reviews > Chicago, IL

"Cherrie and Matthew" is a dance, and a film of a dance, in which the two titular people do many of the same motions. They swing their arms, wave their hands, reach high, sweep with brooms, kick, bend, etc. Some of these gestures are familiar from contemporary dance, including pieces by Trisha Brown and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker. Others come from the work that Matthew does in his day job as a condominium maintenance worker. This makes sense: Brown, de Keersmaeker and others of their generation were interested in vernacular movement, and vernacular movement is what Matthew must do every day, no matter how repetitive it gets. The radicality of Yu’s performance is her direct collaboration with the everyday person, rather than her theatrical citation of their labor. Both worker and dancer speak, contribute, act, and analyze. It wouldn’t have happened without Cherrie and it would be nothing without Matthew. “Why the hell not,” Matthew responded to Cherrie’s initial invitation. Indeed.

—Lori Waxman 2020-02-15 3:34 PM