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Sara Mearns Performs in the World Premiere of STORM by Zoe Sarnak

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Sara Mearns Performs in the World Premiere of STORM by Zoe Sarnak

On June 7 at 7:30pm EDT, Works & Process at the Guggenheim will co-presented with Barrington Stage Company, Broadway Dance Center, Kaatsbaan, The Joyce Theater, New York City Center, Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and Spoleto Festival USAthe premiere of

Storm as part of the Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commission Series. A direct response to the pandemic, the initiative was launched to financially support artists and nurture their creative process during these challenging times by granting over $150,000 in commissioning funds to artists who have been featured at Works & Process. Artists from a wide variety of genres have been commissioned to create new works, less than 5 minutes long, while social distancing, that premiere on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (@worksandprocess).

Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commission Playlist

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJ08rQmWB63RFC3avQF-nDsneUXLrUd4X.

Storm

Performed by Sara Mearns

Choreographed by Joshua Bergasse

The Storm Will Pass Soon Now - Music and Lyrics by Zoe Sarnak

Vocals by Margo Seibert

Piano by Zoe Sarnak

Filmed by Joshua Bergasse

Edited by Lee Cherry

Artist Statement: Joshua Bergasse

For me this was all about dichotomy; I was feeling so many opposing emotions. Sometimes debilitatingly negative, and then extraordinarily positive and powerful. That's where the movement came from. And I wanted to capture Sara's state of being against Zoes song of hope.

Artist Statement: Sara Mearns

We filmed this at the height of the pandemic in New York City, every morning we would wake up to the numbers rising. At that point, I felt lost & questioning what my role or contribution was to society, I felt helpless. I felt my being was crying out, this song and the choreography allowed me to express the pain I was in.

Artist Statement: Zoe Sarnak

Writing music is a way for me to take an ache that I feel and turn it into some piece of hope. Like so many artists, I find myself trying to make meaning of this moment of confusion, pain, and loss. I hope that this song can provide the kind of strength and solace to viewers that working with Margo, Josh, and Sara has provided to me.

This Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commission will be entered into the collection of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts representing art created during the Covid-19 pandemic.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Sara Mearns, principal dancer New York City Ballet, winner of the prestigious BESSIE AWARD (2018) and Dance Magazine Award (2019), is known for her roles as the Swan Queen in Swan Lake and for Balanchine ballets including Jewels (Diamonds) and Symphony in C, among countless others. She has originated roles in ballets by choreographers including Justin Peck, Kyle Abraham, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon, to name a few, and has appeared as a guest artist with the Paul Taylor Dance Company with Dances of Isadora (Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation), The Martha Graham Company (2019 Gala in Etkasis), The Ashley Bouder Project (Duet by Liz Gerring) and Company Wang Ramirez (No. 1). Sara appeared in New Bodies, a collaboration with Jodi Melnick, at the Spoleto Festival in South Carolina and the Guggenheim Museum in NY. At New York City Center, she has appeared in the Fall for Dance Festival (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019), and the 2018 Balanchine Festival. Sara was a guest artist alternating the role of Victoria Page in the US Premier of Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes. Sara made her theatrical debut in I Married An Angel directed/choregraphed by Josh Bergasse at NY City Center Encores in March 2019. This past summer she danced at Jacob's Pillow in a weeklong tribute to her called BEYOND BALLET. In December she made her debut with The Metropolitan Opera in La Traviata, and this coming summer she has an outstanding partnership with The Joyce, where she is producing and starring in a new "vision" of highly stylized new dance works. Honorary Doctorate: University of South Carolina (2019).

For Broadway: Joshua Bergasse choreographed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, On the Town (TONY, Drama Desk, OCC noms; Astaire Award); and Gigi. Off-Broadway: Sweet Charity (Chita Rivera Award; Lortel Nom) Cagney (Drama Desk, OCC, Astaire Noms; Callaway Finalist); Bomb-itty of Errors; and Captain Louie. Encores!: The Golden Apple; Little Me; and It's A Bird...It's A Plane... It's Superman!. Carnegie Hall: Candide; Guys and Dolls; Sound of Music. As Director/Choreographer: I Married and Angel (Encores!); Smokey Joes Cafe (Stage 42/Ogunquit Playhouse, Chita nom, Callaway finalist); Hazel (Drury Lane Theater); West Side Story (North Carolina Theater); and The Bodyguard in Osaka, Japan. Television: Bergasse won an Emmy Award for his choreography for NBC's Smash. Other television: 4 Episodes of So You Think You Can Dance (FOX); Sinatra; A Voice for a Century (PBS); Jessica Jones (Netflix); A Capitol Fourth (PBS). Upcoming projects include the new musicals A Crossing at Barrington Stage Co, Smash, A New Musical, and Joy based on the life of Joy Mangano as well as developing a new American Dance Machine review and a re-imagining of Weill/Brecht's Seven Deadly Sins conceived by Marc Happel and starring Josh's wife Sara Mearns and Justin Vivian Bond.

Lee Cherry has been in the entertainment industry for over 20 years. He's worked with some of the most talented performers and creatives in the world. With a "multimedia-esque" background, Lee danced his way into performing, acted his way towards photography, and photographed his way towards producing and directing events and videos, and and most recently, owner of Cherry Soda Studios. This unique amalgamation of skills and relationships has made him a valuable team member and leader on many successful projects. Whether he's photographing, directing, or producing for other creatives, he loves putting teams together and making ideas real. Lee's a dedicated family man and lives in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife and son, Scarlett and Riff.

Zoe Sarnak is a New York City-based composer, lyricist, and writer. She is a recipient of the 2018 Jonathan Larson Award, and a finalist for the Ebb Award, Kleban Award, and Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award. Her work has been developed with and presented by Second Stage, New York Stage & Film, The Public, Roundabout Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Geffen Playhouse, New York Theatre Workshop, WP Theatre, MCC, and many others. Upcoming productions include: A Crossing (with Josh Bergasse and Mark St. Germain, Barrington Stage Company), Afterwords (with Emily Kaczmarek, 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle), Split (with Michele Lowe, Transport Group Theatre Company). Projects in development include: Galileo (with Danny Strong, Michael Weiner and dir. Michael Mayer), The Lonely Few (with Rachel Bonds, Geffen Playhouse commission, New York Stage & Film 2021), Empire Records (with original screenwriter Carol Heikkinen), Secret Soldiers (with Marsha Norman and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins), and a musical TV show in development with 20th Century Fox. Her music has been featured by the NY Times Live, The Shannara Chronicles (Spike), Silent Witness (BBC) and in benefit concerts and albums for Everytown. https://www.zoesarnak.com

Margo Seibert won a special Drama Desk Award for her performance in Signature Theatre's Lucille Lortel and OCC-Award winning production of Dave Malloy's Octet. She most recently starred in the Playwrights Horizons production of Michael Friedman's Unknown Soldier, directed by Trip Cullman. Her Broadway credits include originating the leading roles of "Adrian" in Rocky (Drama League Award Nomination), and "Jane" in IN TRANSIT. Off-Broadway: The Thanksgiving Play, Tamar of the River (Drama Desk Award Nomination), The Undeniable Sound of Right Now. Regional (select credits): Always, Patsy Cline, Doll's House Part 2, Ever After, Last Five Years. TV: Instinct, The Good Cop, Elementary, Boardwalk Empire. Margo is the cofounder of the non-profit organization RACKET, learn more here www.weracket.com. Margo's debut album, 77TH STREET is out now. www.margoseibert.com @margo_seibert


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