OZ Arts presents internationally acclaimed choreographer Shamel Pitts and his company, TRIBE, in their award-winning production Black Hole: Trilogy and Triathlon

In a striking visual landscape created with innovative projection mapping, Pitts and two other virtuosic dancers perform his exquisitely choreographed movement with “ferocious abandon” (The New York Times).

The Afrofuturist choreographic spectacle opens the contemporary arts center’s 11th spring season on February 2 & 3, 2024.

Nashville, Tenn. – January 4, 2024 – Contemporary arts center OZ Arts Nashville today announced that world-renowned dancer and choreographer Shamel Pitts will kick off the organization’s 2024 performing arts program February 2 and 3 with the multimedia production Black Hole: Trilogy and Triathlon, which mixes stunning movement and striking visuals to transport audiences into an imagined, Afrofuturist dimension.

Black Hole is a kaleidoscopic performance art experience that submerses audiences in a soundscape of original music, sound samples and spoken word. A trio of Black performers from TRIBE, a multidisciplinary arts collective created and led by Shamel Pitts, shares the stage in a narrative of unity, vigor and unrelenting advancement. Their journey originates in the darkness of the titular Black Hole, from which they embark on an hour-long, uninterrupted movement performance, in which their tenacity and grace are emphasized by cinematic video projections – the only source of light for the entire performance.

“We are thrilled to welcome Shamel Pitts and members of TRIBE to Nashville for the first time,” said Mark Murphy, OZ Arts Executive and Artistic Director. “Shamel has been best known as a lead dancer with the famed Batsheva Dance Company, but in recent years his own choreography has made him one of the most influential emerging artists in the global dance field. In his breakthrough work Black Hole: Trilogy and Triathlon his exquisite movement is framed by hypnotizing audiovisual elements to take us all on a memorable, Afrofuturistic journey.”

Described as a marathon in three parts, ‘Triathlon’ concludes the ‘trilogy’ of Pitts’s “BLACK series” consisting of previous works Black Velvet: Architectures And Archetypes and Black Box: Little Black Book of RED. Although the title alludes to the cosmic phenomenon of black holes, his interpretation seeks not to explain science, but instead to explore a metaphorical place of transformation and potential.

The performance features dance elements built from the Gaga movement language developed by the prolific Batsheva Dance Company in Israel, where Pitts danced for seven years under choreographer Ohad Naharin. TRIBE, based in Brooklyn, specializes in Afrofuturistic arts and was created with the dream to soon become a synonym of artistic experience that connects gifted individuals in our present era to re-imagine and cultivate an alternative new future. The group’s work won a Bessie Award in 2023 for Black Hole: Trilogy & Triathlon for creating an immersive and transformational experience with sound, projections and movement.

OZ Arts will present Black Hole: Trilogy and Triathlon on Friday and Saturday, February 2 and 3 in its expansive warehouse. Tickets start at $30 and are on sale now at https://www.ozartsnashville.org/shamel-pitts-tribe. Those interested in seeing a preview of the performance can view the trailer on here.

This performance is made possible with generous support from donors and grants. To learn more about upcoming performances, please visit www.ozartsnashville.org.

Friday, February 2 at 8:00pm
Saturday, February 3 at 8:00pm

Tickets: $30-$35
Seating is general admission, and tickets are available for purchase at ozartsnashville.org.

About OZ Arts Nashville

Founded in 2013 by the Ozgener family, OZ Arts Nashville has quickly established itself as one of the Southeast's most influential and respected producers and presenters focused on the creation and presentation of significant performing and visual artworks by diverse cultural visionaries who are making vital contributions to the evolution of contemporary culture. Through performances, exhibitions, and community events, OZ Arts focuses on producing and presenting the work of local and visiting artists who reflect our diverse society, utilize new artistic forms and technology in creative ways, and provide opportunities for meaningful engagement with audiences, students and cultural and civic leaders. OZ Arts' unique creative warehouse has developed a reputation as a major national and regional laboratory for experimentation and a home for contemporary dance and performance. More than 50,000 audience members have been introduced to adventurous artists from around the world since the organization opened, and hundreds of local and regional artists have used OZ’s 10,000 square-foot warehouse theater to develop new works. For more information, please visit ozartsnashville.org.

About Shamel Pitts

2020 Guggenheim Fellow Shamel Pitts is a performance artist, choreographer, conceptual artist, dancer, spoken word artist, and teacher. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Shamel began his dance training at LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts and, simultaneously, at The Ailey School. He is a 2003 YoungArts Finalist and a first prize winner of the YoungArts competition. Shamel then went on to receive his BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and was awarded the Martha Hill Award for excellence in dance. He began his dance career in Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen Dance and BJM_Danse Montreal. Shamel danced with Batsheva Dance Company for 7 years, under the artistic direction of Ohad Naharin and is a certified teacher of Gaga movement language. Shamel has created a triptych of award winning multidisciplinary performance art works known as his “BLACK series” which has been performed and toured extensively to many festivals around the world since 2016. He is an adjunct at The Juilliard School and has been an artist in residence at Harvard University. Shamel is the choreographer of the play “Help” by acclaimed poet and playwright Claudia Rankine, directed by Taibi Magar, and commissioned at The Shed in New York. He is the recipient of a 2018 Princess Grace Award in Choreography, a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Award winner in Choreography, and a 2020 Jacob’s Pillow artist in residence.


TRIBE (TRI314 Multidisciplinary Visual Performances, d.b.a. TRIBE), is a Brooklyn, New York based multidisciplinary arts collective founded by Shamel Pitts in December 2019. The arts collective, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is composed of international and local artists working across mediums such as movement, choreography, lighting design, video mapping projection, poetry, spoken word, painting, cinematography, scenography, dramaturgy, costume styling, and music composition.