Jess Curtis

Jess Curtis by Sven HagolaniJess Curtis, Director/Choreographer (San Francisco/Berlin). Living and working in both San Francisco and Berlin, Jess Curtis has created a body of work ranging from the underground extremes of Mission District warehouses with Contraband and CORE (1985-1998) to the formal refinement and exuberance of European State Theaters and Circus Tents with Compagnie Cahin-Caha and Jess Curtis/Gravity (1998-present). Since founding Gravity in 2000, Curtis has created an extensive body of performance works, collaborating with numerous renowned international artists and companies, receiving critical praise and a variety of awards and honors. . Throughout his career his research and practice have included work and play within the Queer, Sex-Positive communities of San Francisco where he has studied, practiced and played with such pioneers as Annie Sprinkle, Fakir Musafar, Madame Cleo Dubois, Joseph Kramer, Keith Hennessy and Chester Mainard.

From 1991 to 1998 he was co-director of the legendary 848 Community Space in San Francisco, site of many intercommunity experiments in Art, Politics, Sexuality, Community and Culture. He also teaches Dance, Contact Improv and Interdisciplinary Performance throughout the US and Europe and has been a visiting professor at UC Berkeley, and the University of the Arts in Berlin. He is currently pursuing an PhD in Performance Studies with a focus on choreographic practice at the University of California at Davis. Contact Improvisation and Spontaneous Composition are central tools in his performing practice, which he uses as training/tuning techniques for himself and the performers he works with, and in making performances that embrace the risk of making choices in real time.

Read about Jess Curtis’ “Bone Sex” workshop
Read about Jess Curtis’ “I wanna hold your hand” research proposal