Spring Season Includes Participation in Lincoln Center’s Restart Stages, NY PopsUp, and the Culmination of WPA Virtual Commissions
“Works & Process affirms that even when circumstances are constrained, creativity can still take flight and soar.”—The Wall Street Journal
“But amid the health crisis, which has devastated the performing arts. Quarantine bubbles offer support that verges on the existential…the bubble was a rare chance at a dire time.”—The Washington Post Sunday
The performing arts series Works & Process announces the return of live performance at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as a part of New York state’s “Safely Bringing Back the Arts” pilot program. Beginning on March 19, under the guidance of the Department of Health, two concurrent series of performances produced by Works & Process will take place in the Guggenheim’s iconic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda. These reduced-capacity events will be among the first indoor performances the state has permitted since it closed venues due to the pandemic a year ago, reaching a milestone in the recovery of the city’s cultural sector.
Works & Process bubble residencies and Works & Process reopening performances are made possible through the generosity of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Stephen Kroll Reidy.
The first day of spring, March 20, marks the beginning of 12 one-night-only Works & Process commissions developed in its bubble residencies. This series premieres with Rhapsody in Blue by Caleb Teicher and Conrad Tao, artists long supported by Works & Process. Tickets go on sale 72 hours prior to each capacity-reduced performance; more information is available here.
This group of new commissions by New York-based artists amplify underrepresented voices and performing arts cultures. They have been incubated inside two-week-long Works & Process bubble residencies in upstate New York, making it possible for artists to safely create and rehearse together. On the last day of each residency, the artists will travel together to the museum and present a thirty-minute live performance in the rotunda.
Several of these Works & Process pieces will be presented in matinee performances at Restart Stages, a cultural and civic initiative to jump start the performing arts sector in New York City; part of the SNF-Lincoln Center Agora Initiative, a collaboration that reimagines and reactivates public space for a new era. More information is available here. Select Works & Process projects will also be featured as part of NY PopsUp, an expansive festival featuring hundreds of pop-up performances throughout New York City.
Between March 19 and April 19, Works & Process will present a succession of surprise daytime performances at the Guggenheim. These unannounced events will offer visitors a joyful, live, and safe experience. Performers from organizations such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, The Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, the Paul Taylor American Modern Dance and more have been invited to participate. Select artists featured as part of Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions will also perform.
With the return of live events, the Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions series will conclude. This initiative was launched in March 2020 and has provided $150,000 in financial support to artists during the most uncertain of times. A total of 85 WPA Virtual Commissions will have premiered, providing a platform and compensation for over three hundred artists.
About Works & Process Bubble Performances
Evening performances will take place at 8 pm at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Select projects will be featured in matinee performances at Restart Stages, made possible by Jody and John Arnhold, Arnhold Dance Innovation Fund and First Republic Bank. Restart Stages at Lincoln Center is made possible by Stavros Niarchos Foundation-Lincoln Center Agora Initiative. Major support provided by First Republic Bank.
Works & Process daytime performances will be presented under the umbrella of the NY PopsUp Festival on March 20, 30, and 31. NY PopsUp is committed to the safe re-opening of New York venues with the protocols that have been established by the New York State Department of Health (DOH).
- March 20: Rhapsody in Blue, a kaleidoscope of New York by Caleb Teicher & Company with Conrad Tao (with additional NY PopsUp performances)
- March 30: The Missing Element with Chris Celiz and Anthony Rodriguez “Invertebrate” (with additional NY PopsUp performances)
- March 31: Masterz at Work Dance Family with Courtney ToPanga Washington (with additional NY PopsUp performances)
- April 4: The American Opera Company featuring Anthony Roth Costanzo
- April 11: Trapped by Tatiana Desardouin, performed by Passion Fruit Dance Company
- April 18: Dance Heginbotham
- May 4: New York Is Burning by Omari Wiles, performed by Les Ballet Afrik
- May 19: The Jazz Continuum with LaTasha Barnes
- June 1: Unveiling by Sonya Hashem Tayeh, with music by Moses Sumney
- June 2: UnderScored by Ephrat Asherie Dance, in collaboration with New York City’s club legends
- June 20: Rose: You Are What You Eat by John Jarboe of The Bearded Ladies Cabaret
“Rhapsody in Blue,” a kaleidoscope of New York by Caleb Teicher & Company with Conrad Tao
For almost a century, composer George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue has served as one of the most iconic musical portraits of New York City. Choreographer Caleb Teicher and pianist and composer Conrad Tao with dancers LaTasha Barnes, Nathan Bugh, Gaby Cook, Abdiel Jacobsen, Jennifer Jones, and Macy Sullivan will create a new work that celebrates and captures New York City in all its beauty and peril. Teicher and Tao’s last collaboration, the Works & Process–commissioned More Forever, was recognized among the New York Times’s “Best of 2018,” and in 2019 was awarded a Bessie Award.
