I’ve always been intrigued by the way people interact with each other. In my years of people watching I’ve learned that you can tell how close people are depending on how they touch. There are levels to hugs and hand holding depending on the relationship between people. While I know this to be true, I also know that people often overlook the simple beauty in this connection.
The hands open the doors and hold the tools to building new relationships. Through touch you can share yourself. You can feel. For dancers and choreographers in my stage of development (still trying to figure out what we bring to the table) I’ve also noticed this disconnection. I think we’re so caught up in the technicality of the movement that we don’t think of incorporating touching, feeling, and hands because it seems too simple.
For my one-hour study I observed how the words touch, feel, and hand are interpreted by other dancers. I was curious to see the similarities and the differences between the improvisations performed when I facilitated with each of these words. I was also curious to see how dancing with music would effect the improv, thus incorporating another aspect of ‘feeling’. I also had the two dancers explore reacting to each others’ touch. At the end I interviewed them to see what they thought of the relationship between touch, feel, and hands and why they interpreted each word that way.
Here’s a video of a few highlights from the study and a sort of monologue on the ideas. Thanks so much to Erica Jackson and Sheila Zeng for not being afraid to touch and feel each other and themselves, ha!