At the Guggenheim, indoor performances make a return

At the Guggenheim, indoor performances make a return
Works & Process Rotunda Party, Dec. 2019. Featuring LaTasha Barnes and Chris Celiz. Photo: Robert Altman.

As spring approaches, the long freeze on live indoor performances in New York City is slowly beginning to thaw.

On Wednesday, the Works & Process series at the Guggenheim announced it will host a slate of performances in the museum’s rotunda as part of New York state’s “Safely Bringing Back the Arts” pilot program. The works, presented for a reduced-capacity audience, will be among the first permitted performances in the state to be held indoors since the COVID-19 health crisis took hold, according to organizers.

The Guggenheim Museum rotunda. Photo courtesy Works & Process.
The Guggenheim Museum rotunda. Photo courtesy Works & Process.

The Works & Process rotunda performances will kick off March 20 with Caleb Teicher and Conrad Tao’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” continuing with Chris Celiz and Anthony Rodriguez, also known as “Invertebrate,” in “The Missing Element” March 30. Billed as 12 one-night-only events, the featured commissions were developed as part of the series’ bubble residencies in Upstate New York. Performances will be rolled out through June 20, with tickets going on sale 72 hours before each showtime.

“This group of new commissions by New York-based artists amplify underrepresented voices and performing arts cultures,” Works & Process said in a statement. “On the last day of each residency, the artists will travel together to the museum and present a 30-minute live performance in the rotunda.”

Those unable to snag tickets to the rotunda performances may stumble across surprise daytime performances at the Guggenheim as part of the NY PopsUp Festival on March 20, 30 and 31. Additionally, select Works & Process projects will be presented at Lincoln Center as part of the “Restart Stages” initiative, a series of outdoor performances set to begin April 7.

The news follows a decision announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo earlier this month that allows certain arts and entertainment venues around the state to begin reopening at 33% capacity April 2. The Apollo, Park Avenue Armory, St. Ann’s Warehouse, the Shed, Harlem Stage, La MaMa and the National Black Theatre are among the New York City organizations slated to resume allowing patrons indoors under the guidelines.

While indoor performances begin to trickle onto calendars, institutions are also eyeing outdoor spaces as potential venues. In addition to the “Restart Stages” performances at Lincoln Center, the Public Theater announced Tuesday that its coveted Shakespeare in the Park series will make its return in July for free performances at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The season will feature Shakespeare’s “Merry Wives,” adapted by Jocelyn Bioh.

“We have spent the last year getting ready,” the Public wrote in an announcement on its site. “We have been producing new work and preparing a safe return.”

[Learn more about the Works & Process at the Guggenheim bubble residencies on the ALL ARTS series “Isolation to Creation.”]

Top Image: Works & Process Rotunda Party, Dec. 2019. Featuring LaTasha Barnes and Chris Celiz. Photo: Robert Altman.