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Works & Process at the Guggenheim presents Virtual Works & Process: BalletX with Hope Boykin, Rena Butler, Caili Quan, and Penny Saunders Moderated by Damian Woetzel

June 14, 2020 @ 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, presents a Virtual Works & Process: BalletX with Hope Boykin, Rena Butler, Caili Quan, and Penny Saunders on Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 7:30pm. The event is free, but space is limited, and RSVP is required at www.worksandprocess.org; a Zoom link and password will be emailed the day of the performance.
Suggested donation: $20 All donations will be devoted to Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions, with every dollar directly supporting an artist.

Due to the current circumstances, Works & Process has canceled its June 14 in-person program, featuring excerpts from BalletX’s summer offerings, as well as a moderated discussion with choreographers Hope Boykin, Rena Butler, Caili Quan and Penny Saunders.

To continue to support these choreographers, their creative process, and company dancers, Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions will partner with BalletX to provide these choreographers with the resources to workshop solos and duets (for dancers sheltering together) while social distancing. Developed with BalletX dancers through Zoom, these commissions will premiere on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube (@worksandprocess) on June 14 at 7:30 pm. At this virtual Works & Process, join the choreographers and BalletX Artistic and Executive DirectorChristine Cox for a discussion moderated by Damian Woetzel, President of The Juilliard School and Artistic Director of Valid Dance Festival, blended with the premiere of these new video performances.

Supported by the Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions fund, this program will take place virtually through Zoom, a free video conferencing software. Audience members should have access to a computer with Wi-Fi.

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

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.

Hope Boykin, educator, creator, mover, and motivator, was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. She was a three-time recipient of the American Dance Festival’s Young Tuition Scholarship and while attending Howard University in Washington, DC, she continued to pursue her desires to dance working with choreographer Lloyd Whitmore and his New World Dance Company. In New York City, Hope studied at The Ailey School and worked as assistant to choreographers Milton Myers and the late Talley Beatty. Hope was an original member of Complexions, and joined PHILADANCO, where she received the acclaimed “Bessie,” a New York dance and performance award. In her 20th and final season with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, she continues to build and create work as a 2019-20 Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Fellow. She has choreographed for numerous dance company’s including Philadanco, Minnesota Dance a Theater, and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. In 2016, Hope presented her third work of choreography for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater called r-Evolution, Dream., and most recently, in 2018 for DEMO, commissioned by Damian Woetzel and the Kennedy Center, Hope had the honor to choreograph, write, and perform with New York City Ballet Principal dancer Lauren Lovette in MomentsUponMoments which was redesigned for Vail Dance Festival in 2019. Serving as Artistic Lead for the Kennedy Center Dance Lab (KCDL), a two-week summer dance program for high school students, and Artist-In-Residence at USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance is confirmation of the mission of HopeBoykinDance, which includes leading young and aspiring artists to a secure foundation and a concrete understanding, which develops a confidence and an assurance that will be unmatched.

Rena Butler hails from Chicago, IL. She is a Dancer and Choreographic Fellow for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Butler’s choreographic work includes The New Orleans Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with Oscar award-winning jazz composer Terrence Blanchard, ‘CHTV Stories’ television series in Switzerland, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Grace Farms, The Ailey School/Fordham, SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, Hubbard Street Professional Program, The Joffrey Ballet School in NYC, and more. Rena previously has danced for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Manuel Vignoulle/M-Motions, The Merce Cunningham Trust “Night of 100 Solos” in Los Angeles, and Pasos Latinos Salsa Dance Company. Ms. Butler trained at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, overseas at Taipei National University of the Arts, and SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. She currently serves on The Consortium for Chicago Dancemakers Forum, and is an artist based in Chicago and NYC.

Caili Quan started dancing in her native Guam under the direction of John Grensback and Bettina Sanzotta, and moved to New York City to continue her classical training at Ballet Academy East. She was a trainee with Richmond Ballet and an apprentice with Charlotte Ballet (formerly North Carolina Dance Theatre), before joining First State Ballet Theatre under Pasha Kambalov for three seasons. During her training, she performed works by George Balanchine, Marius Petipa, and Malcolm Burn, among others. Caili has had to pleasure to choreograph for konverjdans, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, DanceWorks Chicago’s ChoreoLab, CelloPointe, and St. Paul’s School. Her piece Fancy Me was performed at the Vail Dance Festival in 2018. Caili was nominated by BalletX to serve as an Artistic Partnership Fellow at The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU during Summer 2019. In May 2020, Caili announced her retirement from dancing with BalletX at the conclusion of the 2019-20 Season to pursue her choreographic career. She is currently creating a new work on BalletX.

Penny Saunders originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, graduated from the Harid Conservatory in 1995, and began her professional career with The American Repertory Ballet under the direction of Septime Webre. She went on to dance with Ballet Arizona, MOMIX Dance Theater, Cedar Lake Ensemble and in 2004 she joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2011, Saunders won the International Commissioning Project which launched her choreographic career, creating pieces for Hubbard Streets’ main and second company, Cincinnati Ballet, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Whim W’Him, BalletX, Tulsa Ballet 2, Ballet Idaho, SFDanceworks, SALT Contemporary Dance, Neos Dance Theater, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Owen Cox Dance Group, among others. Saunders is honored to be the Resident Choreographer at The Grand Rapids Ballet where she recently completed her first full length work, The Happy Prince and Other Wilde Tales, that focused on the life and fairy tales of Oscar Wilde. Saunders has received support from The New York City Ballet Choreographic Commissions Initiative, participated in The National Choreographers Initiative and was the recipient of the 2016 Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship. In the 2019-20 season, she is excited to be collaborating with the Tulsa Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, The Grand Rapids Ballet, Whim W’Him, BalletX, Dayton Ballet, Diablo Ballet, Ballet Idaho, Indiana University, Seattle Dance Collective, and Point Park University.

About BalletX
BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet, commissions choreographers from around the world to create new ballets that are “fresh, inclusive, and connect to what people want” (Philadelphia Citizen). Led by Artistic & Executive Director Christine Cox, BalletX has been recognized by The New Yorker as a “place of choreographic innovation” for producing 87 world premiere ballets by over 45 choreographers in its 14-year history. In addition to main-stage performances and international touring, the company offers free community pop ups, dance classes, artist Q&As, open rehearsals, and in-school dance education, designed to bring its home city of Philadelphia and the nation closer to dance. Among its many accolades and honors, BalletX was recently featured on the cover of Dance Magazine’s October 2019 issue. To learn more about BalletX’s programming and dancers, named “among America’s best” by The New York Times, please visit BalletX.org and follow the company on social media. BalletX thanks the Wyncote Foundation for its generous support of new works by Hope Boykin, Rena Butler, Caili Quan, and Penny Saunders.


June 14, 2020
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM


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