Touch & Play: Embodying an Intimate Language

Programming category: 
July 5, 2016 - 5:00pm - July 9, 2016 - 3:00pm

Touch & Play festivals have a history of exploring the edges of what CI can be and are known as events in which personal and communal celebration and growth reach new levels. The Touch & Play Project started in 2010 as a platform to challenge the practice of 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 North 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.

Successive Touch & Play events have focused on the exploration of the "edges of Contact" by working one specific frontier (e.g. the Contact community, children and families) or by providing spaces where all edges are equally welcome. 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.

This year’s theme of communication takes us into a deepening of the dance through verbal and nonverbal communication techniques, styles, skills, and approaches. We aim to bring, explore, and open all of ourselves: the communicator, the sensual, the sexy, the playful, the curious, the powerful, the receptive. Through this wide lens we continue to question the relationship of chemistry and physics in this vast expanse of dance we call Contact Improvisation.

Touch & Play is not a program of Earthdance. For inquiries, visit:

Register Here

Teachers: Zahava Griss (CA, USA), Daniel Hayes (Holland/Spain), Alyssa Lyons  (USA/Spain), Moti Zemelman (MA, USA), Zach (Zigzag) Peery (CA,USA), Jocasta Crofts (England), Béu Tornaghi (Brazil/USA)...and many more

Daniel Hayes

Daniel Hayes is a Medical Doctor, public health scientist, eco-anarchist, and practical idealist. He’s been playing, dancing, meditating, and conversing CI for over a decade and actively sharing his curiosity and knowledge and doubts for the past eight years. He is the founder of the Touch & Play Project, which explores the edges of Contact Improvisation by inviting our (al)chemical bodies into the dance. Through artistic and academic research he hopes to highlight the potential of CI as a tool to create authentic connections with oneself and the other by bringing it into play, communication, BDSM, therapy, education, sexuality, somatic mindfulness, and more.

Alyssa Lynes

Alyssa Lynes is a dancer and teacher interested in how communication and creative expression play out in partner dance forms. Alyssa grew up in MA, dancing many performative dance styles (Jazz, musical theater, dance, Horton, Limon, Ballet). She received a BA in Contemporary dance and a MS in education in New York City where she worked as a freelance dancer and bilingual (Eng/Span) elementary school teacher. In 2010, her Contact Improvisation training with Nancy Stark Smith catapulted her off on a CI devoted trip to Europe where she has lived ever since. She has added Salsa and Tango to her partner dance repertoire. Alyssa explores the overlaps of movement forms through her choreography and performance work - most recently in “You Have To” (E-werk Kammertheater) and with the koreografenkollektiv (Freiburg, DE), in her co-directing film collaboration (“5 Ways In”: a documentary based in the Freiburg CI festival 2012), and in her CI teaching. She recently has taught at CI festivals such as Contact Meets Contemporary (DE), Earthdance New Years Jam (US), the Isreal CI festivals, Touch & Play (SP), and Bread & Jam (UK).

Moti Zemelman

Moti Zemelman plays vocal-electronic music for dancers, performers, and lovers of sound.  In 2007 he released his debut CD, Doorwaves. Moti's vocal acrobatics range from Gyoto monk throat singing to perfect trumpet imitations to alien utterances.  Using electronic loopers and effects to create vocal layers he is a one-man bazaar.  If Bobby McFerrin and Moby had a baby…

252 Prospect Street, Plainfield, MA 01070 | map | directions

Copyright 2011 Earthdance