This Works & Process commission is being developed in a bubble residency at Catskill Mountain Foundation.
“The Missing Element” with Chris Celiz and Anthony Rodriguez “Invertebrate”
Lead creators Chris Celiz, a world champion beatboxer who performed at Works & Process in December 2019, and b-boy Anthony Vito Rodriguez “Invertebrate” assemble a formidable cast of dancers including Krumper Brian “Hallow Dreamz” Henry, flexers Joseph Carella “Klassic” and King Havoc, breakers Graham Reese and Rodriguez, and members of the Beatbox House including Amit Bhowmick, Celiz, Neil Meadows “NaPoM,” Gene Shinozaki, and Kenny Urban to create The Missing Element. Fusing the music making of beatbox with street dance, this project presents an engaging and immersive experience inspired by the elements of nature.
The Beatbox House is a collective of world champion beatboxers. Beatboxing is growing into a global phenomenon branching out from its hip-hop roots. Through education, performance, and collaboration, the collective is rebranding the art as a new form of music, pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the human voice.
The development of this Works & Process commission will be continued in a bubble residency at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park.
Masterz at Work Dance Family with Courtney ToPanga Washington
A legend within the ballroom community and founder of the Kiki House of Juicy Couture, leader of The House of Balenciaga, Black trans femme Creative Director of Masterz at Work Dance Family Courtney ToPanga Washington creates a new work fusing street dance, street jazz, ballroom, and hip-hop. Informed by her own experience being teased as a queer teenage personwho found refuge in dance, this new work conveys how her gender transition spurred transformative emotional, creative, and physical liberation. The dances she creates are a representation of resiliency, and through company outreach foster community and family in under-resourced areas of Brooklyn. This new commission will be the first time the company, traditionally self-funded, has received institutional support. Intended to uplift, inspire, and model positive behavior will feature Courtney Ashley, Lamell “Jay Parel” Clemons, Jai’Quin Coleman, DeAndre Cousley, Ulises “ChaCha” Estevez, Makeesha Hill, Rasheed “NewBorn” Lucas Jr., Dashaun “DayDay” Peals, Brian Starke, and Courtney ToPanga Washington with music by DJ Byrell The Great.
This Works & Process commission will be developed in a bubble residency at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park.
The American Modern Opera Company featuring Anthony Roth Costanzo
New work developed in the Works & Process bubble residency at Catskill Mountain Foundation will be performed alongside artists favorites.
“Trapped” by Tatiana Desardouin, performed by Passion Fruit Dance Company
Dedicated to women, Trapped, by choreographer Tatiana Desardouin, serves as an invitation to unfold, release, and remove mental blocks. The work is a testimony from women of different backgrounds and stories who are willing to reveal their pain and paths to joy. By offering up personal experiences, their hope is to inspire other women. Dancers include Desardouin with LaTasha Barnes, Mai Lê Hô, Nubian Nene, Lauriane Ogay, and Gyeun Jeong Aka Soo. Music production by Saadiq Bolden aka Saadiq The Last Musician and videographer and music editing by Loreto “Still1” Jamlig.
