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Works & Process at the Guggenheim Presents a WPA Virtual Commission World Premiere Storm Performed by Sara Mearns Choreographed by Joshua Bergasse Music and Lyrics by Zoe Sarnak Vocals by Margo Seibert

June 7, 2020 @ 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

On June 7 at 7:30pm EDT, Works & Process at the Guggenheim will present the premiere of Storm as part of the Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commission Series. A direct response to the pandemic, the initiative was launched to financially support artists and nurture their creative process during these challenging times by granting over $150,000 in commissioning funds to artists who have been featured at Works & Process. Artists from a wide variety of genres have been commissioned to create new works, less than 5 minutes long, while social distancing, that premiere on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (@worksandprocess).

Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commission Playlist

Performed by Sara Mearns Choreographed by Joshua Bergasse The Storm Will Pass Soon Now – Music and Lyrics by Zoe SarnakVocals by Margo SeibertPiano by Zoe SarnakFilmed by Joshua BergasseEdited by Lee Cherry

Artist Statement: Joshua Bergasse
For me this was all about dichotomy; I was feeling so many opposing emotions. Sometimes debilitatingly negative, and then extraordinarily positive and powerful. That’s where the movement came from. And I wanted to capture Sara’s state of being against Zoe’s song of hope.

Artist Statement: Sara Mearns
We filmed this at the height of the pandemic in New York City, every morning we would wake up to the numbers rising. At that point, I felt lost & questioning what my role or contribution was to society, I felt helpless. I felt my being was crying out, this song and the choreography allowed me to express the pain I was in.

Artist Statement: Zoe Sarnak
Writing music is a way for me to take an ache that I feel and turn it into some piece of hope. Like so many artists, I find myself trying to make meaning of this moment of confusion, pain, and loss. I hope that this song can provide the kind of strength and solace to viewers that working with Margo, Josh, and Sara has provided to me.

Sara Mearns, principal dancer New York City Ballet, winner of the prestigious BESSIE AWARD (2018) and Dance Magazine Award (2019), is known for her roles as the Swan Queen in Swan Lake and for Balanchine ballets including Jewels(Diamonds) and Symphony in C, among countless others. She has originated roles in ballets by choreographers including Justin Peck, Kyle Abraham, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon, to name a few, and has appeared as a guest artist with the Paul Taylor Dance Company with Dances of Isadora (Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation), The Martha Graham Company (2019 Gala in Etkasis), The Ashley Bouder Project (Duet by Liz Gerring) and Company Wang Ramirez (No. 1). Sara appeared in New Bodies, a collaboration with Jodi Melnick, at the Spoleto Festival in South Carolina and the Guggenheim Museum in NY. At New York City Center, she has appeared in the Fall for Dance Festival (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019), and the 2018 Balanchine Festival. Sara was a guest artist alternating the role of Victoria Page in the US Premier of Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes.  Sara made her theatrical debut in I Married An Angel directed/choregraphed by JOSH BERGASSE at NY City Center Encores in March 2019. This past summer she danced at Jacob’s Pillow in a weeklong tribute to her called BEYOND BALLET. In December she made her debut with The Metropolitan Opera in La Traviata, and this coming summer she has an outstanding partnership with The Joyce, where she is producing and starring in a new “vision” of highly stylized new dance works.  Honorary Doctorate: University of South Carolina (2019).

For Broadway: Joshua Bergasse choreographed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, On the Town (TONY, Drama Desk, OCC noms; Astaire Award); and Gigi.Off-Broadway: Sweet Charity (Chita Rivera Award; Lortel Nom) Cagney (Drama Desk, OCC, Astaire Noms; Callaway Finalist); Bomb-itty of Errors; and Captain Louie.  Encores!: The Golden Apple; Little Me; and It’s A Bird…It’s A Plane… It’s Superman!.  Carnegie Hall: Candide; Guys and Dolls; Sound of Music. As Director/Choreographer: I Married and Angel (Encores!); Smokey Joes Cafe (Stage 42/Ogunquit Playhouse, Chita nom, Callaway finalist); Hazel (Drury Lane Theater); West Side Story (North Carolina Theater); and The Bodyguard in Osaka, Japan.  Television: Bergasse won an Emmy Award for his choreography for NBC’s Smash.  Other television:  4 Episodes of So You Think You Can Dance (FOX); Sinatra; A Voice for a Century (PBS); Jessica Jones (Netflix); A Capitol Fourth (PBS).  Upcoming projects include the new musicals A Crossing at Barrington Stage Co, Smash, A New Musical, and Joy based on the life of Joy Mangano as well as developing a new American Dance Machine review and a re-imagining of Weill/Brecht’s Seven Deadly Sins conceived by Marc Happel and starring Josh’s wife Sara Mearns and Justin Vivian Bond.

Lee Cherry has been in the entertainment industry for over 20 years. He’s worked with some of the most talented performers and creatives in the world. With a “multimedia-esque” background, Lee danced his way into performing, acted his way towards photography, and photographed his way towards producing and directing events and videos, and and most recently, owner of Cherry Soda Studios. This unique amalgamation of skills and relationships has made him a valuable team member and leader on many successful projects. Whether he’s photographing, directing, or producing for other creatives, he loves putting teams together and making ideas real. Lee’s a dedicated family man and lives in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife and son, Scarlett and Riff.

