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Works & Process presents Les Ballet Afrik: New York Is Burning by Omari Wiles – World Premiere

November 5, 2022 - November 6, 2022

Works & Process Commission
Les Ballet Afrik: New York Is Burning by Omari Wiles – World Premiere
Saturday and Sunday, November 5 and 6, 7:30 pm
Works & Process at the Guggenheim, Peter B. Lewis Theater
Tickets $35, Choose-What-You- Pay

Works & Process Presents: Les Ballet Afrik–”New York Is Burning” by Omari Wiles

House of Oricci founding father and ballroom community legend Omari Wiles brings ballroom to the Guggenheim in the long-awaited premiere of New York Is Burning, commissioned by Works & Process, featuring Wiles’s AfrikFusion, which combines traditional African dances and Afrobeat with house dance and vogue.

The 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning 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. Just as Paris Is Burning did for New York in the 1980s, New York Is Burning reflects the aspirations, desires, and yearnings of a diverse group of dancers in a city beset by health, racial, and financial crises.

Commissioned by Works & Process in 2019, prior to the pandemic, as an homage to Paris Is Burning on the documentary’s thirtieth anniversary, Wiles’s new work centers on the artists for whom his dance company serves as a surrogate family, including Kya Azeen, Eva Bust A’ Move, Algin Ford-Sterling, Alora Martinez, Shireen Rahimi, Milerka Rodriguez, Karma Stylz, Yuki Sukezane, and Yuhee Yang.

Wiles developed the Works & Process commission for his company, Les Ballet Afrik, in a summer 2020 Works & Process bubble residency at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, a spring 2021 Works & Process bubble residency at Catskill Mountain Foundation, and a January 2022 Works & Process LaunchPAD “Process as Destination” residency at The Church, Sag Harbor in partnership with Guild Hall. Throughout this time, in some of New York State’s first permitted performances during the pandemic, Works & Process coproduced Les Ballet Afrik’s outdoor, filmed, and preview performances at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Guggenheim Museum rotunda. The company has performed previews at Jacob’s Pillow, New Victory Theater, and SummerStage.

An independent process-focused non-profit performing arts organization, Works & Process illuminates the artistic process of creators from the world’s largest organizations and simultaneously champions artists representing historically underrecognized performing arts cultures by providing rare longitudinal studio-to-stage fully-funded creative residency, commissioning, and iterative presenting support.

Works & Process provides audiences with unprecedented access to creative process with programs that blend artist discussions and performance highlights, with the goal of fostering greater understanding and appreciation and broadening representation.

This season Works & Process celebrates New York artists, street and social dance, and after four decades at the Guggenheim expands beyond the museum to also present at Gibney Center, Lincoln Center, and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, with the Jerome Robbins Dance Division. Our ongoing LaunchPAD “Process as Destination” residency program knits together a constellation of 12 residency centers across New York state to support creative process.

“An exceptional opportunity to understand something of the creative process” – The New York Times


November 5, 2022
November 6, 2022


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