Jess Curtis Celebrates Gravity’s 15th Birthday

24 Jan

Counterpulse and Jess Curtis are joined at the hip, but the new location is not yet ready to celebrate this association, so Rita Felciano and I watched Curtis and four associates Friday evening December 11 at The Grand Theater on Mission.  The ground has been denuded of its seats;, it possesses a good bar at the lobby’s right lobby with adequate toilet facilities up some steep stairs. The flat space behind a voluminous curtain had seats in a circle,  along the sides, and the performance was marked by a photographer constantly loping in and out of the action, with screens both on the upper left wall as well in the expected place, smack in front of us.

Curtis performed with his frequent colleagues, Claire Cunningham from Scotland and Jorg Muller from Germany.  As always they did themselves proud, Cunningham in a dialogue with Curtis in the opener, then Curtis and Muller in their white-coated, pseudo-scientific experiments with tennis balls, a section where both men progressively shed their clothing with Curtis winding up nude in a  dialogue with a fully-clothed young woman.

Curtis finished the program with a mesmerizing display of varying aluminum pipes being swung into orbit by Jorg Muller, the light glinting on them, inviting the sensation of swinging with one or another of the safely-secured hanging metalics . [One could imagine how deadly one might be if the securing line broke!].  About mid-way in the slowing swings, Cunningham’s voice raised majestically,with the pipes still gleaming in diminishing circles, the atmosphere suddenly seemed transcendent. It was another one of Curtis’ magical capacities.

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