In homage to the 30th anniversary of Paris Is Burning, the documentary about voguing and drag balls, and the powerful expression of personal pride they represent in the face of racism, homophobia, and stigma of the AIDS crisis, 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 the premiere at the Guggenheim postponed by the pandemic, in this past summer’s Works & Process bubble residency, Wiles continued to develop the commission for his company Les Ballet Afrik, with an eye to bringing the ballroom to the Guggenheim and Lincoln Center in a work featuring Wiles’s AfrikFusion, a style that combines traditional African dances and Afrobeat styles with house dance and vogue.
In uncanny resemblance to the 1980’s captured in Paris Is Burning, Wiles’ New York Is Burning reflects the aspirations, desires and yearnings of a diverse group of dancers for which the dance company serves as a surrogate family during yet another period where health, race, and financial crises continue to brew.
The work premiered digitally on Sunday, November 22 at 7:30 pm ET on this page and Lincoln Center’s Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube as well as on Works & Process at the Guggenheim’s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Works & Process at Lincoln Center
Works & Process at the Guggenheim and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts present four newly-commissioned video performances created during Works & Process bubble residencies at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in rural Hudson Valley and filmed on the Lincoln Center campus. The works are co-produced by Works and Process at the Guggenheim and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and filmed by Nic Petry at Dancing Camera. When it is safe for artists and audiences to gather, these works will premiere in full form at Works & Process at the Guggenheim. Click here to learn more.