The collage of images generated by an engaged group of collaborators is much more rich and mysterious than those sourced in a single mind. A rigorous collaborative process will generate discourses that will filter the possible choices in a piece and generate more and more coherent and meaningful material as the process progresses...


Lucas Hoving

Working with Lucas was one of those gifts that I was completely incapable of appreciating at the time. Training with him each morning at Footwork in San Francisco and then running two blocks to spend each afternoon studying improv, composition, and then rehearsing with him was spectacular. I feel blessed to have known and worked with him.

Excerpt from "Lucas Hoving Growing Up in Public"


Sara Shelton Mann/Contraband

Sara was a deep well and I was a sponge. Her teaching and mentoring were an amazing gift. I learned more about performing and trusting your impulses from her than from anyone ever. The space she made for the work we did in Contraband was like a dream come true. Everything was possible.


Excerpts from "Religare", by Contraband (1989 version of the Eddy St Project).
Keith Hennessy

Of the many collaborators and influences I have had the privilege of working with over the years, Keith has been the one I have most continually engaged with over the longest time and in a large of variety of contexts and relationships. From working together with Lucas, and then Sara, running away to join the circus, and then taking off on our own projects, his dedication to making work that is deeply relevant and risky is continually inspiring.


Excerpt from "Delinquent" (2008) by Keith Hennessy.




Four years of working in the collective, CORE, was an artistic coming of age for me. Working with four vibrant, headstrong incredibly talented performer/makers (Jules Beckman, Keith Hennessy, Stanya Kahn, Stephanie Maher) and committing to a no-holds-barred and no-opinions-left-unsaid consensus collaboration process was as exhilarating as it was challenging. CORE’s works Psychic Drive-by and Entertainment for the Apocalypse, and the spin off project Ice/Car/Cage (made by Jules and Keith and I), exploded my idea of what was possible, and what was important, to put on stage and when it was important to leave the stage and head into the street so you could set something on fire.



Maria Francesca Scaroni

Working with Maria in the last five years brought a dramatic shift in the way I have thought about the level of detailed attention one can bring to work with the body and the qualities of motion in the body; a shift in the sense of time, a shift in the sense of where the work might exist. She introduced me to whole new territories of thinking and theorizing the body.

...Making something together is hard work. We don't always agree, even on what just happened in a physical interaction we were both a part of. But this is in fact the work, listening through the body to each other...Thinking through our bodies together. Finding how the body as a sensory and cognitive filter both impedes and supports our ability to know another body...

"The State of Things - Affair 9". Encounters between Vania Rovisco / Maria F. Scaroni
Compagnie Cahin-Caha, Cirque Batard

Moving to France to work with Gulko and Cie, and Cahin Caha was like being sucked into a Fellini film. Living in a trailer and working in a circus tent for almost four years exploded my ideas of the limits of the human body and the physical rigor that one might invest in creating any particular act of performance.
From: Cahin Caha’s ""Grimm contes de l'ombre""
Matthias Herrmann

Over the last 12 years Matthias and I have collaborated to create six full-evening works. The range of Matthias' musical abilities is astounding, from playing virtuosic classical cello for fallen, to leading us as a charming lounge band in Under the Radar, and creating the experimental sonic soundscape of Dances for Non/Fictional Bodies. I am truly indebted to him.

Excerpts from: Cahin Caha's "Grimm contes de l'ombre"


Further Influences

The Oakland Ballet's production of L'après-midi d'un faune, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (when I was 17), Antonin Artaud's The Theater and it's Double, Peter Brook's The Empty Space, Jerzy Grotowski's Towards a Poor Theater, La La La Human Steps, DV8, Robert Wilson's Knee Plays, Ron Athey and Club Fuck, Annie Sprinkle, Meg Stuart, Jerome Bel, Jacques Derrida's The Theater of Cruelty and the Closure of Representation, Andre Lepecki's Exhausting Dance, Matthew Goulish's 39 Microlectures in Proximity of Performance


You've worked in Western Europe for years; how would you describe the sensibility(ities) that attracted you? How did they/do they differ from what was going on in the States? Their impact on you?

I would have to admit, perhaps crassly, that the "sensibilities" that attracted me to Europe were that dance and live performance in general were culturally valued (i.e. both funded and perceived to be essential parts of communal social experience of being human). It seemed that I might actually be able to make a living doing this if I went over there, which proved to be true to a degree. Europe, however, is many different places and the funding and possibilities in Germany and France are very different than in Italy or Greece.
Jess Curtis and Choreographer Joanna Haigood

For me, the way that Europeans use dance and performance is richer and more complex. The performance itself is less of a commodity and more of a space for meeting and provoking conversation and thinking. Almost all European theaters have a bar and people really hang out after shows and drink and talk and argue and digest the performance. Especially at the festivals. A couple of years ago at the Transit festival at Haus der Kulteren der Welt in Berlin, one friend admitted to me that he hadn't actually seen any shows at the festival, he just came and hung out at the bar in between shows, because that was where it was most interesting.


Jess Curtis and Choreographer Joanna Haigood via Skype, April 5, 2011