Pay what you wish
Works & Process at the Guggenheim presents the Underground Uptown Dance Festival, a festival of commissioned street and social dances taking place in the subterranean Frank Lloyd Wright-designed theater at the Guggenheim from January 10-16, 2024 and at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on January 12. Rare in the field of dance, let alone in the creators’ traditions, beyond presenting fee, all projects will have received longitudinal support. With some spanning four years, across multiple residencies Works & Process will have provided living wage fees, 24/7 devoted studio access, adjacent housing, access to health care insurance enrollment, performance fees, and iterative performance opportunities. Inspired by the circular architecture of the Guggenheim, the cyphers prevalent in street dance, and social environments where these performing art traditions were germinated, the works being presented weave audiences and artists together. These commissions endeavor to amplify the innate qualities of dance to physically connect and facilitate the embodiment of joy and community.
WORKS & PROCESS Uptown Dance Festival AT LINCOLN CENTER
Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall, 1941 Broadway at, W 65th St, New York, NY 10023
Choose-What-You-Pay tickets available at https://www.lincolncenter.org/series/lincoln-center-presents/underground-uptown-dance-festival-947.
Alice Tully Hall – Club and Social Dancing in the Morgan Stanley Lobby
Behind the Groove with Kwikstep and Rokafella
Since 2009, hip-hop legends Kwikstep and Rokafella have curated Behind the Groove, a dance party that invites the community to freestyle to classic dance music without the pressure of competition or bar culture, allowing the dancers to organically engage in social exchange on the floor. Regularly held at the Nuyorican Poets Café, the party will come to the Morgan Stanley Lobby at Alice Tully Hall during the café’s renovation. See popping, breaking, locking, uprocking, house, lite feet, and krumping share the stage.
Kwikstep and Rokafella have received Works & Process LaunchPAD residency support at The Pocantico Center (2023).
Embodying the continuum of concert and social dance, LayeRhythm, led by Mai Lê Hô, interweaves a singular mix of play-based freestyle dance, live music, and audience interaction, celebrating the vibrancy of street and club dance cultures. The evening will feature improvisations by musicians, dancers, and emcees, captivating the young and old, from theater- to clubgoers.
LayeRhythm has received Works & Process LaunchPAD residency support at The Church (2023), Sag Harbor (2023) and Catskill Mountain Foundation (2024).
Underground Uptown Ball with Leggoh JohVera, DJ BelindZz, and Hype Kitty
Don’t just spectate, participate. After seeing the ballroom legends in Les Ballet Afrik and MasterZ at Work Dance Family perform on stage, go ahead and pop, dip, and spin over to the Morgan Stanley Lobby for the Underground Uptown Ball organized by Hype Kitty. Celebrate LGBTQIA+ culture/individuals and honor the skills and style that have made ballroom the cultural force it is today, while also honoring contemporary dancers of the form. Bling out your heels, bring on the realness, and get ready to “werk” it with DJ BelindzZ and commentating by Leggoh JohVera. Contestants will serve their freshest looks on the runway in four categories: Runway, Face, OTA, and Best Dressed.
Alice Tully Hall – Starr Stage
Ladies of Hip-Hop
The Black Dancing Bodies – SpeakMyMind (highlights)
“Each woman’s voice stands powerfully on its own.” —Dance Enthusiast
Part of an ongoing performance and documentary effort focused on Black women in street and club dance culture, this session of The Black Dancing Bodies Project continues to explore the power of the “choreopoem”—a word coined in 1975 by playwright and poet Ntozake Shange in for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf. In this presentation, each member of the collective responds to the question, “If I could speak my mind, what would I say?” A day before SpeakMyMind’s world premiere at the Guggenheim, experience highlights of the work featuring new writings, music, and movement that spans dance styles from African to waacking, vogue, hip-hop, and house¬—all curated under the direction of Michele Byrd-McPhee.
SpeakMyMind was commissioned by Works & Process, developed in Works & Process LaunchPAD residencies at Bethany Arts Community (2022, 2023, and 2024) and Catskill Mountain Foundation (2022), and Office Hours Residency at The Kennedy Center (2023). Iterative performances have taken place at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center, the National Gallery of Art, SummerStage, Dancers Responding to AIDS Hudson Valley Dance Festival, and New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
SpeakMyMind is a 2023 New England Foundation for the Arts’s National Dance Project grantee, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Foundation and Mellon Foundation.
