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Works & Process at the Guggenheim Announces 2021 Creative Bubble Residencies with Support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

January 13, 2021 - June 2, 2021

Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, is proud to announce the acceptance of a $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, marking the most significant grant in the history of Works & Process. Following eight creative bubble residencies launched in summer 2020, pioneered and produced by Works & Process, this grant will fund a second round of bubble residences. The residencies will support over 120 artists who will gather, create, and work safely in isolated residency centers in the Hudson Valley during the first half of 2021.

2021 bubble residency works include:
L’Orient, libretto byCatherine Filloux, with music by Kamala Sankaram, and choreography by Preeti Vasudevan
Ladies of Hip-Hop: Black Dancing Bodies Project × Intergenerational Knowledge Transfer
New work by choreographer Jamar Roberts and composer David Watson 
Chroma (working title) by Adrian Danchig-Waring, Norbert De La Cruz III, Joseph Gordon, Kristin Sztyk, and Virginia Wagner
Rhapsody in Blue, a kaleidoscope of New York by Caleb Teicher & Company with Conrad Tao
Masterz at Work Dance Family with Courtney ToPanga Washington
The Missing Element with Chris Celiz and Anthony Rodriguez “Invertebrate”
Third Bird, libretto by Isaac Mizrahi, with music by Nico Muhly and choreography by John Heginbotham
New York Is Burning by Omari Wiles, performed by Les Ballet Afrik
The Jazz Continuum with LaTasha Barnes
UnderScored by Ephrat Asherie Dance, in collaboration with New York City’s club legends
Rose featuring John Jarboe
A new production by Anthony Roth Costanzo

“With the pandemic forcing cancellations, we knew we had to forge a new path forward to continue to fulfill our mission and creatively and financially support artists,” said Caroline Cronson, Producer of Works & Process. 

“This grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the largest ever in our organization’s history, will significantly amplify our ability to support artists when they are so vulnerable,” said Duke Dang, General Manager of Works & Process.

“While it may be some time before we can once again see performances like these in real time and space, this year’s Works & Process affirms that even when circumstances are constrained, creativity can still take flight and soar.”
The Wall Street Journal

Residency partners include Bethany Arts Community, Catskill Mountain Foundation, Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, and Mount Tremper Arts, with the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library providing filming support.

Select projects will culminate in performances filmed by Dancing Camera on location at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Most residencies at Catskill Mountain Foundation will feature digital Works & Process programs for the public to watch from home that blend discussion with the artists and performance excerpts. The public is also invited to watch the Ladies of Hip-Hop in open rehearsals through Bethany Arts Community’s panoramic windows.

Isolation to Creation Docuseries on All Arts Channels
This second round of bubble residencies follows a successful inaugural cycle that launched this past summer amid widespread cancellations, when 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 in 2020 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. The series will stream nationwide on January 27 and February 3, 10, and 17, at 8 pm ET, for free on the All Arts app and allarts.org, and will air in the New York metro area on the All Arts TV channel (channel lineups available here). 

Featured Works & Process bubble residency works from 2020 include:
UnderScored by Ephrat Asherie Dance, in collaboration with New York City’s Club Legends
New York Is Burning by Omari Wiles, performed by Les Ballet Afrik
The Missing Element with Chris Celiz and Anthony Rodriguez “Invertebrate”
Music from the Sole with Gregory Richardson and Leonardo Sandoval
New work by choreographer Jamar Roberts and composer David Watson 
Seven Deadly Sins with Joshua Bergasse, Justin Vivian Bond, Jeffrey Guimond, Marc Happel, and Sara Mearns  

Notes from the Bubble, a series of trailers for Isolation to Creation can be viewed at:

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.

Once conditions are deemed safe for audiences and artists to gather, the live premieres of works developed in bubble residencies may be presented at the Guggenheim Museum as part of the Works & Process 2021-2022 season.

2021 Works & Process Bubble Residencies
L’Orient, libretto by Catherine Filloux, music by Kamala Sankaram, and choreography by Preeti Vasudevan
January 12-24 at Mount Tremper Arts
L’Orient is a multidisciplinary production produced by Thresh, a New York-based performing arts collaborative. The production recontextualizes the Orientalist gaze and its representation of women and people of color in the classical arts. The project envisions Lakmé, the lead character in the eponymous 1883 opera by Léo Delibes, as a twenty-first-century woman situated in the chaotic environment of reality television. Today’s Lakmé represents the voice of a modern woman questioning her constrained role in a patriarchal society. This provocative work features choreography based on the principles of ballet and the Indian dance tradition Bharatanatyam, in dialogue with a score of Carnatic songs (South Indian classical music), operatic vocals, percussion, electronics (including amplified pointe), and a libretto that includes texts in French, Indian Telugu, and English.

This bubble residency will provide an opportunity for the creative team to continue to redefine opera as an intersectional landscape for Eastern and Western artistic disciplines. During the course of the residency, select vignettes of L’Orient will be developed that challenge the cultural displacement of exoticized subjects and characters in Western opera.

