What Wendy's Watching

What Wendy's Watching: Ballet and Modern Mingle at Works & Process

Gretchen Smith, Jared Angle and Sara Mearns in NEW BODIES.

The Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series is where dance artists show what they are working on and talk about it.


New York City Ballet star Sara Mearns and downtown luminary Jodi Melnick both have a larger-than-life stage presence in their separate dance genres. Mearns is used to filling the stage with grand movements, and Melnick gives style and verve to small, seemingly unconnected phrases. For this collaboration, called NEW BODIES, Melnick has guided Mearns and two other NYCB dancers to blend gesture with classical line. NEW BODIES was sold out at Works & Process last fall. This coming weekend it's being reprised with a slightly different cast: Sara Mearns, Jared Angle and Taylor Stanley, replacing the original dancer of this trio, Gretchen Smith.

Also on the program is a very unusual collaboration—a solo that Melnick created with the late Trisha Brown called One of Sixty-Five Thousand Gestures. Although Jodi never danced in the Trisha Brown Dance Company, she and Brown worked in the studio together in a conversation of shared movement. What they have in common is an interior impulse that travels through the body and is made visible by a strong sense of body design.

Catch One of Sixty-Five Thousand Gestures/NEW BODIES on Jan. 14 and 15.

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Courtesy Boneau/Bryan-Brown

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Simon Soong, Courtesy DDT

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Alice Pennefather, Courtesy ROH

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