RMW(a) & RMW (1994)

Valerie Oliviero

In 1993 choreographer/performers DD Dorvillier and Jennifer Monson were commissioned to create a work for a performance series called Sexual I.D. at Movement Research in New York City.  At that time New York was a powerful seat of queer activism : Queer Nation,  Act Up, WHAM, Lesbian Avengers. George Bush Sr. was president and people were taking to the streets and demanding changes in drug laws, fair treatment of people with AIDS, access to abortion, and freedom of sexual expression. RMW was made in that spirit of immediacy, activism, and sexual openness. It played with a sensual confrontation between tenderness and brute force, and an ambiguously gendered sexuality.

 

Ten years later, the two revisited the duet and created RMW(a) and performed it in conjunction with the original, RMW. Revisiting this diptych now in the age of Obama, internet organizing, and digital communication, the piece evolves into an exercise of listening, an investigation into knowledge as intimacy, and an encounter of corporeal and conceptual presences. The choreographers continue to use the body as a means to effect social and political readings, from choreographed forceful interactions to discreet and almost telepathic dancing relationships.

 

DD Dorvillier and Jennifer Monson have worked together in various contexts since 1989. In 1990 they renovated a defunct matzoh factory, in Williamsburg Brooklyn and transformed it into a studio and living quarters, which they continued to call the Matzoh Factory, living and working there until 2002. The Matzoh Factory was an off-the-beaten-path site for countless self-organized performances, workshops and dance/performance investigations, a burgeoning mini-culture, which became an important part of the New York dance and performance scene at that time. It is also the place where these two artists developed their distinct choreographic voices and artistic visions together and individually for over a decade. Their own participation in the NYC and international dance worlds continues to evolve and engage all kinds of communities.

 

Created and performed by DD Dorvillier and Jennifer Monson