New York is Burning by Les Ballet Afrik presented with The Church and Works & Process at the Guggenheim - Guild Hall
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New York is Burning by Les Ballet Afrik presented with The Church and Works & Process at the Guggenheim



Omari Wiles and Les Ballet Afrik – “Take Me Back” from New York is Burning. © Titus Ogilvie-Laing.

Event Category:
Thursday, January 13
6:30PM - 8PM
48 Madison Street
Sag Harbor, 11963


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New York is Burning
Les Ballet Afrik
with Omari Wiles

Show and Tell Presentation at The Church, Sag Harbor

Commissioned before the pandemic, New York Is Burning was to honor the 30th anniversary of the of the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, which received critical acclaim for its depiction of New York’s LGBTQ Ballroom scene and of voguing as a powerful expression of personal pride in the face of racism, homophobia, and the stigma of the AIDS crisis. In uncanny resemblance and 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 again beset by health, race, and financial crises. Led by choreographer and dancer Omari Wiles, the founding father of the House of Oricci and a legend within the Ballroom community, New York Is Burning centers on the artists for whom the dance company serves as a surrogate family including Kya Azeen, Eva Bust A’ Move, Algin Ford-Sterling, Alora Martinez, Shireen Rahimi, Milerka Rodriguez, Yuki Sukezane, and Yuhee Yang. 

New York Is Burning is commissioned by Works & Process at the Guggenheim and at the peak of the pandemic received Works & Process bubble residencies at Catskill Mountain Foundation and Kaatsbaan Cultural Park. Works & Process bubble residencies were made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. New York Is Burning is also supported by at Works & Process LaunchPAD “Process and Destination” residency at The Church, Sag Harbor, in partnership with Guild Hall and Sag Harbor Cinema.

COVID-19 PROTOCOL: Attendees must be fully vaccinated and must show proof on arrival. Face masks are required.

  • The Church

    The mission of The Church is to foster creativity among the diverse communities on the East End and honor the living history of Sag Harbor as a maker village. It functions as an artist residency, exhibition space and creative center. Housed in a deconsecrated 19th century Methodist church, The Church aspires to be a place where local and national artists and creatives can work, meet and inspire each other. Founded by artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik, The Church began operation in 2021. Championing new and traditional technologies through collaboration, education and outreach, we strive to be an asset for the community in all its richness and heterogeneity.

  • Guggenheim Works & Process

    Described by The New York Times as “forward thinking” and “an exceptional opportunity to understand something of the creative process,” since 1984 Works & Process has welcomed New Yorkers to see, hear, and meet the most acclaimed performers and creators of the performing arts. Led by Producer Caroline Cronson and General Manager Duke Dang, Works & Process nurtures and champions new works, shapes representation, amplifies underrepresented voices and performing arts cultures, and offers audiences unprecedented access to generations of leading creators and performers. Artist-driven programs blending performance highlights with insightful discussions are, when permitted, followed by receptions in the rotunda, producing an opportunity for collective learning and community building, while also helping to cultivate a more inclusive, fair, and representative world.

    Approximately fifty performances take place annually in the Guggenheim’s Frank Lloyd Wright–designed, 273-seat Peter B. Lewis Theater. Every summer Works & Process produces a program at the Guggenheim Bilbao as well. In 2017 Works & Process established a residency program inviting artists to create newly commissioned performances made in and for the iconic Guggenheim rotunda. In 2020 Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions was created financially support 84 new works and over 280 artists and nurture their creative process during the pandemic. To forge a path for artists to safely gather, create, and perform during the pandemic, from summer 2020 through spring 2021 Works & Process pioneered and produced 25 bubble residencies supporting 247 artists, made possible through the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. 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 ticketed performances.

    About Works & Process LaunchPAD “Process as Destination”
    An artistic incubator, Works & Process LaunchPAD pairs creators of the performing arts with a region-wide constellation of residency centers throughout New York State to develop new work and share works-in-progress. LaunchPAD supports today’s leading performing artists, and equally will support a wide variety of performing arts disciplines and artists from historically marginalized backgrounds. Recognizing that performing artists continue to face vulnerabilities, such as unstable income, lack of access to rehearsal space, and difficulty in compensating collaborating artists to develop their craft outside of specifc product-driven work, LaunchPAD will provide artists with a sequence of “made to measure” and fully-funded, one to tree week residencies throughout the Hudson Valley and Long Island. With residency partners, LaunchPAD will provide artist fees, devoted rehearsal space, living accommodations for collaborators, transportation, and healthcare insurance coverage.

    To foster greater understanding for the artistic process, LaunchPAD will include open rehearsals, classes, and conclude each residency with local in-process presentations and discussions designed to promote appreciation for the complexities of the artistic process, but also to build future audiences for its performing artists. Select works will also be presented in New York City at Works & Process at the Guggenheim.

Event Sponsors

New York Is Burning, is the second in a series of LaunchPAD programs, the first LaunchPAD program took place November 29-December 5, 2021 and featured Third Bird, a new Works & Process commission and collaboration by Bridgehampton resident Isaac Mizrahi, with choreographer John Heginbotham and composer Nico Muhly.
Education Programming at Guild Hall of East Hampton is supported by The Patti Kenner Arts Education Fellowship, Lucy and Steven Cookson, The Hearthland Foundation, Stephen Meringoff, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Susan and Stephen Scherr, and funding from the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Endowment Fund, and The Melville Straus Family Endowment.
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