THE NEW GUILD HALL WILLIAM P. RAYNER
KICKS-OFF BY SUPPORTING DANCE WORKS IN PROGRESS
BY HAMPTONS DANCE PROJECT AND
CATHERINE GALASSO WITH CITY OF WOM_N
April 13, 2022—East Hampton, NY — Guild Hall has completed the first two Guild Hall William P. Rayner Artists-in-Residence programs with a focus on dance works in progress. The new residency program, located at The Tower – a private residence in East Hampton – kicked off with Jose Sebastian and Hamptons Dance Project followed by Catherine Galasso with City of Wom_n.
Hamptons Dance Project (HDP) was the first company to participate in the new residency program, working from January 9-23. Throughout their two-weeks in residence, HDP focused on embodying new works for the company, including the classic Don Quixote and Justin Peck’s Chutes and Ladders. HDP also had several creative mentoring sessions with Guild Hall Academy of the Arts member and Five-time Tony Award winning director & choreographer, Susan Stroman.
HDP calls on a diverse team of top-flight dancers from American Ballet Theatre and master choreographers to present dynamic new works that push the boundaries of classical dance. Their annual Hamptons event honors the East End’s legacy as a creative hotbed and artistic haven to promote dance as a pillar of the area’s rich cultural landscape. Through innovative programming that includes world premiere commissions, HDP initiates an ongoing physical dialogue between artists and audiences that promotes deeper understanding of our lives and ourselves.
Hamptons Dance Project dancers-in-residence included founder Jose Sebastian, Craig Salstein, Lauren Bonfiglio, Catherine Hurlin, Tyler Maloney, and Michael de la Nuez. HDP will return in summer 2022 for part two of their residency in conjunction with their annual dance performance, with an outdoor location to be announced.
City of Wom_n is a dance work in progress that reclaims New York City’s Sheroes, interrogating how histories are written and the criteria for who is remembered. Catherine Galasso and company were in residence at The Tower from March 3-20. Manifesting as five distinct shows tailored to each of the five boroughs, the ongoing project utilizes the NYC subway system as a base to construct a theatrical tapestry of loose portraits of the women who lived, worked, and made names for themselves in this city from the 17th to the 20th century. Channeling women in their own words, the piece draws on memoirs, poetry, and interviews by a wide range of luminaries, including Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, prima ballerina Maria Tallchief, bearded sideshow performer Lady Olga, LES poet Diane Burns, and celebrity transwoman Christine Jorgensen. City of Wom_n is inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s iconic woman-centered subway map, and engages themes of activism, resilience, and legacy.
A multidisciplinary, intergenerational, and ethnically diverse group of female-identifying artists made up the residency’s cast and creative team. Each performer embodied multiple characters, engaging in first-person storytelling, as well as abstract image-making. The team included Catherine Galasso (Director), Sheryl Sutton (Dramaturg & Performer), and Performer/Co-Creators Martita Abril, Toni Carlson, Indah Mariana, and Saori Tsukada.
Throughout their Guild Hall William P. Rayner Artist-in-Residency, the creative team continued their work and explorations of City of Wom_n through daily rehearsals, workshops/roundtables with Guild Hall’s Teen Arts Council, and a final showcase of work to an invited audience of Guild Hall’s upper-level members, as well as a second showcase at the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn, NY. Catherine Galasso was also paired with noted Art Historian, Curator, and member of Guild Hall’s Academy of the Arts, RoseLee Goldberg, to constructively discuss the project.
For both Hamptons Dance Project and City of Wom_n, their two-week residencies at The Tower enabled them to fully immerse themselves in their process and lay the groundwork for the future of their projects.
THE GUILD HALL WILLIAM P. RAYNER
The Guild Hall William P. Rayner Artist-in-Residence offers artist collectives the time & space to research, experiment, and develop new ideas and projects. Artists are provided with creative mentorships and administrative support, a commissioning fee, living space, and a purpose-built studio on an exclusive property known as THE TOWER. Throughout several 2-4 weeklong residencies, residents connect with accomplished artists, community leaders, and philanthropists at weekly salon dinners. They receive mentorship from select members of the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts and professional staff, while visiting artist studios, cultural centers, and the natural landscape of the Hamptons. The program culminates with a presentation of works-in-process for either an invited or public audience. Invited audience consists of artists, community leaders, philanthropists, and industry professionals with the intention of raising support and potential transfer of work to other institutions. The presentation can take the shape of a curated exhibition, performance, recital, outdoor installation, reading, lecture, or other format.
Residents are invited to the program by a committee of celebrated artists, creative professionals, members of Guild Hall’s Academy of the Arts, and Senior Leadership. Past selection committee members have included composer Carter Burwell, artist Eric Fischl, architectural critic Paul Goldberger, photographer Ralph Gibson, theatre-maker Stephen Hamilton, science writer Dava Sobel, director/choreographer Susan Stroman, creative writer Frederic Tuten, artist Carrie Mae Weems, and poet Phil Schultz.
Principal Sponsor: Kathy Rayner in memory of her husband, Billy Rayner.
Learning + Public Engagement Programming is supported by The Patti Kenner Arts Education Fellowship, The Hearthland Foundation, Stephen Meringoff, Susan and Stephen Scherr, and funding from the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Endowment Fund, and The Melville Straus Family Endowment.
City of Wom_n is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, as well as by residencies at Gibney (January-February 2020), Snug Harbor in Staten Island (October 2021), with advisory support from Brian Rogers of the Chocolate Factory in Queens, and Kate Fowl of PS1.
Hamptons Dance Project in rehearsal at the Guild Hall William P. Rayner Artist-in-Residence studio. Pictured: Catherine Hurlin, Michael de la Nunez, Craig Salstein. Photo: Joe Brondo for Guild Hall
City of Wom_n Showcase at The Tower. Pictured: Martita Abril, Toni Carlson, Saori Tsukada, and Indah Mariana. Photo: Jessica Dalene Photography.