In my choreography and performance, I attempt to evoke landscapes of action and character where familiarity is conjured and bent. There are never stories or messages in my dances, but I work with the assumption that there could be. The way that I improvise and pin together choreographic structures is heavily influenced by the way in which dance is absorbed by the viewer, through sequential events that induce meaning. I do not seek out meanings nor do I try to escape them. Rather, I study how information surfaces in dance and try to redirect certain inferences using choreographic devices such as improvisational timing, humor, and subversion. The expectation for progress is always in question for me as a performer and for my dances. Through my creative process and the choreographies they produce, I’m interested in tracking how growth and/or development occurs through queered, non-linear trajectories and experiences.
As a performer of my own works, I have the opportunity to simultaneously experience the roles of both “author” and “subject”. The combination of these two roles puts me at a sort of abstract autobiographical standpoint with my material and I'm invested in sharing this responsibility with my fellow performers. In rehearsal, I look for methods of performing that require a choreographic mind and commitment to improvisation, even in the most tightly-wound choreography. Through this research, my hope is to increase and diversify the range of virtuosity within this form, as a means of empowering those who see and perform it.
Tess Dworman is a Brooklyn-based choreographer and performer originally from Oak Park, IL. She studied at the Laban Centre in London and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BFA in Dance. After college, Dworman spent two formative years in Chicago, making and producing her own work in collaboration with Kate Corby and Caitlin Marz. The three hosted many performances around the city in various galleries, apartments, and other untraditional venues that shaped certain aesthetics of Dworman’s work and became the traditional way of showing her dances. From 2008-09, Dworman was a LinkUp Residency artist at Links Hall in Chicago. Since arriving to New York in 2009, she has created and performed many dances in collaboration with Kyli Kleven, Caitlin Marz, and Steve May. These works have been presented at AUNTS, Center for Performance Research, Catch, Dixon Place, Danspace Project, Movement Research at the Judson Church, and Roulette Intermedium. Dworman has also had the pleasure of performing in the work of niv Acosta, Laurel Atwell, Strauss Bourque-LaFrance, Yanira Castro, Moriah Evans, Tere O’Connor, Marissa Perel, and Mariana Valencia.
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