Exploring the intimacy in contact improvisation
In 2010, Touch&Play organized its first festival in Berlin, Germany. It aimed to explore the ‘Chemistry in Contact’ and to create a safe and inspiring space to invite our emotions, sexualities, body politics and power dynamics into the dances. Touch&Play has been travelling and growing and has come back to its roots.
How we got started
The Touch&Play Project started in 2010 as a platform to challenge the practice of Contact Improvisation (CI) as it existed at that time. A backlash from part of the CI community followed, claiming that T&P was corrupting CI and misrepresenting the form.
Our firsT event
Through the first festival in Berlin teachers of CI and a range of other body-based practices were invited to explore the ‘Chemistry in Contact’ by inviting in participants’ emotions, sexuality, aggression, politics and everything else often kept out of our dances and dance spaces. .
The event was a success and the material reverberated around the Asian, European and N. American contact communities raising discussions on the boundaries of our practice and the perceived (un)safety of our attempts to exclude our chemistry from our dances
What to expect
Over the past years the Post-Contact scene has gathered force with many CI-fusion forms bubbling up everywhere. Teaching on the chemistry of our connections however is still very limited and while many local communities acknowledge the need for clearer boundaries and guidelines in this realm these are often limited to written documents, leaving practitioners to figure things out for themselves. The value of embodied spaces that welcome the experiential exploration of the many unspoken needs that we bring to the dance floor is thus as present as ever.
T&P is a sex-positive, bdsm-friendly space open to dancers and players of all genders, abilities, origins and sexualities. Many of the Touch&Play teachers who’ve helped shape this body of work over the years will return to co-create a container that feels both comfortable and challenging and where we can connect through both a shared classical CI vocabulary and through the learning of new norms and forms that can enrich our dances, our relationships and our lives.
From history to future
In 2010 Touch&Play organized it’s first festival in Berlin, Germany. It aimed to explore the ‘Chemistry in Contact’ and to create a safe and inspiring space to invite our emotions, sexualities, body politics and power dynamics into the dances. A backlash from part of the CI community followed, claiming that T&P was corrupting CI and misrepresenting the form. Now, 8 years and many T&P events later, it seems that, even if as the proud black sheep of the family, most have come to accept and respect our work.
On 2018 we returned to Germany to a very special location. KulturKosmos the people who run the 70,000 attendee Fusion Festival invited us to use their amazing venue. They have invested their talents and creativity in exploring alternative ways to create spaces and striving for a more just society. With their support we danced, played and explored at the old airport they’ve transformed into a cultural playground.
Since 2019 we are host by Nature Community, a lush venue run by an inspiring community that once again fully supports our values. It is surrounded by forests and includes indoor studios and the infrastructure to put all our energy into dance, explore and grow.
CI, Somatics & Dance
Nature, Conscious Sexuality & Spirituality
Boundaries, Consent & Power
Tribe, Inclusivity & Sustainable Living
“The quality of our relationships determine the quality of our lives.” Esther Perel
The Touch&Play Project is run as a disseminated international network of interested researchers, teachers and practitioners whereby any individual or group is encouraged to voice their own questions or concerns and to create a safe space to have them addressed in an authentic and playful manner.
August 28th - September 3rd 2021
Nature Community, South Germany