For many years, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City has been a place for artists of all genres to present their work. Despite prevalent cancellations and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed 273-seat Peter B. Lewis Theater temporarily closed, the Guggenheim has provided a way for artists to safely gather, create and to perform. In 2020, Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions was created to financially support artists and nurture their creative process during the pandemic. Called “bubble residencies”, over 50 artists entered eight Works & Process residences in rural Hudson Valley following an unmatched period of isolation. Works & Process documented this process in a four-part docuseries Isolation to Creation, by filmmaker Nic Petry of Dancing Camera. This allows audiences to get a behind the scenes glimpse inside the bubble and to “experience the hope, joy, exhilarating physical struggle, and emotional challenge experienced by performers returning to the studio and stage”.
Works & Process at the Guggenheim will present the premiere of Isolation to Creation Docuseries Airing on WNET’s ALL ARTS Wednesdays, Jan. 27, and Feb. 3, 10, and 17, 2021 at 8pm. ALL ARTS is a New York Emmy-winning arts and culture hub created by WNET, the parent company of New York’s PBS stations, with the goal of becoming accessible to viewers everywhere. Available nationwide is ALL ARTS’ Webby-nominated programming – from digital shorts to feature films – through allarts.org, the free ALL ARTS app on all major streaming platforms and @AllArtsTV on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
“Works & Process has always championed artists and their creative process. Even though the pandemic put us on pause, we were adamant that we had to continue to fulfill our mission and creatively and financially support artists,” said Caroline Cronson, Producer of Works & Process. “With the pandemic rendering artists so vulnerable, we knew we had to forge a new path forward and share these truly unique and compelling journeys to a wider public, we are proud to partner with ALL ARTS to share these stories of hope and resiliency,” said Duke Dang, General Manager of Works & Process.
“We’re incredibly proud of the role we play as an amplifier and platform for the arts. So many arts institutions have either had to close their doors or find new innovative ways to present to their audiences this year,” said Co-Executive in Charge of ALL ARTS Diane Masciale. “We’re honored to be partnering with the Guggenheim’s Works & Process to bring Isolation to Creation to viewers across the country for free. It’s a perfect example of the beautiful collaboration and creativity that exists in the arts community, especially during hard times,” added Senior Director of ALL ARTS Joe Harrell.
Artists who had been isolated by the Covid-19 pandemic gathered together in quarantine and worked together in Hudson Valley under a medical protocol developed with medical counsel Dr. Wendy Ziecheck, and ethical oversight provided by Dr. Robert Klitzman. Featured Bubble Residency Artists include: Ephrat Asherie Dance, Les Ballet Afrik with Omari Wiles, The Missing Element with Chris Celiz and Anthony Rodriguez, “Invertebrate” Music from the Sole with Gregory Richardson and Leonardo Sandoval, Jamar Roberts, Seven Deadly Sins with Joshua Bergasse, Justin Vivian Bond, Jeffrey Guimond, Marc Happel, and Sara Mearns.
“In partnership with Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, Mount Tremper Arts, and Petronio Residency Center through jointly subsidized residencies, eight creative bubbles were created to incubate Works & Process commissions featuring diverse dance cultures, including Afrik, ballet, ballroom, break, flex, Krump, modern, tap, and vogue dance styles, and beatbox. Select projects were performed at the Kaatsbaan Festival to live audiences and were sequenced into filmed performances at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and audiences were invited to witness some of the collaborative work and receive real-time updates on Works & Process social media at Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube (@worksandprocess).” – Michelle Tabnick Public Relations press release – January 21, 2021
Here are the listed episodes.
Episode 1: January 27
Isolation to Creation: A Way Forward
After self-isolation and serial Covid testing, quarantine bubbles are formed for artists to gather, create, and perform safely again. Ephrat Asherie, Les Ballet Afrik, Joshua Bergasse, Sara Mearns, Missing Element, Music from the Sole, and Jamar Roberts.
Episode 2: February 3
Isolation to Creation: Beatbox, Modern, Street, Tap Dance and Afro-Brazilian Rhythm
Artists from Missing Element melding beatbox and breaking, flexn, and Krumping; Music from the Sole fusing tap and Afro-Brazilian rhythms; and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater resident choreographer Jamar Roberts and dancers go back into the studio for the first time.
Episode 3: February 10
Isolation to Creation: Afrik, Ballet, Ballroom, Broadway, Club, House, and Vogue
Ephrat Asherie Dance with club legends, Les Ballet Afrik and ballroom legend Omari Wiles, and Seven Deadly Sins artists Joshua Bergasse, Marc Happel and Sara Mearns go back into the studio for the first time.
Episode 4: February 17
Isolation to Creation: Showtime
After two weeks inside Works & Process bubble residencies, projects culminate in live performances at Kaatsbaan Festival and filmed video at Lincoln Center, previewing future premiere performances at the Guggenheim once it is safe for all to gather.
Lead support for Works & Process Bubble Residencies and Isolation to Creation provided Works & Process Board of Directors and Anh-Tuyet Nguyen and Robert Pollock, with additional support from Jonna Mackin.
The filming of Isolation to Creation was supported in part by the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Available nationwide is ALL ARTS’ Webby-nominated programming – from digital shorts to feature films – through allarts.org, the free ALL ARTS app on all major streaming platforms and @AllArtsTV on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
For more information, click HERE.
Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.
Featured image: UnderScored by Ephrat Asherie, January 13, 2020. Performed by Ephrat Asherie Dance. Commissioned by Works & Process at the Guggenheim. Photo by Robert Altman