Jess Curtis


Jess WS Teaser



JESS CURTIS WORKSHOP: SENSING, DANCING, PERFORMING IN ZOOM  is a two day inclusive improvisation dance workshop open to all bodies. Previous experience in dance is recommended.

WHEN: 9-10.10.21 @ 15.00 – 18.00 (with short break) (EEST; UTC+03:00). Check your local time

WHERE: The class will be via Zoom.

LANGUAGE: English with Finnish translation if needed

 FEE: 40€. You can reserve your place here.  Once you have registered you will be provided with a link for the class. You can also notify via registration if you would like to be in the studio with the understanding that this could change. No one will be turned away for lack of funds, please email if you need financial support to participate.

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION: 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? Do we have choices about what we perceive or the sensations we have? What makes some things we do ‘performances’ and others not? And how are all of these things affected when we have to do them at home with only a camera and a screen to connect us to each other?

In this workshop we will work from the most basic building blocks of experience, unpacking sensation, perception, impulse, emotion, thoughts, reflexes, and reactions and ask how we can use them as foundations for our performing choices and skills. Working in the three dimensions of the rooms we are each in, we will use the constraints of our cameras and screens to explore the idea of performance and how being observed by another person affects our experience. Can having less choices free us to look more deeply at our dancing?  Working on and off screen, in the group grid and in small breakouts we will try to find access to thoughtful spaces of delicate detail as well as 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.

(NOTE: This class will be an experimental adaptation of material I’ve taught for many years which is new to the online format. Come prepared to be surprised, disappointed and amused. If you have an option to be on Zoom with a device that is mobile like a laptop, iPad or phone, or with more than one of these options that will open some choices for you.)

JESS CURTIS BIO: 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 performances 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.

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This workshop is offered by X Dance Festival  in cooperation with: Työpajafestivaali (organised by Zodiak – Center for New Dance, Tanssin talo and Tanssille ry) and supported by the Goethe-Institut Finnland. The workshop was initially planned with the Community Dance Association of Finland with advice from Culture for All.

CONTACT: Sally Davison: +358400843689 (workdays from 10.00 to 16.00) in English.

Silva Laukkanen: +358413138939 (arkisin klo 10.00 – 16.00) Suomeksi




I am happy to respond to the festival’s proposal to offer one-on-one sessions.  These will respond to the questions and desires of the individuals that sign up for them. Each 90 minute session will begin with a short conversation to determine what we might do. If you are not familiar with my work, I would suggest browsing a bit around my website, to see if my work interests you and how things I have done intersect with your work or dance practice.  These sessions can also be shared by dance partners that are safely ‘podded’ in the same space and want to dance together.

WHEN: Monday 7.6  @  11:30-13:00, and  14:00-15:30

 Thursday 10.6 @ 11:30-13:00 and  16:00-17:30

 Friday 11.6  @ 11:30-13:00

Saturday 12.6 @  11:30-13:00

WHERE:  These one-on-one mentoring sessions are happening in zoom.

FEE: €35. You can reserve your place here . Once you have registered you will be provided with a link for the session the beginning of June.

This is part of X Dance Festival. XDF is an international platform promoting diversity of physicality and thinking in reclaiming dance through every body. Moving beyond stereotypes we challenge normative assumptions about what dance can be by including all body’s in the conversation in the creation of artistic work and pedagogy.