When was the last time you touched someone other than people in your household, or your family?
2020 has been a peculiar year of minimised human touch, rapid digitalisation, and a pervasive air of uncertainty as the world recalibrates around an unseen virus. In these times, we protect one another by not-hugging, bumping elbows, and trying as far as possible not to breathe the same air. What then are options that do still remain for us to touch? In the durational work Tactility Studies: Pandemic Distances, we sensitise the soles of the feet, and play with gestures of self-care in public space — in persistent hope of expanding the current choreographies of touch and connection.
Tactility Studies: Pandemic Distances is based on Tactility Studies, a performative project jointly manifested by Chong Gua Khee and Bernice Lee, theatre and dance artists who have been collaborating since 2016. In Tactility Studies, they invite people to open up their bodies as sites and spaces for performance – to be soft, to wobble, to uncoil. Paying attention to how touch can be both transgressive and reparative, Tactility Studies desires to generate new affective discourses around platonic, pleasurable, safe touch and consent. Tactility Studies has been incubated at and supported by Dance Nucleus since 2018.
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