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Omari Wiles & Les Ballet Afrik In Residence at The Church, Sag Harbor

Omari Wiles & Les Ballet Afrik In Residence at The Church, Sag Harbor


Works & Process at the Guggenheim


The Church, 48 Madison Street, Sag Harbor, NY


Thursday, January 6, 2022 - 7:00pm
Saturday, January 8, 2022 - 11:00am
Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 3:30pm
Thursday, January 13, 2022 - 6:30pm



Works & Process at the Guggenheim

HBO Max's Legendary Season 2 Star Omari Wiles and His Company Les Ballet Afrik

Bring Ballroom Culture, Vogue and AfrikFusion Dance to Long Island's East End! 

Happening through January 14, 2022 

Works & Process at the Guggenheim dance commission "New York Is Burning" continues development in a residency at The Church, Sag Harbor. Ballroom documentary "Paris Is Burning" screening at Sag Harbor Cinema. Vogue Class, Open Rehearsal, and Show & Tell at The Church, co-organized with Guild Hall. The Church, Guild Hall and Works & Process at the Guggenheim continue LaunchPAD "Process as Destination" pilot, adding partner Sag Harbor Cinema, collaborating to nurture region-wide support for creative process and encourage artists and audiences to embrace the artistic process as destination. 

Introducing Long Island's East End to the underground LGBTQ Ballroom culture that started in the 1970s as a safe haven for black and brown young people, from January 3 through 14, 2022, HBO Max's Legendary Season 2 star Omari Wiles and his company Les Ballet Afrik will be in residence at The Church, Sag Harbor. The company will develop their Works & Process dance commission New York Is Burning, set to premiere at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Fall 2022. During the Les Ballet Afrik's LaunchPAD residency, to foster greater understanding for the artistic process and Ballroom culture, the public is invited to attend community events co-organized by The Church, Guild Hall, Sag Harbor Cinema, and Works & Process designed to promote appreciation for artistic process.

Works & Process LaunchPAD "Process as Destination" programs consists of fully-funded residencies across the Hudson Valley and Long Island. In this iteration, The Church, Sag Harbor will provide devoted rehearsal space and living accommodations space in its historic building. Works & Process will provide living wage artists fees, transportation, and healthcare insurance coverage. In partnership with Guild Hall, community events are organized for the public and younger local artists to interact with these extraordinary groups. In anticipation of their theater renovation, Guild Hall is partnering organizations to produce off-site programs.



Ballroom documentary Paris Is Burning with introduction by Omari Wiles

Thursday, January 6, 7pm

Sag Harbor Cinema, 90 Main St, Sag Harbor, NY 1196, (631) 725-0010


Proof of vaccination and masks required.



Les Ballet Afrik Open Rehearsal

Saturday, January 8, 11am – 3pm

Public invited to observe


Vogue Dance Class for Teens Only

Wednesday, January 12, 3:30 – 4:30 pm

For more information email Anthony Madonna (amadonna@guildhall.org)


New York Is Burning Public Show & Tell

Thursday, January 13, 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Public invited

Tickets $10


The Church, 48 Madison Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963, (631) 919-5342


Proof of vaccination and masks required.


About New York Is Burning

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. The long-awaited world premiere in Fall 2022 will bring Ballroom to the Guggenheim in a work featuring Wiles's AfrikFusion, a style that combines traditional African dances and Afrobeat with house dance and vogue.

New York Is Burning is commissioned by Works & Process at the Guggenheim and at the peak of the pandemic was 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 Habor Cinema.

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.


The Church, Sag Harbor

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. Visit thechurchsagharbor.org.

Guild Hall is an arts, entertainment, and education center for the community. Its primary focus is to inform, inspire, and enrich our diverse audiences by presenting programs of the highest quality in the visual and performing arts, to collaborate with artists of Eastern Long Island, to foster the artistic spirit and to provide a meeting place for all. In anticipation of Guild Hall's theater renovation, Guild Hall with partnering organizations will amplify and produce off-site programs. Visit guildhall.org.


Sag Harbor Cinema

As a community-based organization, Sag Harbor Cinema is dedicated to presenting the past, present, and future of the Movies, and to preserving the film-going experience in its three state-of-the-art theaters. The Cinema hopes to engage audiences and the community year-round through the dialog, discovery, and appreciation of the moving image — from blockbusters to student shorts and everything in between. Revitalized and reimagined through unprecedented community efforts to rebuild the iconic Main Street structure after a fire nearly destroyed it in 2016, SHC continues a long historic tradition of entertainment in the heart of Sag Harbor Village.


Works & Process at the Guggenheim

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 Executive Director 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. Programs blend performance highlights with insightful discussions creating an opportunity for collective learning and community building, while also helping to cultivate a more inclusive, fair, and representative world. Over fifty performances take place annually in the Guggenheim's Frank Lloyd Wright–designed, 273-seat Peter B. Lewis Theater. In 2017, Works & Process established a residency program inviting artists to create newly commissioned performances made in and for the Guggenheim rotunda. In March 2020, Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions was created financially supporting 84 new works and over 280 artists to nurture their creative process early in 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. 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 Guggenheim Museum, was the first cultural organization to reopen live indoor ticketed performances. Visit worksandprocess.org.


About Works & Process LaunchPAD "Process as Destination"

Founded in fall 2021 to support pandemic recovery for artists, Works & Process LaunchPAD, an artistic incubator, pairs creators of the performing arts with a region-wide constellation of residency centers throughout New York to develop new work and share works-in-progress. LaunchPAD supports today's leading performing artists and a wide variety of performing arts disciplines and artists from historically marginalized backgrounds. Works & Process recognizes that performing artists continue to face vulnerabilities, such as unstable income, lack of access to rehearsal space, and limited opportunities for compensated collaboration when not working towards producing a piece for a specific premiere. Therefore, Works & Process LaunchPAD will provide artists with a sequence of "made to measure" and fully-funded, one to two week residencies throughout the Hudson Valley and Long Island, NY. Alongside each residency partner, LaunchPAD will provide artists' fees, devoted rehearsal space, living accommodation, transportation, and healthcare insurance coverage. Furthering Works & Process's mission to foster greater understanding for the artistic process, LaunchPAD will include open rehearsals, classes, and in-process presentations and discussions designed not only to promote appreciation for the complexities of the artistic process, but also to build future audiences for its performing artists. Select works will premiere in New York City at Works & Process at the Guggenheim. LaunchPAD lead funding provided by Stephen Kroll Reidy, with additional support from Bonnie Maslin, New York State Council on the Arts, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Evelyn Sharp Foundation, and The Geraldine Stutz Trust.


Works & Process LaunchPAD "Process as Destination" Residency Partners

Bethany Arts Community, Ossining, NY • Bridge Street Theatre, Catskill, NY • Catskill Mountain Foundation's Orpheum Film & Performing Arts Center, Tannersville, NY • The Church, Sag Harbor, NY • Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY • Modern Accord Depot, Accord, NY • The Pocantico Center, Tarrytown, NY • The Watermill Center, Water Mill, NY


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