Works and Process at Lincoln Center: World Premiere Video Performances on Sundays in April
Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts announce three newly commissioned video performances developed during Works & Process bubble residencies at Bethany Arts Community, Catskill Mountain Foundation, and Mount Tremper Arts that were sequenced directly into filming on location at The New York Public Library at Lincoln Center, facilitated by the Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
April 4 – L’Orient by Kamala Sankaram and Preeti Vasudevan
April 11 – Ladies of Hip-Hop: Black Dancing Bodies Project × Intergenerational
April 18 – A Chronicle of a Pivot at a Point in Time by Jamar Roberts and David Watson
The video performances, which premiere on Sundays in April at 7:30pm ET, are part of the series Works & Process at Lincoln Center, which began in November 2020.
Each work will premiere digitally at LincolnCenter.org and Lincoln Center’s Facebook and YouTube as well as on Works & Process at the Guggenheim’s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Libretto by Catherine Filloux
Music by Kamala Sankaram
Choreography by Preeti Vasudevan
Filmed by Dancing Camera
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.
The Works & Process bubble residency at Mount Tremper Arts provided 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 were developed that challenge the cultural displacement of exoticized subjects and characters in Western opera. Featured perfomers include Sangeetha Santhebennur, Justine Aronson, Ramona Kelley, Jolina Javier, Dorothea Garland, Weston Krukow, Ted Keener, and Samantha Figgins (not present in the video).
Ladies of Hip-Hop: Black Dancing Bodies Project × Intergenerational Knowledge Transfer
Filmed by Loreto Jamling
Led by Ladies of Hip-Hop Executive Director Michele Byrd-McPhee and Trustee Chair 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. This Works & Process bubble residency at Bethany Arts Community was a rare opportunity to gather major practitioners in support of this effort and facilitated the direly needed exchange of inspiration and transference of knowledge between dance elders (ages 50–60), innovators (ages 33–49), and young celebrants (ages 18–32). This video performance is just a sliver of the work generated in the residency which will be further manifested in books, performances, and docuseries spotlighting and preserving the beauty, strength, and lived experiences of Black women in street dance. Since hip-hop and house dance culture are themselves approximately forty or fifty years in development, the creators and elders within the community are fortunately still alive to share their knowledge and the traditions. This video featuring Michele Byrd-McPhee, Ebony Nichols, Tomoe Carr, Nadine Sylvestre, Tatiana Desardouin, Lenaya Straker, Oluwatoyin Sogunro, Reyna Nunez, Miyabi Wright, LaTasha Barnes, Deborah Conton was filmed by Loreto Jamling on the very last day of their bubble residency.
A Chronicle of a Pivot at a Point in Time by Jamar Roberts and David Watson
Filmed by Dancing Camera
“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 2020, 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.” In this Works & Process bubble residency, Roberts continued 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, Courtney Celeste Spears, and Brandon Michael Woolridge, with commissioned music by Watson. The work will premiere in the 2021-2022. To go into the bubble residency watch Works & Process at the Catskill Mountain Foundation’s presentation of A Chronicle of a Pivot at a Point in Time, where Roberts discusses his creative process.
Since the pandemic began, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has driven efforts to bring the power of the arts to New Yorkers outdoors and digitally—from Love From Lincoln Center concerts for individual essential workers to works of art that elevate the voices and lived experiences of people of color in America, such as Carrie Mae Weems’ installation Resist COVID/Take 6!, Davóne Tines’ Vigil, and digital commissions like The Baptism by Carl Hancock Rux. Future international collaborations with the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center in Athens (SNFCC) will bring new approaches to cultural engagement in both cities. These are just the beginning of a reorientation towards prioritizing openness, access, and inclusive excellence – elevating talent from every corner of the globe and fostering a sense of radical welcome on the campus.
Works & Process bubble residencies and reopening performances are made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Stephen Kroll Reidy.
Works & Process at Lincoln Center digital premieres are made possible by The Audrey and Martin Gruss Discovery Fund. This performance is made possible by Jody and John Arnhold, Arnhold Dance Innovation Fund, and First Republic Bank.
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, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Evelyn Sharp Foundation, and The Geraldine Stutz Trust, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
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 continues to produce a series of bubble residencies that resulted in co-producing with Kaatsbaan Cultural Park some of the first permitted outdoor performances in America during the pandemic. The docuseries Isolation to Creation capturing the bubble residencies premiered in 2021 and can be seen on WNET’s All Arts. On March 20, 2021, after over a year of shuttered indoor performances, with special guidance from New York State’s Department of Health, Works & Process, in the rotunda of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, was the first cultural organization to reopen live indoor performances. For more information, visit worksandprocess.org.
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