Ladies of Hip-Hop
Black Dancing Bodies Project × Intergenerational Knowledge Transfer
January 14-27 at Bethany Arts Community
Led by Ladies of Hip-Hop Executive Director Michele Byrd-McPhee and Trustee LaTasha Barnes, this intersectional project captures the knowledge, beauty, and power of Black female street dancers. It seeks to look beyond the traditional lens of exposure for Black bodies in dance, which has overwhelmingly focused on Eurocentric dance aesthetics, including modern, contemporary, and ballet. The Black Dancing Bodies Project is an ongoing documentary effort to represent Black women in street and club dance culture (including street and club dance, hip-hop, house dance, Waacking, and Lite Feet) through a series of sessions that include photography and interviews. A residency for fourteen of the major practitioners in support of this effort will facilitate the direly needed exchange of inspiration and transference of knowledge between dance elders (ages 50-60), innovators (ages 33-49), and young celebrants (ages 20-32). The ultimate goal is to create works such as books, performances, and docuseries spotlighting and preserving the beauty, strength, and lived experiences of Black women in street dance. The artists note that since hip-hop and house dance culture are themselves approximately forty or fifty years in development, we are fortunate that the creators and elders within the community are still alive to share their knowledge and the traditions.

New work by choreographer Jamar Roberts and composer David Watson
January 27-February 13 at Catskill Mountain Foundation
“Commonly, when a choreographer tries to express a state of emergency though dance, the results are obvious, didactic, or maudlin. An ability to avoid those traps seems to be part of Mr. Roberts’s gift.”-The New York Times
In March, just as the pandemic hit, Works & Process invited Jamar Roberts, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s first resident choreographer, to develop a piece for Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions. Roberts created Cooped, with music by David Watson, which was described by the New York Times as “one of the most powerful artistic responses yet to the COVID-19 crisis.” At this two-week residency, Roberts will continue to choreograph a new work that was first developed in a summer 2020 Works & Process bubble residency. Dancers include Patrick Coker, Ghrai DeVore-Stokes, Jacquelin Harris, and Brandon Michael Woolridge, and the commission will feature new music by Watson. The performance will premiere in 2021 in an intimate program alongside Cooped as well as select solos choreographed by Roberts for Choreography of Light by Brandon Stirling Baker, another Works & Process commission.

Chroma (working title) by Adrian Danchig-Waring, Norbert De La Cruz III, Joseph Gordon, Kristin Sztyk, and Virginia Wagner
March 1-16 at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park
Following their fall 2020 Works & Process bubble residency, the creators coalesced around British artist, filmmaker, writer, and queer activist Derek Jarman and his memoir, Chroma. Written and published during the AIDS crisis, Jarman’s meditation on the color spectrum will serve as the project’s point of departure, and as a model for a collaborative process that integrates performance, film, and visual art. Choreographer Norbert de la Cruz III will create new works for dancers Adrian Danchig-Waring and Joseph Gordon, while painter Virginia Wagner and filmmaker Kristin Sztyk will develop the visual environment for the piece.

Rhapsody in Blue, a kaleidoscope of New York by Caleb Teicher & Company with Conrad Tao
March 4-17 at Catskill Mountain Foundation
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. To support the spirit of the city at a time when it is struggling, choreographer Caleb Teicher will assemble a small ensemble of dancers with acclaimed pianist and composer Conrad Tao playing live to create a new work that 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. Works & Process is committed to nurturing and supporting these two generative young artists.

The Missing Element with Chris Celiz and Anthony Rodriguez “Invertebrate”
March 17-30 at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park
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 Krumpers Brian “Hallow Dreamz” Henry and Havoc, flexer Joseph Carella “Klassic,” 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.

Masterz at Work Dance Family with Courtney ToPanga Washington
March 17-31 Kaatsbaan Cultural Park
A legend within the ballroom community and founder of the Kiki House of Juicy Couture, Black trans Creative Director of Masterz at Work Dance Family Courtney ToPanga Washington creates a new work fusing street dance, double Dutch, cheerleading, karate, ballroom, and hip-hop. Informed by her own experience being teased as a queer teenage boy and as a runaway who 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. The new work, featuring ten diverse dancers, will uplift, inspire, and model positive behavior for a younger generation.

Third Bird, libretto by Isaac Mizrahi, music by Nico Muhly, and choreography by John Heginbotham
April 8-20 at Catskill Mountain Foundation
“Isaac Mizrahi . . . [is] a natural storyteller with musical instincts and vivacious wit.” -The New York Times
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 perform choreography by John Heginbotham, bringing the 30-minute story to life for the young and young at heart. Looking ahead to next winter, 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. 

New York Is Burning by Omari Wiles, performed by Les Ballet Afrik
April 22-May 4 at Catskill Mountain Foundations
Since its release in 1990, the documentary Paris Is Burning hasreceived 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. The 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 Jazz Continuum with LaTasha Barnes
May 6-19 at Catskill Mountain Foundation
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. 

UnderScored by Ephrat Asherie Dance, in collaboration with New York City’s club legends
May 21-June 2 at Catskill Mountain Foundation
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.

Rose featuring John Jarboe
Dates and location to be announced
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 trio of musicians, as well as various queer composers.

A new production by Anthony Roth Costanzo
Dates and location to be announced

Works & Process at the Guggenheim
Described by The New York Times as “an exceptional opportunity to understand something of the creative process,” for 35 years, 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. For more information visit worksandprocess.org. Lead funding for Works & Process is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Ford Foundation, the Christian Humann Foundation, Leon Levy Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, 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 and the National Endowment for the Arts. guggenheim.org/social #WorksandProcess


January 13, 2021
June 2, 2021