Gorgeous Fork: A free live show for the community

Gorgeous Fork in AMNY

Performances start on the hour and half-hour from 6-9p. Please note that capacity is limited for each performance. We encourage you to register for the event using the link above, though space will be reserved for walk-ins. [Registration Closed]

Join us on Saturday, May 15 (rain date: May 16), at the Garden of the Humanitarians for a free, live show for the community, open to all ages and fun for kids and adults alike! 

In the spring of 2021, LES Studio Program resident collective Whoop Dee Doo worked with local youth connected to the Garden of the Humanitarians in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the Classical Indian dance group Aalokam to create a free, live show for the community, open to all ages. Working closely with Bharathi Penneswaran, Director of Aalokam, and Albert Santana, Founder of the Garden of the Humanitarians, Aalokam designed a new Classical Indian-style dance to portray the transformation story of the Garden over the past several decades, all in an oversized set of a filthy kitchen sink.

Bharathi’s dance reflected the “before” and “after” of Albert’s story as a youth in the troublesome and bedraggled garden, and his adulthood transformation of the space into a community hub for performance, gatherings, flowers, fruit, abundance, and love. Local youth created a “washing” sequence within the oversized sink and “washed” the dishes, representing Albert’s transformation and hard work within the garden over many years.

This event is organized through Whoop Dee Doo’s residency in Artists Alliance’s LES Studio Program. Please note that this event will follow all New York State COVID guidelines. Masks will be required for entry and can be provided on-site if needed. 

We would like to thank the following artists and collaborators for the time, energy, and labor that they so generously gave to make this event possible:

Aalokam and Director Bharathi Penneswaran
Edwin Albert Santana
Royal Mayan Santana
Reign Maximus Santana
Kanielle Hernandez
Mason Perez
Sarah Dahlinger
Danny Crump
Emily Flores
Sofia Dixon
Rebecca Damilola Fayemi
Jaimie Warren
Mai Shimura
Kati Kirsch
Willa Goettling 
Sydney Kozar
Carbon Therrien
Afreen Fatima
Bening Mustika
Essex Market
Office of New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera

About the Collaborators

The Garden of the Humanitarians (formerly Generation X Garden) is both a beloved community garden space dedicated to the youth of the Lower East Side and a mini-urban orchard cultivating fruit trees such as nectarine, pear, peach and apple. Created in 1971, the garden has supported and hosted a variety of special programming featuring Greenmarket farmers, Youthmarket displays, Taíno arts and crafts, and healthy eating and tasting sessions. 

Aalokam is a South Asian Dance and School in the New York area. The school strives to provide the South Asian diaspora in the New York tri-state area continued access to their cultural roots and to introduce South Asian performing arts to the western world. Aalokam is directed by Bharathi Penneswaran and Jyotsna Kalyansundar. The idea behind Aalokam is to showcase the elegance and beauty of this classical Indian dance form through innovative set pieces. Combining rhythm, hand gestures, and facial expressions, these dance pieces convey exotic tales from Indian mythology and folklore.

Whoop Dee Doo (est. 2006) is an artist-led project that creates installations and live performances through museums, galleries, arts organizations, festivals, and universities. Each project engages the immediate communities of the organization with which we partner, and we work closely with young people and non-profit groups to research, conceive, and create our programming. Our process emphasizes collaboration, encourages respect for diversity and seeks to initiate a cross-generational and cross-cultural dialogue. 

Artists Alliance Inc is dedicated to launching, strengthening, and advancing the vision of emerging and underrepresented artists and curators through fully funded residencies, paid exhibition opportunities, and commissioned projects. Founded by local artists in 1999 and rooted in the Lower East Side (a long-standing epicenter of creative experimentation and cultural diversity), AAI cultivates art practices that challenge the way we experience ourselves, our communities, and our world.

Gorgeous Fork is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.