Tess Dworman: Carl Soprano

Carl Soprano, created in collaboration with Tess Dworman and filmmaker Daniele Sarti, is a video work that considers structure and meaning within nonsensical relationships. The piece is modeled after the format of public access talk show and prompted by questions about embodiment and gender expression in improvisational performance. Dworman, who plays the talk show host, looks at the nuances of masculinity by “becoming” various famous white male artists and fictional characters. In this act of impersonation on screen, Dworman asks: how does one reveal who they are in both their desires and abilities to act like other people?


Tess Dworman is a Brooklyn-based choreographer and performer originally from Oak Park, IL. Her most recent works have been presented by 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. She currently performs and tours in the work of Juliana F. May. Tess is also a mindfulness meditation teacher and anti-racist organizer. Her multitudes come together and flourish in her choreographic practice. More info at tessdworman.com.

Daniele Sarti is a multidisciplinary artist and award-winning filmmaker originally from Traversetolo, Italy. His work has been shown at Wave Hill, Fotografia Europea and Paris Photo among others. As a cinematographer he has worked with directors on various commercial and narrative films. His latest short film collaboration Miniature Chess, was featured in several festivals around the Country.  He is currently working on two video installations: RGB studies and Foam.


Carl Soprano is commissioned by the Abrons Arts Center through the Performance AIRspace Residency, which is supported by the Jerome Foundation.

The 2020-2021 Season at Abrons Arts Center is supported, in part, by generous grants from the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Jerome Foundation, the Scherman Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, the Jerome Robbins Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and other generous Henry Street Settlement funders. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Image credit: Matt Romein