Contact Improvisation is a largely a-formal improvisational dance form practices the world over.
Defining a form: Where does Contact Improvisation begin and end?
We want to honor that the Touch&Play project has it’s roots in the lineage of Contact Improvisation and simultaneously has a tradition of challenging that same form and introducing such diverse influences such as Non-Violent Communication, BDSM and Tantra. At Touch&Play we are not only researching our individual truths and daring ourselves to take new risks and try new somatic approaches, we are also asking what the essential truths of Contact Improvisation are and daring to push the edges of the form into new territory. What is the basic integrity of this form we call Contact Improvisation? A form that began from a place of curiosity and play, a form that is not institutionalized, codified or owned, a form which is naturally evolving…. We posit that in bringing these other disciplines & practices into our explorations we are enhancing and deepening communication and boundary skills necessary for a healthy and vibrant practice to evolve.
Contact and Touch&Play
The Touch&Play Project started in 2010 as a platform to challenge and expand beyond the edges of the practice of Contact Improvisation (CI) as it existed at that time. Whereas the norms of the CI form had previously been explicitly about exploring the “physics-only” aspects of the dance, the first Touch&Play explorations invited practitioners of CI and a range of other body-based practices to explore the ‘Chemistry in Contact’ by inviting in participants’ emotions, sexuality, aggression, politics and everything else often kept out of our dances. The event was a success and the material reverberated around the 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.
The first Touch&Play project to occur in the US was facilitated July 2016 at Earthdance on the theme of communication. It was a great success. We are honored to be a part of this personal and community development and wish to deepen our investigation of Communication, Contact Improvisation, and Intimacy in the coming years. Contact Improvisation continues to evolve. We invite you to be active in it’s evolution by exploring the ways in which our verbal and non-verbal communication enhances our connections. Learn to articulate your intentions, boundaries and desires in the dance more clearly and honestly to deepen our connections with ourselves, our partners and our community.