Tess Dworman: Coverture

Thursday, January 21, 2021. 8:00 pm

Roulette’s Winter 2020 Season will be live streamed from our stage and archived on our website. Watch the video of this performance below.



Tess Dworman: Coverture

Thursday, January 21, 2021. 8:00 pm

Coverture is a series of conversations and improvised performances devised by choreographer Tess Dworman in collaboration with Angie Pittman. Each night of the three-night run, Dworman will perform a duet with a different guest artist: John Maria Gutierrez, Miguel Gutierrez, and Martita Abril. The two will lipsynch to a recording of a conversation they previously had, and perform movement prompted from conversational threads.

Duet Schedule
Wednesday, January 20: Tess Dworman and John Maria Gutierrez
Thursday, January 21: Tess Dworman and Miguel Gutierrez
Friday, January 22: Tess Dworman and Martita Abril

Content Warning: These conversations contain discussion of murder, rape, and suicide.

The origin of these conversations and improvisational scores is rooted in the tragic death of Cuban-American painter, video-artist, sculptor, and performance artist, Ana Mendieta, who allegedly fell out of her Greenwich Village apartment window in 1985 during an argument with her husband, Carl Andre, an American icon of Minimalist art. Andre was acquitted for second-degree murder, and the story lives on as a Downtown art scene scandal, mostly through endless op-eds and mythology passed on through gossip.

The dubbed performance of these conversations creates a meeting point of multiple locations and times as the performers navigate the memory of a dialogue that unpacks the memory of a historical event. The dubbed element is also a reference to the film “Downtown 81”, an experimental documentary made by and about a group of Downtown New York artists in 1981. The film’s original dialogue audio was lost and had to be dubbed in post-production when it was finally released in 2000.

Coverture reflects on the behavior of a conversation. My mouth might be saying “dinner” but I’m thinking about traffic. When we talk about shared memory, we might be in five places at once, and it’s likely that none of those places is in our own bodies. What if there were nothing wrong with any of this, but we decided to ride the waves of time, place, and presence together for a little while?

Roulette’s Winter season will be presented virtually and available for free on a variety of streaming platforms. Our theater is currently closed for public performances as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the safety measures that Roulette has put in place to keep staff, artists, and the public safe.

Tess Dworman is a Brooklyn-based choreographer and performer originally from Oak Park, IL. In New York, her work has been presented by AUNTS, Center for Performance Research, Catch, Dixon Place, Danspace Project, Movement Research at the Judson Church, New York Live Arts, PS122, and The Chocolate Factory Theater. She has been an artist in residence at Links Hall, Center for Performance Research, Gibney Dance Center, PS122, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Abrons Art Center. She is a 2020 Bessie recipient for “Outstanding Breakout Choreographer”. Tess is a certified mindfulness meditation teacher and completed her teacher training at the Interdependence Project in New York City. As a performer, Tess has had the pleasure of performing in the work of niv Acosta, Laurel Atwell, Strauss Bourque-LaFrance, Kim Brandt, Yanira Castro, Moriah Evans, Julie Mayo, Sam Kim, Tere O’Connor, Perel, Mariana Valencia.

Angie Pittman is a New York-based Bessie award-winning dance artist. Her choreographic work has been performed at The Kitchen, Gibney Dance, BAAD!, Movement Research at Judson Church, Triskelion Arts, STooPS, The Domestic Performance Agency, The KnockDown Center, The Invisible Dog, and Danspace Project. Angie has had the pleasure of dancing in work by MBDance, Ralph Lemon, Tere O’Connor, Cynthia Oliver, Anna Sperber, Donna Uchizono Company, Jennifer Monson, Kim Brandt, Tess Dworman, Antonio Ramos and many others. Angie has also had the joy of being able to create collaboratively with Jasmine Hearn, Jonathan Gonzalez, Athena Kokoronis, and Anita Mullin. She holds a MFA in Dance and Choreography with a graduate minor in African American Studies, and is a M’Singha Wuti certified teacher of the Umfundalai technique. Angie’s work resides in a space that investigates how the body moves through ballad, groove, sparkle, spirit, spirituals, ancestry, vulnerability, and power.

Miguel Gutierrez is a choreographer, composer, performer, singer, writer, educator, and Feldenkrais Method practitioner based in Lenapehoking aka Brooklyn, NY. He’s been called the “love-child of Chita Rivera and Yvonna Rainer” by David Parker in Dance Magazine. His work has been presented in New York, across the country and internationally in over 60 cities. He is a 2014 Whitney Biennial Artist and a recipient of a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award. Recent projects include This Bridge Called My Ass, a performance that bends tropes of Latinidad to identify new relationships to content and form, and SADONNA: The Brown Ambition Tour, where he re-interprets upbeat Madonna songs as sad anthems. Currently he is working on wearing the masc_k, a new album of original music, THE THINGS YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE, an anthology of his writing, and Are You For Sale? a podcast which looks at the ethical entanglements between dance-making and philanthropy.

Tess Dworman: Coverture is presented as part of DANCEROULETTE and is supported in part by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and through Roulette’s GENERATE program, providing over 30 artists each year with in-depth creative and technical support. Additional support is provided by the Movement Research Artist-in-Residence Program, funded in part by the Davis/Dauray Family Fund; and Dance/NYC’s New York City Dance Rehearsal Space Subsidy Program, made possible by The Andrew M. Mellon Foundation.