Passion Fruit Dance Company is a New York based street/club dance theater and educational company. Founded, directed, and choreographed by Tatiana Desardouin, with core members Mai Lê Hô and Lauriane Ogay, the company promotes the authenticity of street and clubbing dance styles, and celebrates Black culture and its contribution to society while also highlighting and exploring different social issues in their Desardouin pieces. Passion Fruit Dance Company uses the prism of hip-hop and house cultures, and socially-engaged art projects to provide tools for communities and generations in their healing process or for those in search of a release outlet and confidence-building environment.
This Works & Process commission will be developed in a bubble residency at Bridge Street Theatre.
Dance Heginbotham company favorites and excerpts from “Third Bird,” libretto by Isaac Mizrahi and music by Nico Muhly
Every December since 2007, Works & Process has produced sold-out performances of Sergei Prokofiev’s charming children’s classic Peter & The Wolf, described by the New York Times as “a new holiday tradition.” Isaac Mizrahi narrates and directs; Ensemble Signal performs the music; and a cast, wearing costumes by Mizrahi, performs choreography by John Heginbotham, brings the thirty-minute story to life for the young and young at heart. Looking ahead, Works & Process has commissioned Third Bird as an homage to Peter & The Wolf, with a libretto by Mizrahi and new music by composer Nico Muhly. In this bubble residency, choreographer John Heginbotham, will create new choreography for Third Bird. Featuring a flying bluebird, a swimming duck, and a running ostrich, Third Bird celebrates diversity and each individual’s unique strengths. Audiences at these performances will see the newly developed in-process choreography alongside Dance Heginbotham repertory favorites.
This Works & Process commission will be developed in a bubble residency at Catskill Mountain Foundation.
“New York Is Burning” by Omari Wiles, performed by Les Ballet Afrik
Since its release in 1990, the documentary Paris Is Burning has received critical acclaim for its depiction of the New York drag ball scene and of voguing as a powerful expression of personal pride in the face of racism, homophobia, and the stigma of the AIDS crisis. To honor the film’s thirtieth anniversary, Works & Process commissioned Omari Wiles, founding father of the House of Oricci and a legend within the ballroom community, to produce New York Is Burning. With its premiere at the Guggenheim postponed due to the pandemic, the project was supported with a summer 2020 Works & Process bubble residency at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, where Wiles continued to develop the commission for his company, Les Ballet Afrik. That residency culminated in a filmed performance at Lincoln Center, serving as an affirmation of love, acceptance, and joy.
Just as Paris Is Burning did for New York in 1980s, New York Is Burning reflects the aspirations, desires, and yearnings of a diverse group of dancers in a city beset by health, race, and financial crises. Wiles’s new work centers on the dancers for whom the dance company serves as a surrogate family including Kya Azeen, Eva Bust A’ Move, Algin Ford-Sterling, Alora Martinez, Shireen Rahimi, Milerka Rodriguez, Kameron N. Saunders, Karma Stylz, and Yuki Sukezane. In preparation for its official premiere, New York Is Burning will receive a second bubble residency. When it premieres, the piece will bring ballroom to the Guggenheim in a work featuring Wiles’s AfrikFusion, a style that combines traditional African dances and Afrobeat with house dance and vogue.
The development of this Works & Process commission will be continued in a bubble residency at Catskill Mountain Foundation.
“The Jazz Continuum” with LaTasha Barnes
According to dance educator and dancer LaTasha Barnes, one of the greatest disparities of the present-day dance canon is the one that exists between the African American dancer and authentic jazz dance. Barnes argues that despite the foundational role of jazz dance as a source of globally celebrated popular Black dance forms, there is a lack of contextual and performative knowledge of jazz in the African American artist, which does a disservice to the expressive purpose and possibility that is dance. With the focus and dedicated time afforded by a residency, Barnes aims to bridge the knowledge gap with a group of engaged and invested dancers who desire to embody jazz alongside the Black dance traditions they currently bear. The resulting work may manifest as a choreographed jazz dance performance or an “improvography”-centered exploration of jazz and its scions.
This Works & Process commission was developed in a bubble residency at Catskill Mountain Foundation.
