Works and Process at the Guggenheim is one of the rare gems of New York. The museum brings in artists who are in the midst of working on productions which gives you a chance to witness the creative process. Last night was DEMO with Damian Woetzel. He danced with the New York City Ballet early in his career, founded and directs numerous arts programs and festivals, and works with Yo-Yo Ma with his Silk Road Project which integrates art in education. The guy is just shy of being superman. Although this program has finished, I will attempt to describe what I saw and I felt during last night’s performance.
Mr Woetzel says he tries to create programs around themes. The evening began with the theme of science and mathematics and opened with Pheromones, choreographed and danced by Fang-Yi Sheu with Herman Cornejo. It was an erotic –whether you consider it a mating dance of bugs or humans. Mathematics continued with Sandeep Das, who seems to channel his music from the Heavens, performing Uthan on the Tabla drums while Lil Buck (who couldn’t dance because of a sprained ankle), “danced” to the Tabla using just his arms. The theme of monumentalism was portrayed with Robert Fairchild dancing Gene Kelly’s Ballin’ Jack. It was classic! And the night ended on a reflection on death with a pas de deux for men choreographed by Lar Lubovitch to a Mozart Concerto. My apologies to the pieces and artists I haven’t highlighted. Each one was as disparate and as sensational as the next.
Damian Woetzel may not be Superman, but he has magnetic personality who attracts artists who share his sense of adventure. Mr. Woetzel says that his enjoyment comes from working with people who share his vision of creating something extraordinary from the ordinary. Last night they did, and it was astounding and beautiful. And bravo to the Guggenheim for continuing to bring the new and innovative to our attention. LAR
Prices vary, but usually $20-$35