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Michelle Tabnick
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Works & Process at the Guggenheim announces The World Premiere of Working in Process/New Bodies Choreographer Jodi Melnick

by Michelle Tabnick
November 7, 2016
Guggenheim Museum - Peter P. Lewis Theater
Works & Process
1071 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10128
On Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 3pm and 7:30pm and Monday, November 14, 2016 at 7:30pm, Works & Process at the Guggenheim presents Working in Process/ New Bodies, the culmination and World Premiere of choreographer Jodi Melnick’s Works & Process residency with dancers Sara Mearns, Jared Angle, and Gretchen Smith at the Guggenheim’s Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Peter B. Lewis Theater. Melnick’s work weaves dance, spoken text, and moderated discussion with Claudia La Rocco, with live music for harpsichord by composer György Ligeti, violin by composer Heinrich Biber, and newly commissioned music by Robert Boston.

Tickets & Venue
$40, $35 Guggenheim members and Friends of Works & Process
Box Office (212) 423-3575, (M–F, 1–5pm) or online at worksandprocess.org
Peter B. Lewis Theater
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue, New York


Choreographer Jodi Melnick designs intricate movement to explore the exquisite nature and dynamic relationships between human beings. She uses the profound expression of the dancing body and lucid performing instincts to drive the creative process. The work is transformed through the phenomenon of dancing; it comes into being through the dancing of it. The body, these New Bodies, are the works aesthetic material. Melnick is part of the first group of Doris Duke Impact Award recipients, a 2016/17 LMCC Extended Life grantee, a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow, the recipient of the Jerome Robbins New Essential Works Grant (2010-2011) and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant (2011), and has been honored with two Bessie Awards for sustained achievement in dance (2001 and 2008). Melnick's work has been presented both nationally and internationally, at BAM's Fisher theater as part of the Next Wave Festival, at City Center’s Fall for Dance, The Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts (NYLA), The Kitchen, La Mama, Jacob’s Pillow, American Dance Festival, DanceBox in Kansai, Japan, the Dublin Dance Festival, Belfast, Ireland, St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia, and Tallinn, Estonia. In 2012 Melnick collaborated with Trisha Brown, creating and performing  the solo One of Sixty Five Thousand Gestures. Melnick has also had the great privilege of working with choreographers/ artists including:Twyla Tharp (1990-1994, 2009), Mikhail Baryshnikov (2005-2008), John Jasperse, Donna Uchizono, Yoshiko Chuma, Liz Roche, Burt Barr, Charles Atlas,Irene Hultman, Dennis O’Connor, Lance Gries, David Neumann, Beth Gill, and Jillian Pena. She continues to perform and collaborate with Sara Rudner, Vicky Shick, Susan Rethorst, Jon Kinzel, Rashaun Mitchell, and Kyle Bukhari. Currently, she is an adjunct professor of dance at Sarah Lawrence College, Barnard College at Columbia University, New York University in the Experimental Theater Wing, and The Trevor Day School.

Sara Mearns, a principal with New York City Ballet, began her training in Columbia, South Carolina. Mearns entered the School of American Ballet full time in 2001 and became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in 2003. The following year, she joined the company as a corps de ballet member, becoming soloist in 2006, then reaching principal in 2008. Mearns is known for her roles in Swan Lake; Balanchine’s Symphony in C, Diamonds, Serenade, Walpurgisnacht, Mozartiana, Chaconne, Concerto Barroco; Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering, The Four Seasons, and In G Major. She has worked with and originated roles in pieces by world renown choreographers such as Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Peter Martins, Justin Peck, Karole Armitage, Benjamin Millipied, Liam Scarlett, Richard Tanner, Susan Stroman, and Emmy Award winning choreographer Joshua Bergasse. She has commissioned works for the Fall for Dance Festivals at New York City Center in 2013 and 2014. She also starred in a full night production, “A Dancers Dream”, at the New York Philharmonic. She is a board member of the Dizzy Feet Foundation founded by Nigel Lythgoe and Adam Shankman and on the advisory board of Dance NYC. Mearns was featured in the Aol Series, “City.Ballet”, produced by Sarah Jessica Parker. Sara also serves as a Brand Ambassador for the world wide beauty and fragrance brand, Guerlain. As an ambassador, Sara tries new products, promotes the product launches, events and serves as an honest voice of the Guerlain brand. Sara has guest starred in the Tony nominated Broadway revival, On The Town. Sara also worked on a video project to promote a new laptop product for Hewlett Packard. In 2014, Sara Mearns was signed by Cole Haan to collaborate on a capsule collection of footwear inspired by the studio-to-street lifestyle of a City Ballet dancer. The inaugural collection launched in October 2014 in Cole Haan stores nationwide and on www.colehaan.com and has continued with “The Art of Elegant Innovation” which launched this spring. This summer, Sara was honored to perform at the Paris Opera House with NYCB.

Jared Angle was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania where he began his dance training at the age of six at the Allegheny Ballet Academy. He entered the School of American Ballet (official school of New York City Ballet) in 1996, where he was a recipient of a Rudolf Nureyev Foundation Scholarship. Mr. Angle joined the New York City Ballet (NYCB) in 1998. He was awarded a Princess Grace Foundation USA Dance Fellowship in 2001, and was promoted to Principal Dancer with the company in 2005. Since joining NYCB, Mr. Angle has performed in many works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, and originated roles in works by Martins, Twyla Tharp, and Benjamin Millepied among others.  Mr Angle has toured extensively with the NYCB, been a guest artist with Rome Opera Ballet, Singapore Ballet, the Vail International Dance Festival, the International Ballet Festival in Havana, Cuba, and as a part of The San Francisco Ballet's 75th Anniversary Season. He has previously appeared with Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, as both dancer and moderator.

Gretchen Smith was born in Evansville, Indiana, and began her dance training at the age of seven with Evansville Dance Theatre. Ms. Smith began studying at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, during the 2003 summer course and enrolled as a full-time student that fall. Ms. Smith became an apprentice with NYCB in October 2005, and in February 2006 she joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet. Ms. Smith appeared in the film NY EXPORT: OPUS JAZZ, a scripted adaptation of the Jerome Robbins ballet of the same name, which aired on PBS and won an Audience Award at the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival.

Works & Process at the Guggenheim

For over 31 years and in over 400 productions, New Yorkers have been able to see, hear, and meet the most acclaimed artists in the world, in an intimate setting unlike any other. Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, has championed new works and offered audiences unprecedented access to generations of leading creators and performers. Each performance takes place in the Guggenheim’s intimate Frank Lloyd Wright–designed 285-seat Peter B. Lewis Theater. Described by the New York Times as “an exceptional opportunity to understand something of the creative process,” Works & Process is produced by founder Mary Sharp Cronson. worksandprocess.org.
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