Three of Nashville’s leading arts institutions – co-presenters OZ Arts Nashville and Tennessee Performing Arts Center in partnership with Nashville Ballet – will present a rare performance of The Day, a collaboration among legends from the worlds of ballet, contemporary dance and music, on Jan. 18 at TPAC’s Polk Theater.
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. Joining forces across artistic genres, four creative minds at the top of their disciplines bring their individual mastery to this soul-stirring performance inspired by the events of 9/11.
Whelan, widely considered one of the world’s leading dancers, is a Louisville native who 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. 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 on stage all evening, embodying the iconic choreography of Childs (a Commandeur in France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and 2018 inductee in the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance) set to original music by Lang.
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 effect that view,” says Christi Dortch, Executive Vice President for Programming and Sales at TPAC. “It just makes sense for our two 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. Tickets for The Day start at $37 and are on sale now at www.ozartsnashville.org and TPAC.org, by phone at 615-782-4040, and in person at the TPAC Box Office, 505 Deaderick St., in downtown Nashville.