Save the Dates – July 7-12,  2020

Touch&Play 2019: Be… Longing

Reclaiming Community


Thank you for another amazing year!

Save the dates – July 7-12, 2020

BE  Be in your body… Be passionate… Be seen… Be listening… Be curious… Be courageous… Be loving… Be playful… Be trusted… Be trusting… Be resilient… Be interested in what you’re here to contribute to others… Be held and appreciated… Be yourself more than you’ve ever been…

LONGING – Our longings can be windows into our shared human nature and universal needs.  What happens when they are satisfied? What happens when we resist them? What happens when the whole community comes together and gives each other permission to express our similarities, our differences, our kink/s, our queerness, our grief, our joy, our longings?

BELONGING – Belonging is the shifting from a culture of separation to a culture of interconnectedness. Belonging is being homesick for the places you have never known and arriving home for the first time to discover that the light is on and your friends are dancing inside. Belonging is something we dare to create with each other even when we are uncomfortable. Belonging is about noticing who is invisible in our community, recognizing them and being open and curious to connect and see something new in them.  Belonging is noticing what parts of ourselves we are shameful or afraid of and then resiliently expressing them in the presence of people who will still love us.

RECLAIMING COMMUNITY – We invite you to come home to this diverse community of dancers, somatic visionaries and embodied humans. This is a festival about play, vulnerability and building community rich in emotional, sensorial and erotic intelligence. This is a space to explore our personal, communal, and societal desires! What can dance, somatics, tantra, kink, contact improvisation, and communication practices contribute to our intimate be…longing?

Come ready to cultivate, express, and feel your longings. Let’s get compassionate and curious about intimacy, sexuality, consent, emotions, gender, privilege, race, power dynamics and inclusivity.

There’s an emerging expansion of leadership in the U.S. to better include women, trans, non-binary, and people of color. There’s a growing community of people practicing new models of intimacy. We are shifting from an era of sexual abuse to an era of sexual liberation with accountability. What can we, a festival of dancers and movers, discover and contribute to these cultural shifts?

Touch&Play History

The Touch&Play Project started in 2010 as a platform to challenge the practice of Contact Improvisation (CI) as it existed at that time. Through a 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. 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 have been enjoying witnessing the effect of our festival on many participants and teachers. Many classes, festivals, workshops and labs, that were in large part inspired by the past two year’s festivals have been happening in Latin America, Canada and all over the US during 2016-2018. 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 again this coming July. 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. The Touch&Play Project is run as a disseminated 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.

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. Finding the most productive mix of “Classical Contact” and edge exploration is a dynamic equilibrium.  One does need to understand the center of a form before one can know what it’s edges are.  In this light we highly encourage any newcomers to Contact Improvisation who are considering signing up for this event to take classes and go to jams for the next few months before the festival to prepare yourself in understanding the essential physics and social dynamics of the form.

For any questions please contact us at: contact@earthdance.touchandplay.org

Modalities & practices this event is inspired by :

NVC (Non-Violent Communication), Power & Resistance Play, Conflict Transformation,
The Work (Byron Katie), Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement,
Somatic mindfulness, BDSM,
Roleplaying,
Ritual, Tantra, Kink…

Our goals for this event include:

  • Building a diverse community with embodied, emotional, and erotic intelligence
  • Deepening our culture of consent and accountability
  • Creating the possibility to find greater freedom and deeper connections individually and as a group
  • Finding greater freedom & deeper connections
  • Creating permission to explore physical & emotional edges while simultaneously defining healthy boundaries.
  • Bringing these communication tools into our creative art and performance making processes..