"Isolation To Creation" documents six artist groups, who entered the 2020 Works & Process bubble residencies to create artwork during the pandemic
Meet The Artists
Ephrat Asherie Dance
Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD) is a dance company rooted in African American and Latinx street and social dances. Dedicated to revealing the inherent complexities of these forms, EAD explores the expansive narrative qualities of various street and club styles including breaking, hip hop, house and vogue, as a means to tell stories, develop innovative imagery, and find new modes of expression.
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 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.
Les Ballet Afrik
To honor the film Paris Is Burning'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.
Les Ballet Afrik artists in the bubble are Eva Bust A’ Move, Kameron N. Saunders, Milerka Rodriguez, Alora Martinez, Algin Ford-Sterling, Karma Stylz, Yuki Sukezane, Kya Azeen, Shireen Rahimi, and Omari Wiles.
Music From The Sole is a tap dance and live music company that celebrates tap's Afro-diasporic roots, particularly its connections to Afro-Brazilian dance and music, and its lineage to forms like house dance and passinho (Brazilian funk). Led by Brazilian choreographer Leonardo Sandoval and by composer Gregory Richardson, their work embraces tap’s unique nature as a blend of sound and movement, incorporating wide-ranging influences like samba, passinho, Afro-Cuban, jazz, and house.
Music from the Sole members in the bubble are José Cruzata, Leonardo Sandoval, Gregory Richardson, Gisele Silva, and Noé Kains.
Music From The Sole
The Missing Element
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.
Seven Deadly Sins
The Seven Deadly Sins is a production of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s classic 1933 ballet chanté (sung ballet) conceived by Marc Happel and under development by Happel and Jeffrey Guimond. The performance will pair cabaret icon and artist Justin Vivian Bond with New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns, who will perform the duo roles of Anna 1 and Anna 11, the ballet’s split-personality guides who lead the audience through the depredations of modern society. Emmy Award–winning choreographer Joshua Bergasse will set the piece. Partnering with Alex Jenkins and Audrey Rachelle of AnA Collaborations, Happel and Guimond will create an immersive environment for the ballet.
Seven Deadly Sins artists in the bubble residency are Gilbert Bolden III, Jeffrey Guimond, Joshua Bergasse, Marc Happel, Matthew Steffens, and Sara Mearns.