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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann

OZ Arts Presents Two Local Artist Spotlights in May -- "Attend" and "Papalagui Exposed"

Updated: Apr 10, 2019

OZ Arts Nashville concludes its 2018-19 season with two performances conceived and curated by two local, acclaimed artists. Both podcaster Jakob Lewis and choreographer Windship Boyd question what we value most and why, and create intriguing artistic presentations around that question. May 1, 2019 at 7pm -- TNT | Attend curated by Jakob Lewis Performance details at May 10-11, 2019 -- TNT | Papalagui Exposed a collaborative dance-theatre work by Windship Boyd and other artists Performance details at “I’ve heard people say, ‘Art is a question to a problem,’’” said Tim Ozgener, president and CEO of OZ Arts Nashville. “OZ Arts is pleased to give these two local artists, Jakob Lewis and Windship Boyd, the platform to ask questions about today’s society in their unique, individual ways. We as audience members will certainly benefit from each of these two artists’ imaginations and creativity, as these two presentations will be entertaining as well as thought provoking.” Attend takes place on May 1, and Lewis will lead the audience on exploration of what we pay attention to – and at what cost – in today’s world oversaturated with messages pressuring us to buy, to like and to follow. Lewis joins forces with one of Nashville’s most beloved theatre directors, Denice Hicks, to interweave moving stories throughout this powerful evening of imagery, sound and performance. Lewis hosts WPLN’s celebrated podcast “Neighbors.” He is also OZ Arts first Artist In Residence. Choreographer Windship Boyd’s Papalagui Exposed on May 15-16 explores Western culture’s obsession with nature, money and time. The performance uses the entire grounds of OZ Arts where the audience moves among “exhibits” modeled after a 19th Century World Exposition. Art students from Glencliff High School will perform alongside respected local and international actors and dancers to question if our “progress” has done more harm than good. Boyd trained as a classical and modern dancer in the U.S, discovered the world of contemporary dance and hip-hop in France, and spent extensive time studying West African dance. The cost of each of these local artist spotlight events is $25 for adults and $12.50 for children aged 12 and under. Details about the events: TNT | Attend curated by Jakob Lewis May 1, 2019 Doors 6:30 PM Performance 7 PM Run time: 60 minutes Performance details at From the creative mind of podcaster and storyteller Jakob Lewis comes an evening that examines the idea of attention as a commodity, and what cost or joy we might get from attending to one another. Through a series of intimate stories and intricate soundscapes, Attend asks us to question how we “pay-out” our attention to the world around us. Do we have any of this resource left for what we say matters to us? What can be said about each of us by examining what we pay attention to? How willing are we to invest in our community with our attention, one of our most valuable and life-changing currencies? Jakob Lewis draws inspiration from years of interviews with fascinating folks throughout Middle Tennessee for his acclaimed WPLN podcast “Neighbors.” He joins forces with one of Nashville’s most beloved theatre directors, Denice Hicks, to interweave moving stories throughout this powerful evening of imagery, sound, and performance. Jakob Lewis is an award-winning podcast creator, storyteller, and entrepreneur. Since 2014, he produced and hosted the acclaimed podcast “Neighbors” with Nashville Public Radio / WPLN which explored the personal stories of extraordinary individuals to discover the themes that connect us all. In 2018, he was awarded the first ever OZ Artistic Fellowship, and he has focused his storytelling attention on families by launching a new company called Vox Familia (Latin for the voice of the family). Using non-narrated audio documentary techniques, photography, and the printed word, Vox Familia tells family stories to honor family legacies, discover things they never knew, and share those stories with current and future generations. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two mutts.  Denice Hicks has been working for The Nashville Shakespeare Festival since 1990, and has held the position of Artistic Director since 2005. She has edited, directed and performed in over 50 Shakespearean productions, developed workshops for students of all ages, and created the Festival’s Apprentice Company Training and Shakespeare Allowed! programming. Educated at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, she moved to Nashville in 1980 to perform at Opryland. Denice was an original company member of the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, and was among the founders of both the Darkhorse Theater and People’s Branch Theatre. An Ingram Fellowship award winner, her work has been praised by the TennesseanNashville Scene, and, among other publications, from which she has received “Best Actor” and “Best Director” acknowledgments. The Nashville Scene named her one of the “Twenty-five Nashvillians who’ve shaped the city for the better since 1989.”

TNT | Papalagui Exposed Collaborative dance-theatre work by Windship Boyd and other artists May 10-11, 2019 Doors 6:30 PM Performance 7 PM Run time: 75 minutes Performance details at Papalagui Exposed delivers an original, moving evening of dance-theatre from the mind of acclaimed choreographer Windship Boyd that explores Western culture’s obsession with nature, money and time. The “Papalagui” is a Samoan term that literally translates to “he who breaks through the sky,” referencing the giant white sail on a boat that first brought Europeans to islands of Samoa. By deconstructing Erich Scheurmann’s controversial 1920 book Der Papalagui, Boyd’s team of dancer-actors, poets and spoken word artists magnify the norms of everyday life we take for granted in today’s society by examining them from an outsider’s perspective. Audiences are invited to embark on a journey through the grounds of OZ Arts while visiting various “exhibits” in the spirit of a 19th Century World Exposition. Art students from Glencliff High School will perform alongside respected local and international actors and dancers to highlight the generational rigidity of Western culture and question if our “progress” has done more harm than good. Blurring the lines between historical fact and fiction, between environmental and instinctual, Papalagui Exposed is a visceral theatrical experience that will leave the audience questioning the very cultural fabric that defines Western civilization. Windship Boyd trained as a classical and modern dancer in the U.S, discovered the world of contemporary dance and hip-hop in France and spent extensive time studying West African dance. In 2005, she received a three-month scholarship from UNESCO to create work in Senegal, which then toured the country. She has since returned each year to West Africa as a student, teacher and choreographer. She co-created several works both in France and in Burkina Faso with the musician Sory Diabaté.  In France, her company Itchy Feet had a five-year residency in Lyon where she co-directed dance-theatre works with directors Claudio Colangelo and Matthieu Loos.  During this time she also led seven editions of the dance parade for La Biennale de la Danse in Lyon, the largest dance parade in the world outside of Rio de Jenerio, which engages up to 500 amateur dancers in multicultural celebration. Now calling Nashville home, Windship is a resident artist with Metro Parks’ Dance Division and aims to create meaningful ways to share stories and traditions from cultures across the globe. 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 is supported in part by Metro Arts – Nashville Office of Arts + Culture. For more information, please visit


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