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About The Performance
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.
Image: Les Ballet Afrik, photo by Dancing Camera