“Unveiling” by choreographer Sonya Hashem Tayeh, with music by Moses Sumney
Unveiling, by Tony- and Emmy-nominated choreographer Sonya Hashem Tayeh, navigates the search within oneself to shed, peeling off the layers one by one until there is a depth of rawness, and from within that rawness we seek anew. The exquisite sound of Moses Sumney leads the way and guides us on our journey.
This Works & Process commission was developed in a bubble residency at Catskill Mountain Foundation.
“UnderScored” by Ephrat Asherie Dance, in collaboration with New York City’s club legends
Beginning with the seminal parties at The Loft and the Paradise Garage, UnderScored is inspired by the intergenerational club-life memories of a cast ranging in age from 25 to 77. This dance work explores the ever-changing physical and musical landscape of New York City’s underground house dance and music scene. Legendary elders from NYC’s underground dance community including Archie Burnett, Brahms “Bravo” LaFortune, and Michele Saunders collaborate and perform with company members Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, Manon Bal, Ron “Stealth-1” Chunn Jr., Teena Marie Custer, Val “Ms. Vee” Ho, and Matthew “Megawatt” West. In conjunction with this project, the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will provide a fellowship for Asherie to collect and archive oral histories from elders who are part of the generation of dancers who helped create and usher in NYC’s underground dance and music scene in the 1970s and ’80s.
The development of this Works & Process commission will be continued in a bubble residency at Bridge Street Theatre.
“Rose: You Are Who You Eat” by John Jarboe of The Bearded Ladies Cabaret
Based on a true story, Rose is a series of performance pieces (songs, videos, and poems) dedicated to Bearded Ladies Cabaret founder John Jarboe’s twin, Rose, whom Jarboe “absorbed” or “consumed” in the womb. Jarboe uses the story of Rose and the metaphor of cannibalism to explore gender queerness, nature and nurture, and queer ancestry. This is a collaboration with filmmaker Christopher Ash, designer Rebecca Kanach, and a duo of musicians, as well as various queer composers including Pax Ressler, Emily Bate, and Daniel De Jesus.
The development of this Works & Process commission will be continued in a bubble residency at Bethany Arts Community.
For those unable to attend performances in person, Works & Process will present free digital premieres coproduced with Lincoln Center, made possible by The Audrey and Martin Gruss Discovery Fund and The Jerome Robbins Dance Division at The New York Public Library. With Bridge Street Theatre, Catskill Mountain Foundation, and New Victory Theater. Works & Process will coproduce artists discussions and performance highlights from inside Works & Process bubble residencies. All of these offerings can be accessed on Works & Process’ YouTube channel for the public to watch from home.
Works & Process at Lincoln Center digital performances, 7:30 pm
- April 4: L’Orient by Kamala Sankaram and Preeti Vasudevan
- April 11: Ladies of Hip-Hop: Black Dancing Bodies Project × Intergenerational Knowledge Transfer
- April 18: A Chronicle of a Pivot at a Point in Time by Jamar Roberts and David Watson
Works & Process at Bridge Street Theatre digital excerpts and discussions, 7:30 pm
- April 10: Trapped by Tatiana Desardouin, performed by Passion Fruit Dance Company
- June 1: UnderScored by Ephrat Asherie Dance, in collaboration with New York City’s club legends
Works & Process at Catskill Mountain Foundation digital excerpts and discussions, 7:30 pm
- April 18: A Chronicle of a Pivot at a Point in Time by Jamar Roberts and David Watson
- April 25: Rhapsody in Blue, a kaleidoscope of New York by Caleb Teicher & Company with Conrad Tao
- June 6: New York Is Burning by Omari Wiles, performed by Les Ballet Afrik
- June 27: The Jazz Continuum with LaTasha Barnes
- July 11: Unveiling by Sonya Hashem Tayeh, with music by Moses Sumney
Works & Process at New Victory Theater digital excerpts and discussions, 7:30 pm
- June 14: Witness by Christopher Rudd, performed by RudduR Dance
Watch Isolation to Creation Docuseries on WNET’s All Arts Channel to learn more about Works & Process Bubble Residencies.