Ephrat Asherie Dance and NYC Club Legends
A living archive of five generations of New York City club dancers, UNDERSCORED is a multifaceted project rooted in the stories and memories of the city’s underground club heads. Commissioned by Works & Process and created by the dancers of Ephrat Asherie Dance and club legends ranging in age from 28 to 80, UNDERSCOREDis a collaboration that explores the ever-changing physical and musical landscape of New York’s underground dance community. Building on the intergenerational transference of knowledge and culturally reflective movement that happens night after night on dance floors across the city, UNDERSCORED celebrates the lived experiences, stories, and vibes of seminal parties, including David Mancuso’s The Loft, Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage and Timmy Regisford’s Shelter as well as the perspectives of legends Archie Burnett, Michele Saunders, and Brahms “Bravo” LaFortune.
UNDERSCORED received lead commissioning and development support by Works & Process, for world premiere at the Guggenheim following Works & Process LaunchPAD residencies at Catskill Mountain Foundation (2022), Bridge Street Theatre (2021), Kaatsbaan Cultural Park (2020), and the Guggenheim Museum. Additional residency support provided by City University of New York Dance Initiative, LUMBERYARD, and The Yard.
UNDERSCORED is a 2022 New England Foundation for the Arts’s National Dance Project grantee, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Foundation and Mellon Foundation. This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals for a residency at The Jay and Linda Grunin Center, made possible through support from Mellon Foundation. UNDERSCORED is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Works & Process in partnership with ArtPower at University of California San Diego, The Momentary, and The Yard. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The MasterZ at Work Dance Family
ALL INCLUSIVE by Courtney “Balenciaga” Washington
A legend within the ballroom community, founder of the Kiki House of Juicy Couture, leader of the House of Balenciaga, and the 2022 Latex Ball’s Avis Penda’vis Angel Award winner, Black trans femme choreographer Courtney “Balenciaga” Washington creates dances that are a representation of resiliency, and which foster community in under-resourced areas of Brooklyn. Her Works & Process commission ALL INCLUSIVE fuses street dance, street jazz, ballroom, vogue, and hip-hop. Informed by her own experience as a queer teenager who found refuge from teasing in dance, the work conveys how her gender transition spurred transformative emotional, creative, and physical liberation.
ALL INCLUSIVE was commissioned by Works & Process and developed in Works & Process LaunchPAD residencies at The Pocantico Center (2023), Bethany Arts Community (2022), and Kaatsbaan Cultural Center (2021). Past performances have taken place at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Lincoln Center, OTA Weekly, Jacob’s Pillow, SummerStage, and Dancers Responding to AIDS Fire Island Dance Festival and with NY PopsUp in The Oculus and Coney Island.
Les Ballet Afrik
New York Is Burning by Omari Wiles (highlights)
Ballroom community legend and House of Oricci founding father Omari Wiles brings ball culture to Lincoln Center with New York Is Burning, featuring Wiles’s AfrikFusion, fusing 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 Burningreflects 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 prior to the pandemic as an homage to Paris Is Burning on the documentary’s 30th anniversary, Wiles’s work centers the artists for whom his dance company serves as a surrogate family.
New York Is Burning was commissioned by Works & Process and received Works & Process bubble residencies at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park (2020) and Catskill Mountain Foundation (2021), and a Works & Process LaunchPAD residency at The Church, Sag Harbor in partnership with Guild Hall (2022). The work premiered at the Guggenheim and has been featured at Jacob’s Pillow, New Victory Theater, SummerStage, and American Dance Festival.
New York Is Burning is a 2022 New England Foundation for the Arts’s National Dance Project Finalist.
Princess Lockerooo’s The Fabulous Waack Dancers: The Big Show (premiere)
In the 1970s, a dance form called waacking was born in the underground gay clubs of Los Angeles. Members of the gay community risked their lives to perform such an effeminate, expressive style of dance at a time when being openly gay often resulted in violence and imprisonment. The dance was popularized on Soul Train by Tyrone Proctor and brought to the spotlight on the Diana Ross Tour thanks to Billy Goodson. With the AIDS crisis, waacking became nearly extinct. Today the art form has been re-born as a booming social media sensation and global queer rights movement. In the premiere of The Big Show, performed by The Fabulous Waack Dancers, Princess Lockerooo, the “Queen of Waacking,” honors her mentor, pioneering queer Black waack dancer and Soul Train legend, Tyrone Proctor, who died in 2020, and carries on his legacy through the dance he championed.