Zoe Sarnak is a New York City-based composer, lyricist, and writer. She is a recipient of the 2018 Jonathan Larson Award, and a finalist for the Ebb Award, Kleban Award, and Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award. Her work has been developed with and presented by Second Stage, New York Stage & Film, The Public, Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Geffen Playhouse, New York Theatre Workshop, WP Theatre, MCC, and many others. Upcoming productions include: A Crossing (with Josh Bergasse and Mark St. Germain, Barrington Stage Company), Afterwords (with Emily Kaczmarek, 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle), Split (with Michele Lowe, Transport Group Theatre Company). Projects in development include: Galileo (with Danny Strong, Michael Weiner and dir. Michael Mayer), The Lonely Few (with Rachel Bonds, Geffen Playhouse commission, New York Stage & Film 2021), Empire Records (with original screenwriter Carol Heikkinen), Secret Soldiers (with Marsha Norman and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins), and a musical TV show in development with 20th Century Fox. Her music has been featured by the NY Times Live, The Shannara Chronicles (Spike), Silent Witness (BBC) and in benefit concerts and albums for Everytown. https://www.zoesarnak.com

Margo Seibert won a special Drama Desk Award for her performance in Signature Theatre’s Lucille Lortel and OCC-Award winning production of Dave Malloy’s Octet.She most recently starred in the Playwrights Horizons production of Michael Friedman’s Unknown Soldier, directed by Trip Cullman. Her Broadway credits include originating the leading roles of “Adrian” in Rocky (Drama League Award Nomination), and “Jane” in IN TRANSIT. Off-Broadway: The Thanksgiving Play, Tamar of the River (Drama Desk Award Nomination), The Undeniable Sound of Right Now. Regional (select credits): Always, Patsy Cline, Doll’s House Part 2, Ever After, Last Five Years. TV: Instinct, The Good Cop, Elementary, Boardwalk Empire. Margo is the cofounder of the non-profit organization RACKET, learn more here www.weracket.com.  Margo’s debut album, 77TH STREET is out now. www.margoseibert.com @margo_seibert

Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions, a direct response to the pandemic, was launched to financially support artists and nurture their creative process during these challenging times. Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, is granting more than $150,000 in commissioning funds to artists who have been or were supposed to be featured at Works & Process. Artists from a wide variety of genres have been commissioned to create new works, less than 5 minutes long, while social distancing, that will premiere on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (@worksandprocess) every Sunday and Monday at 7:30pm and can be viewed anytime after.

WPA Virtual Commissions Playlist

Upcoming Schedule of Premieres:
June 1 – Click Clock – Tick Tock by Anthony Roth Costanzo, Adam Charlap Hyman, Dick Hyman, and Zack Winokur

Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions(as of May 19)
Evita Arce * Ephrat Asherie * Brandon Stirling Baker * LaTasha Barnes * Reid Bartelme * Joshua Bergasse * Hope Boykin * Brian Brooks * Nora Brown * Tony Buck * Nathan Bugh * Rena Butler * Chris Celiz * Alejandro Cerrudo * Gaby Cook * Anthony Roth Costanzo * Dylan Crossman * Adrian Danchig-Waring * Machine Dazzle * Viva DeConcini * Simone Dinnerstein Michelle Dorrance * Silas Farley * Jack Ferver * Tom Gold * Joseph Gordon * John Heginbotham * HIPS * Adam Charlap Hyman * Dick Hyman * Michael R. Jackson * Jeremy Jacob * Colin Jacobsen Michael Jagger * John Jarboe * Harriet Jung * Larry Keigwin * Gabrielle Lamb * Ashley Laracey Pontus Lidberg * Ana Lopez * Dave Malloy * Missy Mazzoli * Ryan McNamara * Sara Mearns Andrea Miller * Isaac Mizrahi * Nico Muhly * Carson Murphy * Michael Novak * Josh Prince * Caili Quan * Jamar Roberts * Anthony Rodriguez * Kamala Sankaram * Zoe Sarnak * Penny Saunders Claudia Schreier * Troy Schumacher * Margo Seibert * Dan Siegler * Dawn Sinkowski * Gus Solomons Jr. * Karma Stylz * Pam Tanowitz * Conrad Tao * Caleb Teicher * Adam Tendler Charles Turner * Nicholas Van Young * Preeti Vasudevan * Eyal Vilner * David Watson * Omari Wiles * Zack Winokur * Nicole Wolcott and more

Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions has been supported by Stuart Coleman, Antonio Convit and Tim McGraw, Lucy Dobrin, Adam Flatto, Bart Friedman, Bond Koga, Jayne Lipman, Cynthia Hazen Polsky, Stephen Kroll Reidy, Denise Saul, Annalyn Swan, Shelby White and many others.  Virtual video design support for WPA Virtual Commissions provided by Anupam and Rajika Puri. New music for dance for WPA Virtual Commissions provided by The Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation.

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. Most performances take 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. worksandprocess.org.

Lead funding for Works & Process is provided by 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. Works & Process has received support from the U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program and NYC Employee Retention Grant Program.


June 7, 2020
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM


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