Uferstudios 14
Badstr. 41A, Uferstr. 23
13357 Berlin
Photo: Gerald Pirner

Into The Dark

Performance · Premiere by Jess Curtis / Gravity († 11.03.2024)
In the frame of Fold – Expansions of Perception

«Into The Dark», a new ensemble work conceived and directed by Jess Curtis in collaboration with a diverse ensemble of blind, visually impaired and sighted artists and consultants, will explore the cultural and phenomenological experiences of darkness and light, looking at the physical, subconscious and literal effects of the binary mobilization of darkness and light through Western thought in social and individual meaning-making.
The team will continue its innovative exploration of the aesthetics of access practices from blind culture such as audio description, wayfinding, tactile floor markings and immersive seating arrangements to literally destabilize social modes of perception that unfairly and irrationally stratify light and darkness to devalue, disempower and disenfranchise individuals and communities.

Visions of Blindness: Out of the Dark
An exhibition of ‘Light Painting’ Photographs by Gerald Pirner

On the walls of Studio 13, Jess Curtis/Gravity and Tanzfabrik present an exhibition by the Blind photographer (and performer) Gerald Pirner to coincide with the new Gravity performance «Into The Dark». 
«Visions of Blindness: Out of the Dark» was created in collaboration with the performers of «Into The Dark». In the tradition of light painting (a photographic technique originally developed by Man Ray and Pablo Picasso), Pirner creates lush, haunting photographic images. In a darkened studio, he senses and illuminates his subjects through touch and a handheld light source, leaving traces of his physical interaction with each dancer on the plane of the photographic image. In this time-based process, his touch traces and embodies the lines and shapes of each dancer. The photographs that record and document the process of a physical interaction become an image in the body memory of the photographer himself.
The exhibition opens daily one hour before the performance begins. An extra ticket is not required.

Accessibility & Content Warnings
Audio Description will be available for every show 
Haptic Access Tours will take place one hour before every show: 26.–28.10. 19:30 / 29.10. 17:00. Duration: approx. 20-30 minutes. Language: German.
Audio Description + Haptic Access Tour by Swantje Henke of Gravity Access Services
Language: German
Registration for Headsets and Tour at anmeldung@tanzfabrik-berlin.de or +49 (0)30 / 200 592 70.
The performance lasts approx. 75 minutes and takes place in Studio 14 in German and English. Pre-boarding (early seating)  will be offered for people with mobility impairments. There will be no late seating once the show has begun
A limited number of beanbags are available during pre-boarding for visitors with physical disabilities. These can be reserved at ticket@tanzfabrik-berlin.de.
A significant period of the piece takes place in total darkness. House staff will be available to escort anyone out of the theater if they should need to leave for any reason. All audience members are given ‘glow sticks’  which they can activate to signal their desire to leave.
Deaf Access -  Our Deaf advisors and friends have let us know that the amount of darkness central to this performance is not comfortable for most Deaf people. 
Studio 14 is almost at ground level. There is no raised area or similar in the studio itself. All seating for «Into The Dark» is on one level, there is no limit to the number of spaces for wheelchair users who arrive on time for pre-boarding.
The accessible toilet is located in the opposite stall in front of Studio 3. It is necessary to travel about 6 metres outside to reach it.
Content Warnings: (Spoiler Alert!)
There is a chance of gentle physical contact during periods of darkness with performers for audience members who choose to sit in certain areas of the performance space.
During some of the periods of darkness in the piece there are some sounds (crying, laughing, animal sounds)  produced by the dancers that could be alarming or upsetting to some individuals.
For further questions about Access accommodations for this show please contact: kommunikation@tanzfabrik-berlin.de.

For more information on accessibility, please visit the Uferstudios website: https://www.uferstudios.com/en/accessibility

Jess Curtis / Gravity († 11.03.2024)

Jess Curtis died unexpectedly on Monday, March 11, in San Francisco.  

Gravity creates exceptionally engaging body-based art that physically addresses issues and ideas of relevance to anyone with a body. The company was founded in 2000 by choreographer-director Jess Curtis, whose 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 refinement of state theaters in Berlin, London, Glasgow, and other major cultural centers. Gravity’s innovative, accessible, and experimental work consistently engages with issues of embodied diversity including gender, sexuality, and disability.
Duration: 75 minutes
Tickets: Pay what you can (10/15/20/25)
Conceived & directed by: Jess Curtis
Creation & Performance: Rachael Dichter, Gerald Pirner, Clarissa Dyas, Gabriel Christian, Ka Rustler, Tiffany Taylor, With the valued contributions of Sherwood Chen
Set & Costume Design: Michiel Keuper
 Composition & Sound Design: Sam Hertz
 Audiodescription: Swantje Henke
 Rehearsal Assistant: Styles Alexander
 Production Management Berlin: Magda Garlinska
 Production Management San Francisco: Aiano Nakagawa
 Technical Direction & Lighting Design: Gretchen Blegen
 Technical Direction SF: Jessi Barber
 PR/Distribution Europe: Julia Danila
 PR San Francisco: Mary Carbonara

«Into The Dark» is generously supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, the San Francisco Arts Commission, The California Arts Council, The National Endowment for the Arts (US), The MAP Fund, The Rainin Foundation, The Ford Foundation and The Walter and Elise Haas Creative Work Fund Program.
The exhibition of Gerald Pirner's photographs in San Francisco is supported by Goethe Institute, San Francisco.


Gabriele Christian (they/them) is an experimental artist specializing in choreography, dramatics, social practice, and poetics. For over a decade, their work has explored BlaQ (Black+Queer) diaspora vernaculars through live and digital performances. A founding member of BlaQ-led collectives, they excavate oral traditions and movement as conduits for equitable conversations around belonging, spirit, desirability, abundance, and care.

Rachael Dichter is a San Francisco dancer, performer, choreographer, and curator who creates work about closeness and shortening distances between people. A Danceweb Scholar and resident artist at Headlands, Caldera, and Rauschenberg, her work has shown locally and internationally. She has performed with Gravity since 2014 and co-curated the SF festival THIS IS WHAT I WANT.

Clarissa Dyas (she/they) is a movement artist rooted in the Bay Area's Ohlone Land. A SFSU Dance and Health Education graduate, they have performed with Robert Moses' Kin, ka·nei·see | collective, Lenora Lee Dance, OYSTERKNIFE, and others. They recently collaborated on Flyaway Productions, Zaccho Dance Theatre, Sara Shelton Mann, and self-produced Something Remains with Jakob Pek in 2022.

Gerald Pirner is a blind art critic, essayist, artist, and photographer. After going blind from retinitis pigmentosa in 1989, he became a lecturer and documentarian. Since 2006 he has published essays on art from the perspective of a blind person. In 2015 he began working in photography, specializing in light painting. He works with Gravity Access Services in Berlin, co-authoring and teaching Audio Description.

Ka Rustler is an international dance artist and somatic movement educator. She teaches and performs worldwide, sharing her research on improvisation, embodiment, and the neurobiology of movement. She pioneered integrating somatics into dance education and co-founded programs facilitating somatic practices for special needs children and teachers. She is a member of the Cranky Bodies a/company. Her interdisciplinary work bridges performance, creativity, and healing within a feminist framework.

Tiffany Taylor is a disabled queer dancer and advocate who uses performance to challenge ableism and educate on disability justice. With training in acting and dance, she has performed in (In)Visible and Sight Unseen with Gravity. She serves on Gravity's board, consults on audio description, and trains venues on accessibility for blind and low vision patrons.