions (New Dialect), co-commissions (ETHEL’s Documerica, Phantom Limb Company’s Memory Rings, Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music), and artist residencies (Phantom Limb Company, Trisha Brown Dance Company, Mike Daisey).
The non-profit arts center also serves as a catalyst for local creativity through its robust TNT (Thursday Night Things) program, typically centered within the venue’s 10,000sf warehouse; and its newest series the Artists’ Lounge, which gives artists opportunities to develop work before a live audience in the venue’s intimate lounge space. TNT is a quarterly series of unexpected collaborations with Nashville-based artists from varying creative disciplines. OZ Arts' "blank slate" provides a platform onto which these artists can create, develop and present a one-time-only event that would traditionally not be seen in a visual art gallery or theatre. In addition to A Bending of Its Own Kind, this season’s TNT offerings have included a multi-media, album-release performance by electronic folk music group Foreign Fields and a poetry and music concert by ALIAS Chamber Ensemble in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
In addition to its curated artistic programs, OZ Arts has fostered significant community partnerships with colleague arts organizations for presentations with TedX Nashville, Zeitgeist Gallery & New Dialect (Trisha Brown Dance Company’s Planes), The Belcourt Theater (2016 Academy Award-nominated film screenings), Nashville Repertory Theater (REPaloud with Rebecca Gilman & Christopher Durang), Nashville Fashion Week (Nashville Designer Showcase), Parnassus Books/ Humanities TN (Patti Smith) and Nashville International Women’s Day.
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 “OZ School Days”, a daylong, multi-arts program presented four times annually in partnership with Centennial Performing Arts Studios that engages students aged 5–15 in art-making 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/.