The Fabulous Waack Dancers’s The Big Show by Princess Lockerooo received lead commissioning and development support with Works & Process LaunchPAD residencies at Bridge Street Theatre (2022), Watermill Center (2023), and The Pocantico Center (2023), for premiere at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The work is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Works & Process in partnership with ArtPower at UC San Diego, and REDCAT. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Foundation and Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency).
It’s Showtime NYC!
Pyramid by Cal Hunt and Johnathan “Akuma” Moore (In-Process)
New Yorkers are, by nature, archaeologists. Be it through graffiti, hieroglyphics, or freestyle dance on the street, lived stories are always being shared with those willing to pause and take in the messages. Commissioned by Works & Process, this in-process performance of Pyramid features It’s Showtime NYC!, a company of dancers with a history of performing on New York’s streets and subways, in collaboration with composer and cellist Johnathan “Akuma” Moore.
Both the original musical composition and dance work embody an artistic trade-off, representing a collaboration between composer and company dancer as each investigates the notion, “This is how you sound to me.” Moore’s composition animates each dancer’s daily struggles and triumphs as they become live building blocks of the pyramid. Then through the pyramid’s deconstruction, choreographer and It’s Showtime NYC! Artistic Director Cal Hunt questions, “How do these stories get back into perspective?” By the end of the performance, Moore incorporates layered electronic loops and innovative techniques typically employed by funk bassists into his cello composition, which free up the musician, allowing him to join the performance as a bonebreaker, or flexN artist.
Pyramid was commissioned by Works & Process and has been developed in a Works & Process LaunchPAD residency at Bethany Arts Community (2023) and is in residence at NYC PARKS’s Herbert Von King Cultural Center in Bed-Stuy, where the work will also be performed on January 13.
The Missing Element featuring The Beatbox House
Fusing awe-inspiring street dancers from the krump, flexN, and breaking communities with the virtuosic music-making of the world champion beatboxers in The Beatbox House, The Missing Element is a culmination of what happens when performing art forms that traditionally compete with one another collaborate.
The Missing Element was commissioned by Works & Process and developed in Works & Process bubble residencies at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park (2020 and 2021). Past performances have taken place at the Guggenheim Museum, Guild Hall, Jacob’s Pillow Gala, Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Little Island, NY PopsUp with Amy Schumer, and the Guggenheim Bilbao’s 25th Anniversary, SummerStage, and the National Gallery of Art.
The Works & Process Underground Uptown Dance Festival is part of JanArtsNYC, one of the city’s largest and most influential arts gatherings for which more than 45,000 performing arts leaders, artists, and enthusiasts from across the globe converge in New York.
Championing creative process from studio-to-stage, Works & Process has made a long-term investment in all of the artists and projects featured in the festival. Recognizing that presenting alone is not enough, all projects have received sequenced Works & Process LaunchPAD and bubble residency support providing industry-leading residency and performance fees, residencies with 24/7 studio space, on-site housing, transportation, and health insurance enrollment access. Celebrating the iterative nature of live performances, the public has been invited to explore steps in the creative process through public presentations at residency centers as well as in New York City at the Guggenheim, Lincoln Center, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and SummerStage and in venues nationally as commissions start to tour. These commissions endeavor to amplify the innate qualities of dance to physically connect and facilitate the embodiment of joy and community.
ABOUT WORKS & PROCESS
A non-profit without walls, Works & Process champions performing artists and their creative process from studio to stage. We platform artists from the world’s largest organizations and amplify underrecognized performing arts cultures. We provide rare, longitudinal, and fully-funded creative residencies, and commissioning support. We present at the Guggenheim Museum, Lincoln Center, and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, with the Jerome Robbins Dance Division. Each summer Works & Process curates and presents free dance programs with City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage and NYC Parks.
Works & Process LaunchPAD “Process as Destination” provides artists multi-week residencies with 24/7 studio availability, on-site housing, health insurance enrollment access, industry-leading fees, and transportation to residency partners spanning counties in New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts.
“Praise and gratitude also must go to Works & Process . . . directing attention and resources to dance communities often neglected by the institutions of concert dance.”
—The New York Times
Stay connected: @worksandprocess