photo by Sven Hagolini

Jess Curtis

Jess Curtis is an award-winning choreographer and performance artist 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 created and performed multidisciplinary dance theater throughout the U.S., Europe and the former Soviet Union with the seminal group Contraband under the direction of Sara Shelton Mann in the 80s and 90s.  In 2000, after 15 years of making dance in the Bay Area as an independent choreographer, Curtis founded his own trans-continental performance company, Jess Curtis/Gravity, in Berlin and San Francisco. Since then Gravity has produced 10 full evening works and numerous smaller works, touring to over 60 cities in 14 countries. In 2011 he was presented the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts for choreography.  Curtis’s other honors include six Isadora Duncan Dance awards, a Homer Avila award for leadership in the field of physically diverse performance, a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, two SF Weekly Black Box Awards, and a Stolichnaya award for performance art. 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.


MELT Faculty

Past Classes & Events

Studies Project: Making Sense of Each Other—Embodied Practices

January 20, 2018

MELT—Watch Me Watch You

Jan 15 – Jan 19, 2018