Tess Dworman: Coverture

Wednesday, January 20, 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

Wednesday, January 20, 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?

Dworman a 2020 Bessie recipient for Outstanding Breakout Choreographer.

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.

John Maria Gutierrez is an actor, dancer, creator who performs on screen and stage nationally and internationally. Originally from a small island presently called NYC, John was raised in the Northern region of the island in a hood commonly known as “Little Dominican Republic” or Washington Heights. His works combine bboy and postmodern aesthetics, original music, singing, and experimental theater to unwind a complex urban disparity brought on by social and systemic failings. As the first person in his family born in the US, John is carving out and balancing his own identity within his family, cultural history, and an artistic landscape that doesn’t often highlight the experiences of lower income, multilingual, and queer expressions. Recent credits: Law & Order: SVU, performing internationally with Miguel Gutierrez (This Bridge Called My A$$, Sadonna), MOTUS (PANORAMA), and Pilobolus. He is a graduate of the Terry Knickerbocker Studio and faculty at Peridance Center. John is a proud member of the Great Jones Rep Company of La Mama and G^2, an ongoing collaboration with Beth Graczyk which recently presented work at Judson Church and the Shanghai Tower in China. John is also a 2020-21 Artist in Residence at La Mama as well as a BAAD/Pepatian Dance Your Futures artist.

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.