Tag Archives: disability dance

Tribute to Jess Curtis

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Laurie says:

I took dance classes from Jess Curtis for years. He was a superlative teacher and a brilliant choreographer. He cared about his students regardless of their level of skill. I’m a good example of this. Jess made dances at the intersection of disability, gender and digital presence. I attended many of his troop’s performances. He died unexpectedly this month.

Nastia Voynovskaya at KQED has a good article on him and his work.

“Jess’ community of friends and peers is deep and wide. The positive impact of his creative work will be felt for years. Earlier that same day Jess expressed gratitude for the wonderful life and network of friends he was enjoying. We are all in shock and deep grief.”

Curtis had been a major figure in dance for decades. In 2000, he founded the company Gravity, which has brought critically acclaimed performances to 60 cities and 13 countries, and became a crucial platform for the art form in San Francisco and Berlin. In 2017, Curtis launched Gravity Access Services, a leader in accessibility for the performing arts, especially for blind and visually impaired audiences.


Debbie has deleted her Twitter account. Follow her on Mastodon.

Follow Laurie’s Pandemic Shadows photos on Instagram.


Photo of the Week

This portrait is of Kim Manri from Women of Japan.  She is the director of Taihen, a disability dance company based in Osaka.  It was shot in her studio in the space from which she directs her company.



Taihen’s work is remarkable. This is a group of performance photos taken in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2008.

These are Kim Manri’s words from Women of Japan:

The human body keeps changing all the time and can expand its possibilities infinitely.

Art should not be displayed, but should be what people living today need for their lives. So even if it is old, it must be infused with the breath of living now. In this sense, the human body is the highest art.

Human beings have a dual cosmos inside themselves. One is invisible: spirituality; and the other is material: physicality. Physical art for me is trying to confront and look at the dual cosmos of these human beings through bodies.

Physicality is needed to connect and integrate with the cosmos. The soul desires it and performs it as art. This is where I find the strong determination works. Art is created by the will of the cosmos.

In the process of clarifying my method of creation and reconsidering the process I engage in, I find art.