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December 06, 2023

Where Every Family Matters

OZ Arts to Present “Rome & Jewels” Nov. 9 – 11

The renowned hip-hop choreographer returns to OZ Arts with his radical reinvention of the timeless Shakespearean tale Nov. 9 - 11.

Hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris and his Philadelphia-based company Puremovement will stage their critically-praised performance Rome & Jewels, a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, from November 9 – 11 at OZ Arts Nashville.

After wowing OZ audiences with his piece Nuttin’ But a Word in 2021, Harris returns to Music City with an ambitious rendition of the timeless tragedy, but set in the streets of Philadelphia rather than the Verona of Shakespeare’s time. Dueling DJs and more than a dozen dynamic Hip-hop dancers and actors brilliantly enact the rivalry between two families, with a mix of live video, Hip-hop poetry and movement. This Shakespearian adaptation showcases an innovative way of storytelling through updated, rap-like dialogue inspired by the playwright himself.

Harris first premiered Rome and Jewels in 2000, it quickly became an international sensation, garnering a prestigious nomination for London’s Olivier Award, as well as multiple New York Dance and Performance Awards or “Bessies.” He revived the performance last year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his acclaimed company, using several of the same performers from the original. 

“I was thrilled by Rome and Jewels when it was first made over 20 years ago, and I was honored to be one of several co-commissioners of the project,” said Mark Murphy, OZ Arts Executive and Artistic Director. “Rennie’s work demonstrates the ability of dance and theater to unite diverse communities and tell meaningful stories about culture, and we are more than excited to host his work at OZ Arts once again.”

Tickets for Rome & Jewels start at $25 and are available now at ozartsnashville.org/rennie-harris-presents-rome-jewels. To learn more about upcoming performances, please visit ozartsnashville.org.

 

About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.