Jess Curtis – intensive 18h

Jess Curtis – intensive 18h

Jess Curtis is an award-winning choreographer, performer and scholar committed to an art-making practice informed by experimentation, innovation, critical discourse and social relevance at the intersections of fine art and popular culture. Curtis has created and performed multidisciplinary dance performance throughout the U.S., Europe with seminal group Contraband, the radical performance collective CORE and the experimental French Circus company Cahin-Caha, Cirque Batard. From 1991 to 1998 he co-directed the ground-breaking San Francisco performance venue 848 Community Space with Keith Hennessy and Michael Whitson. In 2000, Curtis founded his own trans-continental performance company, Jess Curtis/Gravity, based in Berlin and San Francisco. In 2011 he was presented the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts for choreography and the Homer Avila Award for innovation in physically diverse performance Curtis is active as a writer, advocate and community organizer in the fields of contemporary dance and performance, and teaches Dance, Contact Improvisation and Interdisciplinary Performance for individuals of all abilities throughout the US and Europe. He has been a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of the Arts in Berlin. He holds an MFA in Choreography and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies  from the University of California at Davis.


How do our senses inform, support, interrupt confuse and enable the (inter) actions we call dancing? What is in the space between sensing and doing, or is there any space there?  How does doing create sensing?  How do we enact our perception(s)? How might we perform our perception?

In this workshop we will work from the most basic building blocks of experience, unpacking sensation, perception, impulse, affect, cognition, reflex, and reaction in order to create more space between them in which to locate our performing skills. Layering synesthetic sensory-motor skill sets we will ground in and surf through twisting topologies of flesh and blood to enact perceptual acrobatics that bring us into new dimensions of world.  Is freedom the state of having choices, or a state beyond choosing?  We will look at both possibilities, smash them together to see what kind of messy realities we can construct for ourselves.  We will work in the sweaty modes of physical performance where weight, breath, momentum, desire and adrenalin intervene in conceptual structures to create pleasure, satisfaction and a rich range of performing experience.

(Intermittent practice-grounded referencing of Bergson, Bourdieu, Deleuze, Derrida, Fischer-Lichte, Foster, Haraway, Manning, Massumi, Marks, Merlau-Ponty, Spinoza, Stengers, and Whitehead at no extra charge for those who are interested.)