Jess Curtis/Gravity


Gravity was founded by choreographer-director Jess Curtis, whose distinctive body of work ranges from the underground extremes of San Francisco warehouse performances with such iconic companies as Contraband and CORE in the 1980s, to the exuberance of French circus tents with Compagnie Cahin-Caha and the formal refinement of European state theaters in Berlin, London, Glasgow, and other major cultural centers.

Curtis’ choreography has been widely recognized for its excellence, originality, and inclusiveness; in 2011, he was honored with the Alpert Award for Choreography and the Homer Avila Award for innovation in physically inclusive dance. Additionally, Gravity has been recognized with six Isadora Duncan Dance Awards and a ‘Fringe First’ at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

These works consistently engage with issues of embodied diversity including gender, sexuality and disability, making compelling cases for the value that different bodies contribute to society, and include Dances for Non/Fictional Bodies (2011), The Generation Project: Jess Meets Angus (2010), The Symmetry Project (2006-2014), Under the Radar (2007), Fallen (2001), and The Way You Look (at me) Tonight (2016), a duet created and performed by Curtis and self-identified disabled artist Claire Cunningham in collaboration with philosopher Alva Noë.

Jess Curtis/Gravity: creates, produces, and tours original body-based art; educates young professionals, students, and members of the public with physically accessible workshops in cities throughout the US and Europe; nurtures emerging artists through artistic mentorship, professional guidance, and fiscal sponsorship; fosters international exchange through co-productions that mobilize our international network to bring international artists to San Francisco and help San Francisco artists present work abroad; and supports emerging choreographers through our Pop Up Performance Project, which commissions site-specific work for presentation on city streets.

Jess Curtis wears a black tee shirt and silver earrings. He has a shock of white hair and looks into the camera. (photo: Sven Hagolani)

jess curtis

Jess Curtis is an award-winning choreographer and performer 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 theater throughout the U.S. and Europe with the 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 inclusive dance. He holds an MFA in Choreography and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the University of California at Davis.


Board Members

Sophia Green (President)

Dress Wedding (Treasurer)

John Link, PhD. (Secretary)

Alice Sheppard, PhD

Jess Curtis, PhD.

Jack Davis

Sampada Aranke, PhD.