In summer of 2020 Works & Process, itself facing a shuttered theater, forged a path for artists to safely gather, create, and perform together. Pioneering and producing bubble residencies that have since been widely replicated, Works & Process invited over fifty artists to enter eight bubble residencies in rural Hudson Valley after an unprecedented period of isolation. Under a health protocol developed with medical counsel Dr. Wendy Ziecheck, and ethical oversight provided by Dr. Robert Klitzman, artists isolated by the pandemic gathered in quarantine to work together.
To capture this journey, Works & Process produced Isolation to Creation, a four-part docuseries by filmmaker Nic Petry of Dancing Camera, to provide audiences with a rare opportunity to look behind the scenes and experience the hope, joy, exhilarating physical struggle, and emotional challenges experienced by performers returning to the studio and stage. Watch for free on the All Arts app and allarts.org.
Lead support for Isolation to Creation was provided by the Works & Process Board of Directors and Anh-Tuyet Nguyen and Robert Pollock, with additional support from Jonna Mackin. The filming of Isolation to Creation was supported in part by the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Find more information at worksandprocess.org.
Works & Process at the Guggenheim
Described by The New York Times as “an exceptional opportunity to understand something of the creative process,” for since 1984, New Yorkers have been able to see, hear, and meet the most acclaimed artists in the world, in an intimate setting unlike any other. Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, has championed new works and offered audiences unprecedented access to generations of leading creators and performers. Traditionally, most performances took place in the Guggenheim’s intimate Frank Lloyd Wright–designed 273-seat Peter B. Lewis Theater. In 2017, Works & Process established a new residency and commissioning program, inviting artists to create new works, made in and for the iconic Guggenheim rotunda. In 2020, Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions was created to financially support artists and nurture their creative process during the pandemic. To forge a path for artists to safely gather, create, and perform during the pandemic, in summer 2020, Works & Process pioneered and produced a series of bubble residencies that will continue into 2021.
Lead funding for the 2020–21 Works & Process season is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, the Christian Humann Foundation, Leon Levy Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund, Stephen Kroll Reidy, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Evelyn Sharp Foundation, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Restart Stages is a sweeping initiative that will create ten outdoor performance and rehearsal spaces—an outdoor performing arts center—as well as other outdoor civic venues to help kickstart the performing arts sector and contribute to the revival of New York City. The project is made possible by the generous support of the Lincoln Center Board of Directors and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) as part of the SNF-Lincoln Center Agora Initiative, a collaboration that reimagines and reactivates public space for a new era. As one of New York City’s leading arts institutions and an anchor of its cultural and public life, Lincoln Center is embarking on this effort as a symbol of its commitment to the city, and to an equitable revitalization which elevates all New Yorkers. Restart Stages is a major, public-facing component of its broader effort to provide resources in this moment not just to Lincoln Center’s resident companies, but to the performing arts community as a whole—helping get artists back to work and supporting institutions from Brooklyn to the Bronx to engage their communities in the elevating power of the arts. Designed with expert advice from medical and public health professionals, Restart Stages will create a safe, welcoming, accessible, and dynamic environment for arts and community organizations from across New York City, including Lincoln Center resident companies. Restart Stages is being developed in coordination with NY State PopsUp, part of Governor Cuomo’s New York Arts Revival, in a partnership to help extend reach of the initiative far beyond Lincoln Center’s campus.
NY PopsUp is an unprecedented and expansive festival featuring hundreds of pop-up performances (many of which are free of charge and all open to the public) that will intersect with the daily lives of New Yorkers, as announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. This series of events, intended to revitalize the spirit and emotional well-being of New York citizens with the energy of live performance while jumpstarting New York’s struggling live entertainment sector, is a private/public partnership overseen by producers Scott Rudin and Jane Rosenthal, in coordination with the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and Empire State Development (ESD). The programming for NY PopsUp is curated by the interdisciplinary artist Zack Winokur, in partnership with a hand-selected council of artistic advisors who represent the diversity of New York’s dynamic performing arts scene and artistic communities.