Works & Process: Rusalka at the Guggenheim Photo: Kristian Schuller/Met Opera.

Works & Process: Rusalka at the Guggenheim

Jenna Simeonov

The 2017 season for Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum has begun, and on the line-up are a few gems for New York-area opera fans. On January 23, Works & Process presents excerpts from Dvořák’s Rusalka, ahead of the production opening at The Metropolitan Opera on February 2nd. In addition, the Met’s GM Peter Gelb will chat with Rusalka director Mary Zimmerman about her take on Dvořák’s fairy tale.

We spoke with Duke Dang, General Manager of Works & Process at the Guggenheim, about their artistic mission, and the exciting variety offered in the 2017 season.

How have you decided on the spring season of Works & Process? Why has Rusalka made it onto the line-up?

Duke Dang: Works & Process is dedicated to showcasing the world’s great artists and how they work. Our programming for this season features topical new works and productions. With Rusalka, Dvořák’s most-performed opera, Mary Zimmerman has re-imagined the opera for the Met’s stage, which is an exciting challenge. At Works & Process, our audience will get the chance to hear about her creative process in crafting a new vision for a classic fairy tale while she is actually in the process of creation.

Michelle Dorrance, whose Works & Process Rotunda Project happens February 16. Photo: Erin Baiano.

What are some highlights that you particularly look forward to?

Dang: This is a very strong season for Works & Process. We are excited to showcase all of these new works, but I am most excited about the launch of the Works & Process Rotunda Projects, a new initiative expanding our performing arts programming from the Peter B. Lewis Theater at the Guggenheim into the museum’s iconic rotunda. We will commission site-specific residencies and performances for rotunda. Our first project features tap dancer, choreographer and MacArthur Fellow Michelle Dorrance. Dorrance will harness the intrinsic percussive qualities of tap and marry it with the acoustic environment of the rotunda to craft a singular performative soundscape.

In the fall, we will premiere a rotunda project featuring American Ballet Theater principal dancer Daniil Simkin. Using the latest technology to amplify the iconic rotunda of the Guggenheim, Simkin will perform commissioned choreography by Alejandro Cerrudo. In “real-time,” Simkin’s performance will be captured by infrared motion sensors, enhanced by 3-D mapped visuals, and projected onto the surface of the rotunda creating an immersive experience that meshes technology, music, visuals, fashion, and dance. The projection will form a bridge between human bodies and architecture to create a startlingly unique environment.

Champion, by Terence Blanchard, featured at Works & Process on February 12. Photo: Ken Howard.

What do you hope audiences take away from a Works & Process concert?

Dang: I hope that when audience members come to Works & Process, they are stimulated by the conversation on the artist panel, gain a greater understanding and appreciation, feel a closer or more personal connection to the work because they meet and hear the artists’ creative visions, and that seeing our performance inspires them to attend the full work.

For a full listing of Works & Process events at the Guggenheim, click right here.


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