OZ ARTS NASHVILLE PRESENTS ETM: DOUBLE DOWN
FROM RENOWNED TAP DANCER-CHOREOGRAPHER MICHELLE DORRANCE, BESSIE AWARD-WINNER NICHOLAS VAN YOUNG AND COMPANY DORRANCE DANCE, DECEMBER 9 & 10
Dorrance, a 2015 MacArthur Fellow, and Company Perform the Innovative Work on a Percussive Electronic Tap Boards Designed by Nicholas Van Young
“Ms. Dorrance pushes the boundaries of tap while exposing its true nature: that it is music.”—The New York Times
NASHVILLE, TENN. – November 16, 2016 - Groundbreaking tap dancer-choreographer Michelle Dorrance, winner of a 2015 MacArthur Fellowship and “one of the most imaginative tap choreographers working today” (The New Yorker), brings her company Dorrance Dance to OZ Arts Nashville for two performances (December 9 & 10) of ETM: Double Down, their celebrated collaboration with dancer, choreographer and musician Nicholas Van Young. Performing on a percussive electronic tap boards designed and made by Young, the company creates a thrilling combination of movement and music. The New York Times described ETM: Double Down as a “fresh and innovative show,” writing, “The distinction between dancer and musician, between electronic and acoustic, fades. When ETM: Double Down is rocking, Dorrance Dance is one big band.”
Performances will take place at 8pm and will last approximately 90 minutes, including intermission. Tickets are $69 and will be available for purchase at www.ozartsnashville.org. OZ Arts is located at 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle in Nashville, Tenn.
In ETM: Double Down, three musicians, one B-girl (2016 Bessie Award nominee Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie) and seven Dorrance Dance dancers deliver an absorbing performance that twitches with invention. The dance takes place on electronic tap boards created by Dorrance’s longtime friend (and fellow STOMP cast member) Nicholas Van Young, which transforms the whole stage into a musical instrument producing what Dorrance calls ETM (electronic tap music). ETM: Double Down also features live music by an acoustic trio including vocalist Aaron Marcellus, bassist Gregory Richardson and pianist Donovan Dorrance.
“It is such a thrill and an honor to bring this musical exploration through dance to a city so significant to our country’s musical legacy. I love Nashville but have never performed there and can’t wait to experience the audiences and that unique powerful energy.” –Michelle Dorrance
Dorrance and Nicholas Van Young first met as teens at the St. Louis Tap Festival, where they became enthralled by Gregory Hines and Savion Glover, and went on to perform together in the cast of STOMP. Young built the ETM: Double Down equipment by hand over a two-year, self-taught process of tinkering with tap boards and connecting them to a MIDI controller, popular in electronic music since the 1980s.
Michelle Dorrance’s choreography celebrates the unique and signature style of each dancer in her company. With ETM: Double Down, Dorrance cleverly magnifies the range of audible virtuosity we may otherwise take for granted in tap, reminding us that “both eyes and ears are needed to get the full effect of tap” [echoing New York Times dance critic Brian Siebert’s recent novel, What the Eye Hears]. Utilizing technology and specially devised “trigger boards,” Dorrance and her collaborators carve out a new trajectory for this genre. It is a personal mission for Michelle Dorrance to innovate and lift the perceived ‘status’ of tap that historically has been the “poorer, scrappier and more vulnerable” genre in comparison to its cousins, ballet and jazz. OZ Arts aims to support that mission by introducing Dorrance Dance’s visionary, percussive presentation to audiences in Nashville.
About Michelle Dorrance
Michelle Dorrance began dance training at the age of three. Her mother, M’Liss, was a founder of the Ballet School of Chapel Hill and her father was the women’s soccer coach at University of North Carolina. Dorrance was mentored by Gene Medler, the legendary head of the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble. Her choreography has been featured on stages throughout the world as well as in a high-fashion short film for Tabitha Simmons' 2011 fall line. She is also one of the most in-demand teachers, including faculty positions at Broadway Dance Center and Chicago Human Rhythm Project. Dorrance is catapulting beyond the dance world. In what seems to be a short time, given her years teaching and performing in Chicago as part of Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World, in the past year she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship and has launched three critically acclaimed pieces, including ETM Double Down.
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, and SITI Company/Bang On a Can All-Stars. OZ Arts serves as a catalyst for local creativity through its TNT (Thursday Night Things) program, which fosters collaborations between Nashville-based artists from varying creative disciplines; and its newest series the Artists’ Lounge, which gives artists opportunities to develop work before a live audience, including fellow artists, in the venue’s intimate lounge space. For more information, please visit http://www.ozartsnashville.org/.